Radio Download: La Mulata Chancletera => HERE

Luis Mario Ochoa – Bio
Guitarist, vocalist, composer, arranger and band leader Luis Mario Ochoa, the Cuban-born, Toronto and Miami 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.


Forever Lecuona Tracks

01. La Mulata Chancletera (Conga/Paca/Timba) – Song from the Zarzuela María La O
02. Como Arrullo de Palmas (Criolla/Cha-Cha)
03. Romanza de María La O (Afro-Cuban Funk) – Aria from the Zarzuela María La O
04. Siempre En Mi Corazón (Danzón) – Song theme of the movie Always In My Heart
05. Para Vigo Me Voy (Contradanza/Conga)
06. Una Rosa Blanca (Criolla)
Three Afro-Cuban Dances:
07. Y La Negra Bailaba
08. La Comparsa
09. Danza Lucumí  
10. Damisela Encantadora (Sevillana/Jazz Waltz) Song from the zarzuela Lola Cruz  

Album Reviews

This recording – Forever Lecuona – is a glorious tribute to the great 19th century Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona – glorious because of the performance of its principal artist – Luis Mario Ochoa, a Cuban-Canadian steeped in the nuanced emotions and magic of Mr Lecuona’s music, which ranges from the bravura of the contradanza and criolla;  the gilded elegance of every son, danzón and Sevillana from the composer’s mighty pen. Luis Mario is an exceptionally brilliant guitarist and a singer possessed not only of an incredible vocal range, but the gift of using it to dig into the very emotion and meaning of words and phrases”. 
Continue reading Here Raul Da Gama – The Latin Jazz Network (02/01/2020)

“With songs dating back to the early 1900s, this is a nostalgic but still relevant collection of classic Cuban sounds. Themes of heartbreak and longing never go out of style, do they? Neither does dancing, and this album will surely inspire you to get on your feet and take a turn around the floor. This may be especially true for non-Spanish speakers, as all the songs are in that language, of course. But everyone speaks the language of uplifting rhythm and Ochoa’s beautiful guitar playing and bright, plaintive singing clearly convey the message”.
Continue Reading Here Cathy Rishes – The Whole Note (05/20/2022)

“His vocal power and tone are sensational, and the arrangements are modern with earthy intensity and purpose. I could detail the individual songs but there’s really no need. All of them will sweep you away. Ochoa’s taste is superb, and the music pays respect to the original masterpieces with a bright, contemporary feel” –
Continue Reading Here Marc Myers – JazzVox.com (04/6/2022)

“Luis Mario Ochoa is a strong and emotional vocalist, a guitar master who received a Bachelor of Arts in classical guitar at the University of Havana, Instituto Superior de Artes…” “…When this musical expression is complete, I feel as though I have learned much  about Cuban music, the historic Mr. Ernesto Lecuona and the multi-talented artist, Luis Mario Ochoa.”
Continue Reading Here Dee Dee McNeil – Musical Memoirs’s Blog (04/15/2022) 

– [Forever Lecuona] “… a masterpiece worthy of a GRAMMY consideration” (Google Translated from Spanish)
Continue Reading Here El Chino – Solar Latin Club (03/17/2022)

“Fenomenal ese video!…a Lecuonan le hubiera encantado tu versión de su “Chancletera”
(Google Translated from Spanish) That video was fenomenal!…Lecuona would have loved your version of “Chancletera”
Paquito D’Rivera – Facebook Login to read Here  (04/15/2022) 

“This is Luis Mario Ochoa’s fourth record [Momentos Cubanos] and a slight departure from earlier records, which featured this extremely talented artist in a larger setting. Ochoa has developed a unique sound that melded almost all forms of music – traditional and modern – into a breathtaking sonic adventure.” 
Raul D’Gama – Latin Jazz Network (2008)

“Following the previous acclaimed releases by his nonet Cimarrón, Havana-born (and Toronto-based) guitarist, vocalist and composer Luis Mario Ochoa delivers a subtler and more jazz-tinged offering in Momentos Cubanos.” Rebeca Mauleón (2008)

“Ochoa once again convincingly takes Cuban music, embellishes it with his imagination and comes up with an album that is difficult to ignore.”
Jerry D’Souza – All About Jazz (2008)

“Luis Mario Ochoa is full of fire, finesse and authenticity”
Bill Milkowski – Jazz Times Magazine (2005)

The NYTimes Concert Review with Paquito D’Rivera: (2009) https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/arts/music/05paqu.html

For High Res Images Click HERE 
Photography by Manuel Buznego Mint Memoir Studios

Contact Information
Luis Mario Ochoa
Miami: 305.509.8436
Toronto: 416.654.5410