MEET SANTA LUCIA LFR

Pronounced: (n) -/. santa – loo – see – ya

Nicaraguan-born, US-Canada-raised German Cantillo is the brainchild behind Santa Lucia LFR. With heavy career roots in San Francisco’s La Mision – the Mission district –the fresh and original sound of this eclectic Spanish-Latino singer-songwriter won Vancouver over. With the assistance of Turtle Recordings producer Larry Anschell (Pearl Jam, Sarah McLaughlan, Sum 41), their self-financed album The Street (Las Calles) led to Santa Lucia LFR becoming pioneers of the Latin Alternative genre in Western Canada.

German Cantillo

Guitar, Lead Vocals

Involved in music all his life, Byron Russell has been playing the sax for almost 20 years and has been a member of Santa Lucia LFR from its initiation.“What I find most impressive is that we all met through the love of music. We seem to have retained our sense of humour and energy despite, or perhaps because of, a work ethic that sets us apart in the modern day music industry. Our mutually beneficial goal is to leave a positive impression at every festival we play, for those in attendance as well as organizers, by demonstrating the calibre of musicians we are, thereby ensuring future collaborations with different festivals.”

Byron Russell

Saxophone

Originally from Langley, BC, where he nurtured early influences of rock and metal, Stefan Grabowski grabbed the drumsticks at age 11 and hasn’t looked back. He graduated from Earl Marriott playing in the school's jazz and concert bands from grade 8-12 and played for the senior REP band conducted by Jodi Proznick. Voted as one of Canada’s top 10 youth drummers in Grade 12 (2012), Stefan earned the Best Senior Drummer award at the 2014 Surrey Envision Jazz Festival. Since graduating, he has performed and recorded with multiple artists such as Danielle Howell, Dark Stone, Sun Refugee, and producer Royce Whittaker.

Stefan Grabowski

Drums

Trombonist Kevin Tang received his musical training at Capilano University and the Banff Centre for the Arts, having performed and studied with Dave Douglas, Hugh Fraser, Chucho Valdes, Maria Schneider and Curtis Fuller. An active musician both internationally on the cruise-ship circuit, as well as locally in the Vancouver scene since 2006, Kevin credits the support of his own positive role models within the music community for helping him make his way into the world of music as a performer, composer, arranger, and bandleader. As a freelance musician, Kevin has performed and recorded with The Paperboys, The Ponderosas, Locarno, and Rude City Riot, and is currently featured with Camaro 67, the Big Easy Funk Ensemble, and his own trio and quintet.

Kevin Tang

Trombone

Spider Lima holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences, using artificial intelligence to solve atmospheric science problems dealing with complicated topics involving equations, chaos, and non-linearity. However, it’s the music that’s his nirvana.“Music is my passion. I really love it and I love playing for Santa Lucia because these guys are unapologetic in the way they create their unique sound. I feel that progression of sound is bound to occur, and short of some busier horn lines, we have stayed true to our vision. That being said, the beauty of playing in a fusion band is that you never know where our music will go next as far as the vibe. I don't mind if the number of people watching me play is 5 or 5000, as long as they are enjoying every moment. ”

Spider Lima

Bass

A versatile musician and a passionate music educator, Jeremy Vint, holds a Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of British Columbia and has performed professionally for 15 years. He is as comfortable as he is proficient in a variety of styles, ranging from Baroque to Modern (as a symphonic or chamber musician), Jazz, Latin and Popular Music. Jeremy has performed across Canada and the United States, in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Jeremy G. Vint

Trumpet

Coming from a unique breed of Latin percussionists, the Panamanian roots of Rafael Cajar contribute proud, traditional sounds to the band, and he is very versatile when it comes to experimenting with technique. Longtime friends of German and Byron, the three toured in the 90’s with their cumbia and salsa band El Combito bringing one of the earliest exposures of the genre to audiences throughout prairie communities. Commuting between Calgary and Vancouver, Rafael has played Latin percussion for salsa greats such as Oscar De Leon, and Puerto Rican salsero Gilberto Santa Rosa. He leads his own Salsa Orquesta, Saboga Bay, with Calgary-based Cuban pianist Ariana Rodriguez and Colombia’s Grupo Niche, New York’s Merengue rappers Fulanito, and Calgary’s Mazacote band's pianist, Vicky Osbourne.

Rafael Cajar

Latin Percussion

About Santa Lucia LFR

Like a multi-ethnic gathering of friends, this seven-member band has created a sound that evokes the early days of Latin Rock (Santana, War, etc.), while adding their own blend of Funk grooves. Lead by Nicaraguan front man German Cantillo, the band performs an addictive combination of Nuyorican Boogaloo, West Coast Funk and ever- present Cuban grooves engulf the stage with monstrous horns and bass, and funky breaks with furious lyrics in English and Spanish.

Relocating to Vancouver via Winnipeg, Santa Lucia LFR recorded their first album Descargas in 2001 with producer Darryl Nuedorf (Sarah McLachlan, Neko Case), officially making the band the first Rock en Español album produced in Western Canada.

In 2006, Santa Lucia released their second full-length album, “The Streets / Las Calles” with legendary producer Larry Anschell (Nickelback, Pearl Jam) from Turtle Recording Studios in White Rock, BC. Santa Lucia successfully supported “The Streets / Las Calles” with countless West Coast dates and major open-air festivals including: Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival, as well as many out of town festivals such as The Ness Creek Music Festival in Saskatchewan, Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife, Victoria Jazz Festival, and Edge of the World.

Because of the great appeal and versatility of their music, Santa Lucia are welcomed in nearly every kind of festival including: Salmon Arm Blues & Roots Festival, Victoria Ska Fest, Vancouver Dragon Boast Fest to Taste of Fernie, and the Okanagan Winery series at Tinhorn Creek. They have also performed corporate shows for the Diabetes Society of Victoria, CBC French Alliance Society, and Fundraisers for Canadian Veterans at Billy Bishop Legion. Santa Lucia have played at contrasting venues from the Jazz Cellar Club in Vancouver to rock clubs in Western Canada and the US, opening for many US and international touring acts such as: Ozomatli, Yerba Buena, Los Mococos, The Skatalites, Maxi Priest, The Cat Empire, Los Lobos, Polyrythmics and Israel’s Hadag Nahash at the annual Jewish Chutzpa! Festival.

CBC Radio Canada gave the single “Lupita” heavy rotation and the band performed a show at CBC studios, hosted by one of Canada’s best-known news personalities, Gloria Makarenko, and “On the Coast” radio host Prya Ramu, broadcasting live across Canada.

In 2010, Santa Lucia released their third full-length album “Suppressed Anthems,” a blend of horn-driven music anthems with a social conscience, unique Latin sensibilities with plenty of rock, a shot of salsa, a shed-load of funk, and some high-speed Nicaraguan cumbia…Latin revolutionary sloganeering, global politics and clenched fist leftist anthems all bounce over the band’s highly danceable grooves, spreading its unique brand of rock all over the West Coast.