OSCAR ROBLES DIAZ will perform a Mexican musical style known as Son Jarocho

Mexican-born musician playing tunes at Zocalo

He brings a not-to-be-missed repertoire to Courtenay's Zocalo Café this Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Regarding the arts, the saying is often shown to be true that wisdom comes with years of experience.

“But in many cases that I see,” says Mexican-born musician Oscar Robles Diaz, “the youth who dedicate themselves to music today are doing so against great odds and with a pure drive and energy that illuminates every concert, every song.

“There is an ageless wisdom in that and the simple statement it makes: Music has value. Music is worth fighting for and should never be lost.”

Not long ago, Son Jarocho, a very important traditional form of music that developed in the Veracruz region of Mexico almost went extinct. No steps were being taken to preserve it in its traditional form or declare its cultural significance.

It had come to the point that the elders who lived the tradition — handcrafting traditional instruments and playing them, accompanied by singing and dance — all appeared to be dying off.

The tradition was not being passed on as it long had been, through families to their next generations, because mainstream commercially produced music had taken over and become the focus of those generations.

Then, a young man, Gilberto Gutierrez, “discovered” Son Jarocho and went about searching out the remaining original ‘Jarocheros’ to learn from them and join forces with them in an effort to make sure this very special music did not get forgotten about and lost forever.

Since then, it has been primarily a youth movement that has brought Son Jarocho to widespread recognition and growing popularity throughout the Republic of Mexico and beyond.

Drawing from Mexico’s Son Jarocho tradition, as well as the traditions of several other regions in Latin America, Robles is a Comox Valley resident who has toured internationally.

He brings a not-to-be-missed repertoire to Courtenay’s Zocalo Café this Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. From Cuban Son, Trova and Guajira to Puerto Rican Jibaro and the folkloric sounds of Venezuela, as well as various other regions, expect a whirlwind tour to these distinctively rhythmic and warm musical climates.

Performing as a solo artist, Robles will also present his original compositions that reflect a background of music studies in classical and contemporary styles at Mexico City’s national university, the UNAM.

He will sing and accompanying himself on nylon-string guitar, as well as, at times, the Requinto Jarocho – a traditional, handcrafted Mexican instrument. He is excited to share with the community his love for music that, he says, was passed on to him at an early age by his mother, father, and grandparents.

Music is from 7 to 9 p.m. and is by “pass-the-hat” donation with all proceeds going to the musician.

For more information, contact the Zocalo Café at 250-331-0933, or visit www.zocalocafe.ca.

— Oscar Robles Diaz

Just Posted

Large turnout for Cumberland climate strike

Approximately 200 people showed up at the village office in Cumberland to… Continue reading

Second environmental march coming to Courtenay Sept. 27

March organized by the Youth Environment Action team

Commemorative plaque stolen from Sandwick Cairn in Courtenay

The peacekeepers plaque has been stolen from the Sandwick Cairn on Dingwall… Continue reading

Painter Fiona Ackerman starts North Island College fall 2019 Artist Talk Series

Acclaimed Vancouver-based painter Fiona Ackerman will join North Island College as the… Continue reading

Comox Valley Record readers ‘Take us Along’ on holidays

When it comes to spreading the news, readers of the Comox Valley… Continue reading

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

Most Read