Biographie - Luis Mario Ochoa

Luis Mario Ochoa est né à la Havane à Cuba. Depuis l'âge de dix ans, il n'a cessé d’accumuler les distinctions musicales honorifiques en remportant entre autres le Grand Prix de l'Institut Supérieur des Arts de l'Université de la Havane. En 1992 Luis Mario arrive au Canada et fonde le groupe "Cimarrón". Les neuf musiciens sur scène vous transporteront dans l'ambiance frénétique des rythmes de salsa, merengue, cumbias et autres mambos. Préparez vous à danser !

Luis Mario Ochoa was born, raised and educated in Havana, Cuba and began his full time musical studies at the age of 10 in some of the most distinguished conservatories in his native country, culminating thirteen years later, with an Honours Bachelor Degree in Music from the Institute Superior of Arts of the University of Havana.

In 1990, Luis Mario arrived in Canada and made this country his new home. In 1992 Luis Mario founded his group "Cimarrón", and in 1995 produced his first CD "A La Cubana". The album served to introduce Canadian audiences to Luis Mario's talents, and was one of the first waves of recordings to emerge from Toronto's Latin music scene. Tracks from this CD were featured on episodes of the TV show Traders.

In 2000, Luis Mario released his second album "La Fiesta" to much critical acclaim such as those expressed by:

Toronto Star, January 13, 2000 by Geoff Chapman: "Havana born Luis Mario Ochoa's warm tenor voice dominates his second CD featuring the band Cimarron (The) session smartly underlines the priority he places on Afro-Cuban roots amid a sparkling fusion of steamy Cuban and Puerto Rican salsa. Charts and ensembles are tough and tight and the beat tougher still on a classy release from a future star who wrote all the songs".

Americas/Music notes/Volume 52, No. 6/December 2000, By: Mark Holston: "His orchestra provides an opportunity for many non-Latin musicians in the Toronto area to learn the salsa craft in the company of a promising young master."

Jazz Report Magazine by Bill King: "This recording is something for the Latin music fans to carry everywhere. If you love salsa and pure vocals with robust horn and rhythmic grooves, then you'll play La Fiesta over and over again. This isn't a hybrid recording marrying jazz and Latin, but an earnest effort to showcase Luis Mario Ochoa's Cuban heritage and considerable writing and arranging skills. The production is first rate providing an enjoyable listening experience".

Hispanic Magazine, summer 2000 issue by Mark Holston: "How exciting to discover a truly dynamic new salsa vocalist whose talent extends to composing and arranging. Equally impressive is that Luis Mario Ochoa has been able to put together one of the season's most satisfying salsa dates, La Fiesta (LMOCD1), in his adopted home of Toronto. The native of Cuba and Cimarrón, his largely Canadian band sounds fully the equal to New York City's best on this engaging, energetic session. Best of all, Luis Mario sings with a degree of heartfelt passion that's missing in the performances of many of today's young salseros. From great songs to smoking arrangements, La Fiesta is dynamite".

Toronto Sun Friday, November 17, 2000 Latin scene ready for Fiesta by Errol Nazareth: "The music aside, there's an obvious attention to detail here that's lacking in the work of Ochoa's contemporaries. Put simply, the production and arrangements on La Fiesta are killer".

The launch of La Fiesta was followed by a series of high profile performances in the Toronto area including Harbourfront Centre and the Beaches Jazz Festival in Toronto, London Sunfest and 91.1 Jazz FM Ontario Place series. Tracks from this CD were featured in The Associates.

In winter 2003 Luis Mario produced a demo CD "Sketches of Cuban Jazz" where he features some of the best jazz players in Toronto as well as him self not only as a singer, composer, and arranger, but also as a jazz guitarist, to soft launch the new band into the Latin Jazz scene. As a result of this project the group was featured in a number of well recognized Canadian Jazz Festivals such as Toronto Jazz Festival, Oakville Jazz Festival and the All Canadian Jazz Festival in Port Hope.

In 2003, Luis Mario was invited to tutor at the renowned Humber College, where he currently teaches Latin Jazz ensemble. He also teaches Cuban Music workshop every Sunday as part of the World of Music Toronto organization.

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