On Momentos Cubanos - Luis Mario Ochoa's 4th album and first with his new quintet the Havana-born, Toronto-based guitarist, vocalist, composer, arranger, bandleader and producer, showcases his virtuosity and versatility with authority. A nominee in 2007 for Canadian Latin Jazz Artist of the Year, Ochoa is joined here by acclaimed Cuban pianist Hilario Durán and a dynamic rhythm section of bass, drums and percussion. The program of four originals and five classic Latin American songs ranges from rumba to samba, bolero to waltz, son to cha and one is unlikely to find a vocal interpretation of Ernesto Lecuona's timeless ballad “Canto Siboney” more impassioned than the one here. Momentos Cubanos clearly demonstrates why Ochoa has been hailed for his ...fire, finesse and authenticity” (JazzTimes) and for creating ...high caliber Latin jazz [that] cooks (Descarga).**
Luis Mario Ochoa was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1963. His first musical influence was his father, the guitarist and vocalist Luis Mario Ochoa Sr., who started his son out on the guitar at the age of 8. The younger Ochoa enrolled in a Havana conservatory to study music full time and in 1987 graduated with a BA in classical guitar from ISA, the University of Havana's Instituto Superior of Arts. In 1990 he moved to Toronto, embracing Canada as his new home. There Ochoa founded his 9-piece band Cimarrón, (see-mah-rron), meaning free spirit. The band has recorded the critically acclaimed CDs A La Cubana (1995), La Fiesta (2000) and Cimarrón - Luis Mario Ochoa & Friends (2006).