By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud / Translated into English by Alexandra Cruz A.
Luis Guiterrez, better known in the Latin community by his artistic name LuiFox, is a Venezuelan with over two decades of experience in Canada.
Our habitués to the VCSBC picnic, Latin parties and the like, are well familiarized with his music and dance, but not necessarily with all the work Luis has put into developing his public image.
Everything started in 1994 when this computer science graduate decided to immigrate to Ontario carrying only his degree and a great desire to work. Those first years were not easy as Luis faced some difficulties getting into the job market. However, he kept his optimism intact.
How did he do it? He ensured his endorphin levels were always high by dancing and singing. “I started to sing in Toronto at a few Latin festivals and competed at salsa dancing”, he tells us, not without clarifying first that he considered those to be just hobbies at the time.
After a while, he got tired of it all, the computer-assembling job he found, of the 6°C, of people constantly rushing everywhere. Without giving it much thought, he set out on a new adventure. “I bought a small 1981 Toyota Corolla and started driving aimlessly towards the Pacific. It took me about 15 days to get to Vancouver”, he remembers. And as usually happens, he fell in love with the city.
Not before log, he joined the artistic scene of YVR by teaching salsa dancing and singing flamenco at the Kino Cafe. Meanwhile, he found a job in his field but soon enough, he realized that being in an office did not make him happy anymore.
Luis decided then to concentrate on those activities that made him smile and feel whole. He studied adventure tourism, worked on cruises to the Caribbean and Mediterranean, went back to school to learn about motorbike mechanics, he travelled by motorbike, went back to university and studied Sound Engineering and Music Production, built his own recording studio and accomplished one of his greatest dreams: to record his own CD.
His first album was called Alma Chévere, and in this record, he describes the freedom he feels when he sings in all the wonderful places life has taken him.
In 2009, he used the record name to create his band. He had the support of colleagues like Karl Frostrup, Victor Fe, and Rolando Hernández. Alma Chévere offers a mix of flamenco, rumba, rock and Latin pop which has won the hearts of hundreds of Vancouverites.
Luis directs the band and sometimes they can be four musicians, but on some occasions, there can be up to ten. At more private shows, Luis shows up alone. Alma Chévere plays every Friday at Branas Mediterranean Grill and on Saturdays, at various locations on Commercial Drive like the Libra Room, Café Roma, Saloniki Greek Taverna, and Falconettis.
The best way to know what Luis is up to is by following his event calendar on his website: http://www.almachevere.com