Opening set by
Mexican multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Quique Escamilla comes to Hugh’s Room to deliver a unique performance of diverse Latin American styles of music from his new album titled “500 Years of Night”. This curated “one-night-only” show will include theatrical elements, captivating story-telling and special decorations in the venue supporting the evening’s theme.
Quique and his band – thorough an entertaining yet introspective narrative – will respectfully celebrate and honour Mexico’s ancient and pre-Columbian tradition, “The Day of the Dead”. This ritual – as the Aztec’s ancient tradition and mythology suggest – allows us the opportunity to honour and remember our beloved, departed ones as their spirits come back from the afterlife once a year to enjoy their favourite earthly goods laid out for them on “altars” (shrines) full of food, beverages, music, and other memorabilia.
With his commitment to socio-political causes throughout his music, Quique will dedicate this performance to remember and honour some departed world figures that have fought or given their lives to stand up for either justice, freedom, peace, equality: Martin Luther King, Emiliano Zapata, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Salvador Allende, Nelson Mandela and others.
Quique will use this commemorative occasion to honour activists who continue to be murdered every year because of their commitment to achieve a better world; and to remember and honour the hundreds of thousands of indigenous people that have been killed across the Americas since colonization, and some who continue to suffer today.
Escamilla was born and raised in the southern state of Chiapas, Mexico. He breaks down language barriers through his powerful voice and passionate delivery while fusing traditional Mexican styles of music such as Ranchera and Huapango with modern flavours of rock, reggae, ska, pop, boleros, and other Latin American rhythms; accompanied with powerful lyrics and messages inspired by and to support social and political causes such as indigenous rights, immigration reform, anti-racism, global conservation, etc. Since relocating to Toronto from his native, conflict-ridden state of Chiapas, he has shared the stage with Canadian artists such as Feist, Serena Ryder, Ron Sexsmith, opened for Danny Michel’snational tour, collaborated with Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, Jesse Cook, opened for Michael Franti, and appeared as a special guest to sing and play “La Bamba” with Los Lobos this past summer at the Regina Folk Festival.
“Quique is a unique talent who holds to the traditions of heavyweights like Bob Marley and Manu Chao. Quique is really one to watch!” –Garvia Bailey, CBC Radio.
“After each song the sold-out crowd at the National Arts Centre walked willingly into the palm of Quique’s hand and became his diehard fans. He is charming without being silly, political without being pretentious, and gifted as a performer in every way.” –Amanda Putz, CBC Radio, Ottawa.