Biography

Guitarist, vocalist, composer, arranger and band leader Luis Mario Ochoa, the Cuban-born, Toronto based musician, released his fifth album Forever Lecuona, on April 6, 2022. A tribute to world renowned Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona – known as the Gershwin of Cuba – the album features ten of some of the legendary artist’s most beloved compositions, presented in a concert style recital program.

As the primary force behind the emergence of Cuban music around the world in the early 20th century, Lecuona’s compositions encapsulated the spirit of Cuban, African and Spanish influences producing a library of music across multiple genres including popular songs, piano solo compositions, as well as music for theater, ballet and opera. Ochoa’s desire to pay homage to Lecuona began when he moved to Miami in 2014 to start a new chapter in his life and career. With a vast selection of music to choose from, he wanted to mirror Lecuona’s ample array of styles, by featuring his tropical songs, congas, boleros, criollas, Afro Cuban dances and a Sevillana flavored song.

A multi-faceted musician, Luis Mario emigrated to Toronto from Cuba in 1990 after receiving a BA in classical guitar at the University of Havana, Instituto Superior de Artes. In Canada, he expanded his musical career as guitarist, vocalist, composer, arranger and band leader. His first album A La Cubana (1995) was among the first Latin recordings to be released in Canada and the first from a Cuban born musician.

Over the years Ochoa has produced and released three additional albums: La Fiesta (2000), Cimarrón (2005) and Momentos Cubanos (2008). Tracks from his productions have been featured on Canadian major networks mini-series such as Traders (CBC) The Associates (CTV) as well as in the films Brave New Girl (2004) and Bailey’s Billions (2005). Luis Mario has recorded and performed many times with Latin jazz luminaries such as multi-Grammy® award-winner Paquito D’Rivera and multi-Juno® awarded Hilario Durán.

Coinciding with the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Lecuona’s passing in 2023, Forever Lecuona will continue to keep the music of this incredible composer alive.

en_US