Alfie Zappacosta, a multi Juno and American Music Award winner, is coming to Parksville Nov. 26 for a show at the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC).
Singer-songwriter Zappacosta will play his unique blend of acoustic, smooth jazz, pop and Christmas favourites, according to a news release. He will be accompanied by Andrew Glover on piano, when the two visit the arts centre (133 McMillan St.) for the 6:30 p.m. concert.
Zappacosta said he enjoys playing in smaller, more intimate shows across Canada.
“I feel a bit more of a oneness. I can actually see people — their faces,” Zappacosta said. “I can get reactions from them right away to find out whether they’re really enjoying themselves or not.”
The title track to his latest album, Saved, written and released during the pandemic, has a gospel feel to it, but is not religious at all, he said.
The inspiration comes from years in the music industry, raising children, losing loved ones, gaining loves ones and finding happiness.
“This was definitely not like God saved me, this was we saved ourselves,” Zappacosta said.
He described the album as jumble of a lot of different kinds of songs, “because there’s nothing to really chase down for me as a writer, a performer.”
Zappacosta said he doesn’t pigeonhole himself and tries to stay open to wherever the lyrics and melody take him, without trying to stay within a certain set of guidelines.
He recorded the album with some friends in Toronto.
“I think it’s a great combination of wonderful players and people getting together in mind and in performances to do a great job,” Zappacosta said. “It’s a wonderful record, I like it a lot.”
After a very quiet three years, he said he is looking forward to getting his music back out into the world again.
Zappacosta met pianist Glover after he moved to Edmonton from Toronto 28 years ago.
“We’ve been playing pretty much since,” he said. “Andrew is absolutely a tremendous player, and a jazz player and teacher.”
Brought to the world’s attention through a legacy of ’80s hits, Zappacosta songs such as ‘Start Again’, ‘When I Fall in Love Again’ and ‘Nothing Can Stand In Your Way’ became staples on contemporary radio.
In the ’90s he stopped chasing what commercial radio was doing and began writing lyrics and music he found more authentic.
“I thought that I could write those kind of songs to make them happy, but in the back of my mind I thought ‘I know that I’ll be doing these for a long time, as I progress and age’,” Zappacosta said.
“And I thought that if I’m going to be doing songs, I should like them. So I started doing songs that meant something to me and I’m sure they mean a lot to an awful lot of other people.”
His lyrics are inspired by everyday life and feelings — things everyone can relate to.
“My music has matured along with me,” Zappacosta said. “I’ve been doing it for quite a while.”
Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are available online at the MAC’s website.