It’s impossible not to be transported to a warmer, brighter place by Alex Cuba’s hip-swinging, finger-snapping, heartstring-pulling live set.
The Cuban-born artist plays Latin-infused music that speaks of a vastly different landscape and culture to that of northern B.C., but it is a sound that has been embraced by his adopted hometown of Smithers.
There was a full house at the Della Herman Theatre when the Latin-Grammy-winning musician debuted his new album, Healer, for the local crowd last Tuesday.
The Smithers show was the album’s world premiere and the first live performance of Healer in its entirety.
It was an appreciative crowd that gathered at the show, greeting each song with loud applause.
Cuba maintained an intimate dialogue with the crowd, offering funny and personal insights into the stories behind the songs.
Even members of his own band were touched by his introduction of the song Sarah, not the first song about his wife but the first one to use her name.
The track was a highlight, along with duets Beautiful Mistake and Half a Chance.
Last week’s show also shone the spotlight on the high calibre of musical talent in Smithers.
Percussionist Jose Sanchez, bassist Ian Olmstead and drummer Jake Jenne played joyfully and flawlessly. Jenne also performed a gentle duet with Cuba on Half a Chance.
Healer itself comprises a series of bilingual duets with mostly well-known musicians, many Canadian, including the first release 1234.
A duet written with David Myles, Cuba used the party track to close his show, inviting the audience to join in on the countdown.
After a standing ovation the band returned to the stage to play a two-song encore.