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Jazz Survivors

Classic jazz, bebop, swing, blues and bossa nova in South Florida

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Bob LaMendola, bass

Photo: Johanna Arnedo  |
If Bob LaMendola performs right, you may barely notice his playing. 

The essence of bass in the LaMendola theory is to merge with the tune so the bass notes absorb into everything else that's going on.

You can't see the frame of a beautiful cathedral, but you know it's there holding everything up.

Maybe it was inborn. Like many who grew up in the '60s, Bob started playing guitar after seeing  the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. 

This led him into rock, blues and folk groups in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., and later in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

But he and his friends noticed that when Bob sang a song from the radio, he sang the bass line, not the melody.

So after he moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1987, he switched to the electric bass and made his debut in a comedy spoof show.

eventually he met up in 1995 with guitarist Mike Zinna in a straight-ahead jazz trio called Three Bop, which soon grew into the Survivors when vibist Les Blachut joined the group.

Unlike his bandmates, Bob has only a few years of formal training and brings an outsider's sensibility to jazz. Scales and harmony set the course, he says, but the notes still have to SOUND good.

To contact the band:

Bob LaMendola  |  786-440-6180  |  4122 Inverrary Dr., Lauderhill, FL 33319.