Concert for a cause

Alex Cuba performs at the Occidental March 25 in aid of supporting VGH Epilepsy Clinic's addition of two SIU beds

Alex Cuba to perform at the Occidental

elite family, Alex Cuba (born

Alexis Puentes) is busy accomplishing

his own musical manifest

destiny.

Based in Smithers, B.C., Cuba

is primarily occupied with his

music, as a songwriter and performer,

touring, attending conferences

and running his own

record Label, Carocol Records

and all the business that entails.

He is passionate first and foremost

about his music, it’s what

gets him out of bed every day

and what sustains him through

life’s ups and downs.

When he’s asked to perform at

a fundraiser, Cuba tries to accommodate,

given the demands

of his schedule.

He also said the fundraiser

must make sense to him. So when

he was approached to perform

at the Occidental as part of a

fundraiser for epilepsyQuesnel’s

Purple Day, he agreed.

“I knew a musician here in

Smithers who suffered from

epilepsy,” Cuba said.

“He died during a seizure in the

shower. You know, most people

look at a disease and it seems far

away until it affects your family

or someone close to you.”

Family is very important to

Cuba. He is proud of his three

children, his wife who works

with him on tour, and their life

in B.C.’s north, but he is also

aware of how demanding his

chosen career can be on a family.

He’s pleased to report two of

his children are currently taking

music lessons.

“I don’t know if they will pursue

music as a career. It’s a whole

different world than taking

music lessons. They sometimes

see the industry as a bad thing

because it takes daddy away,”

he said.

“My approach with my children

is I want them to make their

own choice and do what makes

them happy.”

Cuba said when he finally takes

his shoes off at his front door, he

puts his guitar away for about a

week or so, just to recharge his

batteries and enjoy the family.

With about 150 shows a year,

Cuba spends much of his time

doing what he loves most, performing

music and whatever his

children choose to do he hopes

they will embrace it as he has

his music.

With many trips to the Lower

Mainland from Smithers, Cuba

says one of his favourite stops is

Granville’s Coffee in Quesnel.

This is just one of his many

memories of here.

He remembers about five years

ago he performed for students

in Chuck Mobley Theatre and

has fond memories of the overwhelming

response from the

students.

“I love inspiring young people

to follow their passion and not

look at the superficiality of the

music industry,” he said.

“My passion for music helps

me get through. Music chose

me. I never did it for fame or

fortune. One of the best things a

human can do is honour himself

or herself. This is what I enjoy

doing. Life is too short to do

something you don’t fully love.”

And it’s that passion and love

that has earned Cuba many

music awards and accolades.

He stays true to his Latin roots

but also is free to follow his musical

vision.

His sugarcane sweet melodies,

pop-soul hooks and powerful

guitar riffs vanquish the conventional

stereotype of the Latin

music landscape and so he creates

his own unique sound.

Cuba has collaborated with

many artists and has several solo

albums to his credit including

his latest album which will be

released April 7 called Lo Unico

Constante (The one constant)

which is currently available online

in pre-release at pledgemusic.

com.

It will also be available for

pre-release soon from iTunes.

After April 7 this album will be

available digitally, CD format

and on vinyl.

“This is my third album I’ve

released on vinyl, its making a

comeback,” he said.

At the March 25 show at the

Occidental, Cuba will have all

his previously released albums

available for sale in various formats

including vinyl.

He also said he may perform

a couple of the tracks from his

new album during the show.

Tickets for Alex Cuba are available

for $35 in advance at the

Occidental or at the door.

2017 marks the fourth year of

epilepsyQuesnel’s endeavour to

help the VGH Epilepsy Clinic

raise funds for beds 3 and 4 in the

Seizure Investigation Unit (SIU.)

Proceeds from the Alex Cuba

concert and other fundraising

activities will be donated to this

cause.

It has been 38 years since the

SIU was implemented in 1979

and though epilepsy diagnosis is

steadily on the rise there are still

only two beds, making B.C. one

of the most underfunded provinces

in researching and fighting

this life-threatening disease.

See full list of events and activities

on March 24, Quesnel’s

Purple Day and participating

businesses consult one of the

many large Purple Day posters

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