What a fantastic surprise to wander into your usual Mexican Restaurant only to be surrounded by the joyous strains of “Ain’t We Got Fun.” As their former manager, Jerry, puts it, “It’s like the Outer Limits. You walk in and go back in time.”
Johnny Vana and the Big Band Alumni have been serenading the local senior citizens every Tuesday morning from 10:30am until 12:30pm at Las Hadas Mexican Restaurant in Northridge for the last six years. It’s amazing how big their bar actually is, to hold a 17-piece band and a dance floor that is always full.
The youngest member of the band is 82 years old, and the oldest is 94. And these guys are serious musicians. They really are alumni — former members of any big band you can name — Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Stan Kenton, and the Glenn Miller Band. Jerry told us no one has been able to name a band yet that one of the musicians wasn’t in.