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

Four-hour ferry delay on Buckley Bay-Denman Island route

BC Ferries reported the cable ferry is experiencing issues with the head shieve.

Air quality statement in effect for Comox Valley

Smokey skies could mean a high risk on the air quality health index

Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Council approved the addition of $125,000 for pre-construction work

Local musicians inducted into Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Seven local musicians have earned their spot among some of the Comox… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Comox resident part of famed basketball team

Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for Edmonton Grads

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read