Guitarist Luis Mario Ochoa pays tribute to prolific Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona

Guitarist, singer, composer, arranger and conductor Luis Mario Ochoathe Cuban-born, Toronto/Miami-based musician pays tribute to the world-famous Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona – known as Gershwin from Cuba – with the album “Forever Lecuona”.

Coinciding with the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Lecuona’s passing in 2023, Ochoa hopes that “Forever Lecuona will keep the music of this prolific composer alive. The album contains ten of the legendary artist’s most beloved compositions.

The main force behind the emergence of Cuban music in the world at the beginning of the 20th century, Lecuona’s compositions reflect Cuban, African and Spanish influences in multiple genres, including popular songs, compositions for solo piano and music for theatre, ballet, opera and film.

Ochoa’s desire to pay tribute to Lecuona began when he moved to Miami in 2014 to start a new chapter in his life and career. With a huge selection of music to choose from, he wanted to reflect Lecuona’s range of styles by featuring his tropical songs, congas, boleros, criollas, Afro-Cuban dances and a Sevillana (flamenco) flavored song.

The Mulata Chancletera

Ochoa emigrated from Cuba to Toronto in 1990 after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Guitar at the University of Havana, Instituto Superior de Artes. In Canada, he expanded his musical career as a guitarist, singer, composer, arranger and bandleader.

Ochoa’s 1995 debut album, “A La Cubana was among the first Latin recordings to be released in Canada and the first by a Cuban-born musician.

Over the years, Ochoa has produced and released three additional albums: “La Fiesta” in 2000, “Cimarrón” in 2005, and “Momentos Cubanos” in 2008. He has recorded and performed with Latin jazz luminaries such as Paquito D’ Rivera and Hilario. Duran.

Listen to two selections of “Forever Lecuona” in Jazz Caliente this Saturday.

Next week we will feature an interview with Cuban-born classical and jazz pianist Aldo López Gavilán. It occurs in April 29 Tacoma and in Puyallup on May 1.

In addition, “Los Hermanos”, a film about Gavilán and his brother, the violinist Ilhan Gavilán, is screened at Great Tacoma Cinema Tuesday, April 19.

The afternoon and evening screenings include a post-film discussion moderated by Karin Choo, executive director of Northwest Sinfonietta, and Anna Wittstruck, professor of music at the University of Puget Sound.

LOS HERMANOS/THE BROTHERS | Official trailer | Opens May 14

Jazz Caliente airs Saturdays at 5 p.m. The show is hosted by Robin Lloyd and produced by KNKX Public Radio.

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