The Oak Park Arms presents ‘A Samba Kind of Evening’

Pianist Bong Peñera, photo courtesy of

The annual Monday Night Summer Jazz Series at the Oak Park Arms rental retirement community continues with pianist Bong Peñera in “A Samba Kind of Evening,” on Monday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. The Oak Park Arms, located at 408 S. Oak Park Ave., has had a jazz musician or band perform a free, live concert for residents and the public every other Monday starting in June and will continue through September.

The Monday Night Summer Jazz Series is free to public, open to all ages. “Our residents treasure their summer nights filled with soulful music,” said Desi Vasquez, social programming director at the Oak Park Arms. “And our doors are always open to share these moments with our community,” said Vasquez.

Pianist Bong Peñera, born José Elías Peñera, will perform his personal style of Samba music at the Oak Park Arms, as he has done throughout Chicagoland in hotels, clubs and other venues.

Dominating the music scene in the 70s and early ‘80s, Peñera and his “Batucada”, Brazilian Portuguese for “beat,” are considered “the main proponent of Brazilian-influenced Philippine jazz, particularly Samba and bossa nova,” according to the Oak Park Arms. Peñera has had experience playing in an international band, sharing his talents of playing the piano and the acoustic guitar. His talent and passion for music helped him to receive an hour spot of radio exposure at WBEZ, Chicago’s Public Radio jazz hour hosted at the time by Larry Smith.

Bong Peñera’s has been admired and his music interpreted by countless other musicians and aspiring artists. In 2010, Peñera was inducted into the Chicago Filipino American Hall of Fame.

For more information about the Monday Night Summer Jazz Series or the Oak Park Arms, call 708-386-4040 or visit the Oak Park Arms website.


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