Canada is another of the countries that has been influenced by the arrival of Latin music. Its beginnings are attributed to the immigration of Latin Americans to their lands.
By sharing borders, the United States and Canada tend to have similarities in the musical field. In the 90s, Latin music was present in Canada. However, Spanish pop singers such as Julio Iglesias and Gloria Estefan, as well as Lydia Mendoza, an interpreter of Tejano music, were already known.
Having Latin Americans started a kind of Latino roots, allowing Latin music to gain more ground on Canadian soil. Singers like Celia Cruz, Willie Colón and Rubén González made their songs sound in Canada. However, the beginnings of Latin music in the country are attributed to Ferdinand Morton, known in the artistic field as Jelly Roll Morton, an American jazz pianist.
Starting in 1999, Latin music had a greater growth, beginning to be heard on radio stations, events, festivals and national television stations. By that time singers like Ricky Martin were already being heard in other parts of the world.
Selena, Buena Vista Social Club and Jennifer López. Arriving in Canadian lands was no exception. In fact, Buena Vista Social Club’s album broke a record by becoming the highest-selling Latin album in Canada.
Surprisingly, Canadian artists were also captivated by the benefits of Hispanic countries, by the Caribbean flavor and the warmth of its people. Nelly Furtado, singer, songwriter and producer born in Canada was inspired by the island of Cuba for her album “Mi Plan”. Furtado recorded what would be his fourth album entirely in Spanish. It featured the participation of renowned Latin artists such as Juan Luis Guerra, Alejandro Fernández and the Latin American Julieta Venegas.
“I think this album has several of my first true love songs. They are not complicated. They were not over-thought and I discovered that it is liberating to be able to sing in a Latin language and express my Latin soul,” he said.
Mi Plan obtained great merits and was positioned as the album in Spanish with the highest sales numbers recorded by a Canadian singer. Undoubtedly, a suitable place for many Latino musicians of birth or descent who have wanted to try their luck outside their borders. Some have succeeded and today are among the most loved in Canada.
Some representatives of Latin music in Canada
Hilario Durán, Cuba
Hilario was born in Havana in 1953. He moved to Canada in the late 90’s, after touring the world with his band “Perspectiva”. He is a famous jazz pianist who fell in love with Canada and decided to live on its streets. He joined the Afro-Cuban jazz band “Spirit of Havana” belonging to Jane Bunnet, a Canadian lover of Cuban culture. In fact, Bunnet regularly travels to Havana to perform with Cuban musicians.
Hilario Durán has become known in Canada and other parts of the world thanks to his orchestra (Big Band), where together with his friend Roberto Occhipinti, a Canadian musician, they bring together Cuban and Canadian musicians. Leaving Latin jazz high. In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy for his album “From the Heart”, along with Roberto D’Rivera. In addition, it obtained three Juno Awards and different awards in Canada.
Amanda Martínez, Mexico
Amanda Martinez in concert
Amanda Martínez was born in Toronto, Canada with Latino blood. His father is Mexican. Martínez studied biology and business administration but decided to take a course in his life and dedicate himself to what he really loved: music. The artist was not wrong in her decision. He has left his roots high by venturing into Latin jazz. In 2007 and then in 2009 she was nominated for the Latin Jazz Artist of the Year Award at the National Jazz Awards in Canada. He has three albums to his credit and his first album “Sola” won the Best World Music award, selling around 6,000 copies.
Martínez has performed on famous stages and renowned events; she sang at the Winter Garden Theater, at the Koerner Hall in Toronto, the Festival Centro Histórico de México, at the Montreal Jazz Festival
Aka Edrei Riveri, is a Cuban singer and songwriter who resides in Canada. It has become famous for its musical fusions. He walks through rap, hip hop, jazz and la chacuba. A mix of cha-cha and rap. It is registered as the first mix between both styles.
Ogguere has two solo albums, “Solar” released in 2011 which earned two nominations for a Cubadisco award and “Raíces”. He moved to Toronto in 2010 and has since become an immediate reference in jazz and hip hop.
Natasha Roldán, Colombia
Born in Colombia and based in Toronto, Canada, Natasha Roldán breaks stereotypes in the musical field. She walks between jazz and bossa.
The artist has a fair complexion and very light eyes. From what anyone would believe, she is a native Canadian singer. However, her Colombian roots run deep in her career.
For Natasha it is important that the musical boundaries collapse. It promotes pattern-free Latin music.
“I think that above all I break many stereotypes because people in Canada whenever they think of Latin music, identify it directly with salsa or bachata. Well, and now reggaeton (laughs). And everything is linked to a super sexy image of the Latin woman, who dresses spectacularly and clearly I am not like that. Therefore, it is very gratifying to share another type of music that people do not know such as bambuco, cumbia, Argentine zamba, Brazilian music aside from bossa nova … and whenever I talk to someone and they discover that I am always Colombian They ask me why I don’t play such music or dance this. Suddenly I break with the stereotype but not because it is a bad stereotype but because other things have to be shown as well ”, she expressed in an interview for the Hispano Phone portal.
Her music has allowed many Canadians to have access to the Latin culture and to experience sounds with different influences.
Henry Vivel, Colombia
Henry was born in Colombia but moved to New York and later to Toronto. In New York he had the opportunity to study music with Enrique Gil, musician and composer. After his arrival in Toronto, he worked in Sky’s Banda, a group that performed at weddings and different events. He sang Latin music.
In 2009 he became the leader of the Tropicanada Orquesta. Pioneer Latin Orchestra in Toronto. They have participated in different salsa festivals and radio stations. Henry and the band have also been a part of different charities in Canada and other countries. In the same way, Henry has joined social causes for the inclusion of immigrants, he has taught them English and part of Canadian culture.
In 2013 he was nominated for the Oye Awards and 10 Most Influential Latinos in Canada. The singer is very pleased with the affection of the Canadian public.
“The chemistry is so great, especially with those who don’t understand my songs in Spanish, which makes the language barriers dissolve into enjoying themselves, dancing and having a good time. With the orchestra I have been able to witness how people enjoy the beauty of Latin music and it makes me very happy to be a Colombian who sings to Canadians and who puts up our musical roots ”, he commented
Toronto has been a city with great Latin influence. Canada has received mixtures of different cultures and they have formed a variety of styles that locals and visitors enjoy. It has been one of the countries that receive the foreign musicians as part of a great family and give them the opportunity to present their work. They have a great affection for Caribbean music.