Calgary-based guitarist Oscar Lopez performs at the Elks Lodge Feb. 22nd in a show presented by the Central Music Festival Society. photo submitted

Latin guitarist Oscar Lopez to fire up City stage

Acclaimed artist heads to the Red Deer Feb. 22nd for a show at the Elks Lodge

Few can mesmerize audiences via the exquisite Latin-style guitar playing quite like Calgary-based musician Oscar Lopez.

The acclaimed artist heads to the City Feb. 22nd for a show at the Elks Lodge.

Presented by the Central Music Festival Society and also featuring guest Shaye Zadravec, the music kicks off at 8 p.m. sharp.

At 65, Lopez is still going as strong as ever and he’s as passionate about his artistry as he was as a young man initially carving out his own unique musical niche.

“It’s my soul, my heart – everything I have,” he explained during a recent interview.

Lopez, whose latest disc is Apasionado, has enjoyed a stellar career landing multiple Juno Awards via his slick guitar grooves that make him an absolute stand-out on the world stage.

The tunes bubble over with style and sophistication, from the gentle country-tinged disc opener Ayer and Road to the Blue House to the tender and contemplative Tears. Breaking Through the Clouds follows a similar vein, exuding an almost dream-like quality. Of course, these pieces are instrumental, but that doesn’t mean they don’t tell ‘stories’.

For Lopez, who was born in Santiago, Chile, a passion for music was sparked early on.

“My roots are here but all that I am I owe to my mother country; she has made me who I am today.”

He describes his journey into music as something of a process. And yet, it wasn’t really a choice, he added.

As a youngster, he recalls being more interested in playing soccer. But he recalls his dad taking him to the local Pentecostal church.

“There was a choir there, and they would play music with all types of instruments,” he recalled. “I remember this little man who was playing the fiddle.”

Lopez was interested and one day his dad bought him a fiddle.

“I grabbed the thing, I put it in the right position and I started making noise – it sounded like a cat,” he added with a laugh. “But it’s amazing how things happen – it was meant to be.”

The fiddle didn’t prove to be his instrument of destiny. Next up was the mandolin. Then the bass.

But he would ultimately choose the nylon-string guitar as his ‘soul’ instrument.

“It was just a part of me. I just kept playing and playing and I never thought I would be doing it (for work). I needed a ‘real’ job.”

Lopez relocated to Canada in 1979 first to Winnipeg and later settling in Calgary in 1981.

The whole time he was working tirelessly to both master the guitar and launch his own career. To date, he has released about a dozen albums.

“It’s everything. It’s happiness, it’s sadness and pain,” he added of his journey as a musician. “Everything is part of the music that I make.

“Everything I’m doing is meant to be and everything that happens in my life has been for a reason,” he said. “(Earlier on) I didn’t understand it, but now I do – now that I’m older and I suppose a little wiser!”

​Ever the collaborator, Lopez also injects jazz, blues, roots and pop sensibilities into his music.

His friendship with singer/songwriter James Keelaghan also resulted in two fusion recordings as Compadres. They have performed scores of shows at festivals and on stages around the world.

These days, he’s got a vision for a new project but he isn’t pinning down any precise date for a release.

“I think it’s time for me to do it but I don’t want do it just because people want something new from me,” he explained. “I’m going to do it because I feel in my heart that the songs need to go out there.

“But something will come out – trust me.”

That’s not to say he’s lost any love for performing.

He describes music and performing as his ‘food and water’ – essential ingredients to survive and thrive. “It’s how I get my emotions out – it’s no option for me.

“I have that passion that will never leave me.”

For ticket information, check out www.centralmusicfest.com.

Just Posted

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Pride Days are Feb. 21st and 28th during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Events will be held at the 52 North Music + Cultural Festival

PHOTO: Meeting of the mayors

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary enjoyed a meeting at the Winter Games Thursday.

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Boxers claim two silver medals for Alberta in wild night

Cole Brander of Edmonton fought for the gold medal against Avery Martin-Duval of Quebec

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

Most Read