"Tom Landa is one of those rare talents who cannot only lyricize in both
English and Spanish; he can contextualize the words musically with authentic
cultural reference. Locarno may be the name of a beach in his hometown of
Vancouver but the project rings with true Jarocho rhythms from Veracruz on
the Mexican Gulf. Surrounded by the finest of BC's Latin musicians,
Locarno's debut percolates with warmth and groove. Deep, contemporary
production comes courtesy of a collaboration between Juno winners, Tom Landa
and Joby Baker."
Cal Koat - Worldbeat Canada
"Locarno's approach is so genuine and so welcome for audiences who enjoy great song writing, a respect for tradition, a searching musical curiosity, and virtuoso performance skills. Their compelling blend of Mexican, Cuban and North American popular music delivered with exuberant energy is a winning combination.
It now seems inevitable that a band like Locarno would eventually unlock the secret of doing music in such a fresh way. What is so fortunate for Vancouverites, though, is that we can claim the band as our very own. But hey, there's no reason we can't share them with the rest of the world too. Don't miss the opportunity to experience Locarno live if they ever pass through your town. You'll find yourself singing their praises too."
Michael Juk, producer CBC
Moving from Mexico City to Thunder Bay Ontario at the age of 15 was a big change for musician Tom Landa, who founded The Paperboys 20 years ago and most recently the Latin group, Locarno.
“I moved from a city of 26 million people to a town of 113,000,” he said, “and I moved at the beginning of February, so the beginning of their winter. It was a huge culture shock and a change for me for sure.”
But Landa loved it, he immersed himself in the Canadian culture and spoke only English for a time, getting into Canadian music and taking up the guitar.
Landa will perform with his 7-piece group Locarno at the Errington Hall Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.
Music has been top of Landa’s mind since he was young, taking in all the styles of music in Mexico, as well as heavy metal and hard rock.
“I was a little rocker kid,” he said, revealing his love for AC/DC, Motley Crue and KISS
He started listening to lighter stuff when he got to Canada, he said, music by 54-40, Grapes of Wrath and Spirit of the West.
In high school Landa was part of a band and ended up winning a local competition, earning some money to record and some equipment.
In his mid-twenties Landa became more interested in his Mexican roots and fell in love with a Mexican American band called Los Lobos.
“There was a certain amount of nostalgia that came along with being reacquainted with (Mexican music). That’s what began my love of Mexican music,” he said, adding that other types of Latin music also began winning him over.
Landa moved to Vancouver in 1991 and within a couple years founded The Paperboys, an acclaimed Juno-award-winning-group which has released eight albums and played to sold out crowds around the globe.The Paperboys play Mexican Son Jarocho mixed with a variety of other genres like Irish, country, bluegrass, pop and funk.
Landa said he started Locarno to dive deeper into Mexican and Latin music, singing entirely in Spanish with Mexican and Cuban Son, Folk Music, Pop and Funk. Locarno is a fusion band, Landa said, blending contemporary with traditional elements.
“It’s danceable, it’s fun and it’s Latin music, without being a straight-up Salsa or Meringue band.”