Bandleader-promoter Mark Tortorici is an old-school showman. For the past seven years, the sharp-dressed, sweet-talking swinger has been presenting a wild variety of live music acts at Burbank nightclub Joe's Great American Bar and Grill and packing the joint every Monday and Tuesday, two of toughest nights for any working musician hoping to pull a crowd. But for Tortorici, known to his avid cult of jitter-bugging followers as Torch, it's simply standard operating procedure.
Whether headlining the room with his own nine-piece rhythm and blues group, the Hollywood Combo, or manning the turntables as DJ between sets by local Western swing favorites the Lucky Stars, Tortorici curates an always-exceptional weeknight experience.
With offbeat touring acts like Canadian hillbilly throwbacks Petunia & the Vipers (yes, Petunia is actually a man) or New Orleans Tin Pan Alley specialist Linnzi Zaorsky, Tortorici's knack for showcasing disparate musical genres reflects an unusual attitude, best summed up by his own self-description as “a live-music junkie.”