Locarno’s music has been described as comparable to popular Latin roots/fusion artists Manu Chao or Rodrigo Gabriela. (Submitted)

Festival favourite Locarno returns to Harrison

Locarno’s groove heavy mix of Mexican folk, Cuban son and Latin soul back by popular demand

Locarno’s danceable and joyful fusion of Mexican son jarocho music, Cuban salsa and contemporary pop songwriting makes a much anticipated return to the intimate Harrison Memorial Hall Saturday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m.

Over the past few years, Locarno has emerged as a unique and highly requested band on the Canadian festival and concert circuits. The Latin project of Juno award winning musician and Paperboys front man, Tom Landa, Locarno’s music, like him, is part Mexican, but contains strong doses of Cuban son, folk music, pop and funk. The band is making its fourth appearance in Harrison.

Tom was born and raised in Mexico City to a Mexican father and a Canadian mother. He moved to Ontario during his teenage years where he put behind his Mexican musical roots in favour of the new sounds that surrounded his new environment. A record by Los Lobos, a Mexican American band, eventually brought him “back home.” From that moment on, Landa rediscovered his musical roots and began his musical quest to not only learn more about this music, but also write and arrange songs in the son jarocho genre.

“Tom Landa is surely one of the hardest working bandleaders on the Vancouver roots music scene, as the leader of the wildly popular group The Paperboys. With Locarno he has stretched his musical wings to create a truly original flavour accessible to those who might not have much experience with Latin music,” says Andy Hillhouse, executive director of the Harrison Festival Society.

Locarno’s music has been described as comparable to popular Latin roots/fusion artists Manu Chao or Rodrigo Gabriela, however even though there are similarities, the group’s high energy, catchy and danceable music offers a highly infectious sound. Tom strives to create music that is heavily influenced by Mexican styles but uses the elements and musicians around him in his hometown of Vancouver.

“Not only is Tom a seasoned and stellar performer, he always plays with high quality performers. His wife Kalissa Landa provides energetic fiddling, and the band’s dynamic sound is partially due to the high quality horn and percussion arrangements, provided by a roster of excellent Afro-Cuban musicians,” says Hillhouse.

The show begins at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for Locarno are $25 and can be purchased online at www.harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604.796.3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison and Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart on Pioneer Avenue.

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