Luis Mario Ochoa Cuban Quartet
Voice/guitar, piano, bass and percussion

Luis Mario Ochoa

Luis Mario Ochoa

Coined “la crema de la crema of Cuban-Toronto musicians” (Wholenote Magazine), the Luis Mario Ochoa Cuban Quartet is renowned for virtuosity and incredible musicianship. This acoustic group features music ranging from rumba to samba, bolero to waltz, son to cha cha and features Toronto’s leading jazz and world musicians. Nominee of the 2007 Canadian Latin Jazz Artist of the Year Award, guitarist and lead vocalist Luis Mario Ochoa leads this ensemble noted by press for their “fire, finesse and authenticity” (JazzTimes).

Performing regularly in Canada, Luis Mario Ochoa and his ensembles have recently made appearances at the Jazz Festivals of Montreal, Halifax, Markham, St. John’s Vancouver, Victoria, Oshawa, the Toronto Beaches as well as the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, the Elora Festival and Ottawa Chamberfest. They were also featured artists at Mount Allison University’s Performing Arts Series and at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Internationally, highlights for the ensemble include the Barbados Jazz Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club in New York to name a few.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Luis Mario Ochoa’s earliest musical influences came from his father, Luis Ochoa Sr., singer, founding member of “Trio Voces de Oro”, one of Cuba’s most established ensembles. At the age of 11, Luis began full-time music studies at some of Havana’s most renowned conservatories. He later graduated with an honours B.A. in classical guitar from the University of Havana’s Institute Superior of Arts (ISA). While most of his extensive learning was in the classical genre, his heart never abandoned his roots in traditional Cuban music.

Embracing Toronto as his new home in the early 1990’s, Mr. Ochoa would form his band Cimarrón, with whom he recorded three critically acclaimed albums. Their first two albums, A La Cubana and La Fiesta, were some of the earliest recordings to emerge from Toronto’s Latin music scene. Songs from these recordings have since been featured in film and television shows including the TV series, Traders, the US production, Brave New Girl, and Canadian production, Bailey’s Billions, as well as in the TV series The Associates. The ensemble’s third, self-titled CD, Cimarrón, includes an all-star cast of jazz and Latin musicians from Toronto as well as special guests: Paquito D’Rivera, Guido Basso and Luis’ father, Luis Ochoa Sr. This album features a blend of Cuban music with elements of jazz.

An avid collaborator, Mr. Ochoa formed a Cuban quartet and in 2008, would release his CD, Momentos Cubanos. Here, Luis displays his virtuosity and versatility with authority. The program features original and classic Latin American songs and the popular CD reached the # 2 spot on the world music charts at Earshot Canada! It is no wonder that the Latin Jazz Network noted that “you simply cannot get enough of the music. That’s how infectious it is.”

In addition to his productive composing, performing and recording schedule, Luis also teaches the Latin Jazz Ensemble at the renowned Humber College Institute, Toronto and conducts the Humber Latin Big Band.

Poster | Press Release | Program

Program Description

Cuba – the land where poets and dreamers, cynics and sages hold sway amid its beaches, bays and mountains. Their music defines them, unites them and brings all that is Espirito Cubano to the world.

This acoustic quartet features the romantic rumba, to the lively samba, the pulsating bolero to the swaying waltz and cha cha. Traditional songs like “Canto Siboney”, “La Flor De La Canela”, and “El Carbonero”, bring Cuba home.
Be transported as Havana-born Luis Mario Ochoa, performs with his Cuban Quartet, and dazzles the senses with a full range of Musica Cubana that really cooks. The Luis Mario Ochoa Cuban Quartet consists of voice/guitar, piano, bass and percussion.

Performance Schedule

Brandon MB
Wednesday, February 10/16
ProSeries Brandon University School of Music
Lorne Watson Recital Hall

Camrose AB
Friday, February 12/16
Camrose Performing Arts Centre Management Council
Cargill Theatre, Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre

Regina SK
Sunday, February 14/16
Regina Musical Club and New Dance Horizons Co-presentation
Mackenzie Gallery

Swift Current SK
Monday, February 15/16
Swift Current Allied Arts Council
Sky Centre

Rosthern SK
Wednesday, February 17/16
Station Arts Centre
Station Arts Theatre

High River AB
Friday, February 19/16
High River Gift of Music Society
High River United Church

Lacombe AB
Sunday, February 21/16
Burman University
Burman Admin Auditorium

As of October 2015. Performance dates and venues are subject to change. Full length concerts, schools shows, workshops & master classes may be scheduled in addition to the concerts listed.