As Quique Escamilla (pronounced Kee-keh) launched his debut LP so armed with a resumé that would be the envy of many seasoned songwriters. Since relocating to Toronto from his native, conflict-ridden Chiapas, the Mexican multi-instrumentalist has shared the stage with Feist, Serena Ryder and Ron Sexsmith, Bonnie Raitt, Mookomba, Cyril Neville, and has opened for Michael Franti. He has also collaborated with Blue Rodeo's singer Jim Cuddy and Los Lobos. He has toured across Canada (coast‐to-coast) with his band in 2014 and 2015. By fusing traditional Mexican musical styles such as ranchera and huapango with other Latin American rhythms, as well as rock and reggae, Quique creates his own unique 'Music of the Americas'. These poly-rhythmic designs serve as a vehicle for Quique's incisive and passionate lyrics that touch on issues like indigenous rights and sustainability while tackling every form of oppression. The result is “500 Years of Night” - a 12-track musical Molotov cocktail - delivered (mostly) in Spanish but felt by all. And in a live setting it's quite the ride: When Quique takes the stage donning the sombre balaclava of the Zapatista movement, the bloody struggle for self-determination seems palpable. But as he switches (head)gear, picks up his iconic Mariachi hat and launches into " Huapango de Tequila" , we are treated to a charming caricature of Mexican carefree-‐ness.
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