As Latin guitarist Oscar Lopez readies himself for a pair of concerts at The Dream Cafe Aug. 15 and 16, he jokes that he hopes audiences haven’t grown tired of him.
“I have played there many times,” said Lopez, whose work has earned him two Juno Awards. “I’m very proud and happy to have the opportunity to come back and play; hopefully they don’t get sick and tired of me.”
Lopez said his Latin style music which incorporates jazz, blues and pop seems to be holding in popularity.
“In the last maybe four or five years, the world music beat grew in popularity and went to a high peak then it came down a little bit,” he said. “Now it seems to be in a straight line. The reason for that, I believe, is that people who love this music and that follow it, it is very exotic and very upbeat.”
He noted because music is universal and speaks to each person a little differently, depending on where it’s played, he’ll always find an audience. He said The Dream Cafe brings together the audience with a performer to enjoy a live show in a magical and intimate setting.
Lopez talked about Canadian blues and folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Andersen, who has played the Café many times, and is friends with Lopez.
“He comes my way when we go to folk festivals and stuff like that,” said Lopez. “You get to know these people. You don’t see them all the time but you get to know them, you get to see the show, you get to talk to them.”
Lopez is excited for the upcoming release of his new album, titled Apasionado, (which means passionate in English).
It was during a previous visit to Penticton that he talked to his friend, Justin Glibbery, the musical director at Penticton Secondary School and leader of the jazz group, Offramp.
It was Glibbery who suggested Lopez record an album.
Together with Glibbery, drummer Michael Treadway along with other Penticton musicians and other performers from Kelowna, Vancouver and Calgary, he cut a record.
The album was recorded in Penticton and is currently undergoing the final touches before being released this October.
“It’s an amazing album,” he said. “This is probably one of the best musical albums I have ever done. I’m 60 years old and over the years you learn a lot of different ways to do things. One way that I did learn how to do music and recording is being sincere and being who you are.”
He believes the album took on a new direction because he wrote about personal memories from his time in Penticton.
For example, Road to the Blue House, is about the home Lopez and his family owned in Naramata; Breaking Through the Clouds describes the cloudiness of the Okanagan Valley during the winter months.
“I’m very proud of this album,” said Lopez, adding those attending his show can expect to hear some selections from the soon-to-be-released album.
The Calgary resident has been vacationing in Penticton with his family, who will be in attendance at the two performances and he couldn’t be happier.
“It’s a great place, people eat their food and come to hear the music,” he said. “They’ll have a great time.”
Lopez said that he’s looking forward to great shows on both nights.
“I don’t promise what I can’t deliver,” he said.
Tickets are $35 and reservations can be made by calling 250-490-9012 or via e-mail to: email@example.com.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and showtime is at 8 p.m. For a list of upcoming shows visit www.thedreamcafe.ca.