Filipino-Canadian in Focus: Salve and Ed Dayao

By , on December 17, 2013


British Columbia’s Salve and Ed Dayao is synonymous to American pop music duo Sonny & Cher. While the latter started their career in the mid-1960s as R&B backing singers for record producer Phil Spector, Ed and Salve left the Philippines in the 1970s to travel the world spreading the gospel of music. Here, Salve reminisces her early transition to jazz and speaks of what completes her whole being as Vancouver’s Queen of Jazz and vocal coach.

Writer: Describe happiness in your own terms?

Salve: I’m happiest when spending quality time with Eddieboy (her husband Ed) and having my whole family members come over at our place for special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. Or even when I’m just performing on same stage with my Eddieboy still tickles me pink.

Writer: When did you realize you wanted to become a jazz singer?

Salve: I started singing at age 14. And I’ve always been naturally drawn to singing jazz and old standards. But my Eddieboy stood guard in honing my craft. He’s the ultimate jazz aficionado on Keys who once told me that there is no other music genre suited for my vocal style and delivery than jazz. I believed him.

Writer: What about your vocal coaching?

Salve: It all started in 1986 when Ed and I just migrated to Canada.  My lengthy years of experience performing in different countries with my husband on keyboards have contributed significantly to perfecting my vocal skills. Teaching small kids became the natural transition for me. We became the first Filipinos to open a music studio (Ed & Salve’s Music Studio) here.

Writer: Operating your own music resto-bar (Java Jazz Bistro is now on its 12 years in business) takes up so much of your time, what motivates you in not giving up coaching young kids how to sing?

Salve: Watching very shy, out of tune and unsure kids blossom into confident and seasoned performers. That’s the most gratifying reward for as vocal coach. I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Writer: Who’s your greatest musical influence?

Salve: My late Dad and my eldest sister Ligaya who both patiently mentored me as I was growing up. They took me to joining various amateur contests that I truly enjoyed. Because I always had new pairs of shoes and nice clothes to wear.

Writer: How do you juggle up your hectic schedule without compromising quality and productivity?

Salve: Simple. I love everything that I do; therefore, proper time management and prioritizing are important factors. But most importantly, I’m blessed to have an understanding husband who supports and understands me unconditionally.

Writer: How do you sum up success?

Salve: Personally, my greatest achievement would be my marriage. Eddieboy and I will be celebrating our 34 years of matrimonial bliss come March 13, 2014. And that we’re still head over heels in love with each other after all these years is truly my life’s measure of success. The rest is merely incidental.