Quique Escamilla who grew up in Mexico and now lives in Canada is among 16 individuals and groups performing at the Bella Coola Music Festival this weekend.

Quique Escamilla who grew up in Mexico and now lives in Canada is among 16 individuals and groups performing at the Bella Coola Music Festival this weekend.

Bella Coola Music Festival features Latin star

Latin sensation Quique Escamilla is among 16 amazing entertainers lined up for the Bella Coola Music Festival July 23/24.

Latin sensation Quique Escamilla is among 16 amazing entertainers lined up for the Bella Coola Music Festival July 23/24.

One of six children raised in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, Escamilla began singing at the age of four at family reunions.

By age six he performed a full version of El Rey in a crowded restaurant accompanied by the in-house six-piece Mariachi band.

Today, Escamilla is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer living in Toronto.

Since his arrival in 2007, he has rapidly become a rising star on the Canadian music scene.

In 2011, he was discovered by a CBC radio producer and has since become a favourite on popular CBC Toronto shows such as Here and Now, Metro Morning, Fresh Air and Big City Small World.

He has been a featured guest at special CBC presentations such as the annual fundraiser Sounds of the Season — aired live from the Glenn Gould studio — alongside artists like Justin Rutledge, Sophie Milman, Jenn Grant and Michelle Wright.

In 2012 Escamilla launched his self-titled debut EP, with a concert recorded for CBC’s Canada Live at Toronto’s Lula Lounge Arts Centre.

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 sounds of rock, reggae, ska, pop, jazz, cumbia, bolero, and a variety of other Latin American rhythms.

His lyrics carry powerful messages that are inspired by and support various social and political issues such as human and civil rights, immigration reform, global conservation, anti-racism, discrimination, anti-oppression and Indigenous rights.

The festival begins Friday evening at 8 p.m. with a show at the Legion featuring Carly Dow and the Crooked Brothers with a sound described as “crooked, crusty, and maybe a little bit crazy roots-rockers” delivering folk, country and bluegrass in their own unique way.

The fun continues all weekend at the site with performances beginning each morning at 11 a.m. and lasting until the wee hours.

The lineup includes Elage Diouf who will be entertaining the crowd in three languages, including his native Wolof, while Mohawk blues crooner Murray Porter and Ojibway singer/songwriter Nick Sherman – all representing the best of Canadian Indigenous music in this country.

Some of the best female vocalists in the country including Jill Barber, Amelia Curran, Scarlett Jane and Jocelyn Pettit will be taking to the festival stage along with fiddler extraordinaire Jocelyn Pettit and country-rock group Ben Rogers.

Hard rock kings Bend Sinister and High Society will be sticking around to close the show on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Gustavo the Impossibilist along with Magical Jesaja will be back to entertain children and adults alike with their magic.

The climbing wall will be back for both days of the festival.

Tickets are available online www.bellacoolamusic.org or locally at Kopas Store, Mountain Valley Organics and Hagensborg Shop Easy.

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