A cold winter day provided a great opportunity for people to head inside the TRU Alumni Theatre for the first Live at TRU! performance of the new year.
From Vancouver, Tom Landa, front man of multi-Juno nominee The Paperboys, was introduced to the TRU campus and Kamloops audience with his side project, Locarno on Jan. 17.
Locarno is his new band, started about two years ago.
“We played a lot on the festivals season, all around Canada and in short tours like this weekend,” Landa said. The recent short tour included shows in Ashcroft on Jan. 18, and Kelowna on Jan. 19.
The TRU Cultural Events Committee organizes the live performances at the Alumni Theatre in the Clock Tower building. English professor Susie Safford is the chair of the committee after being involved with it for approximately 20 years. They put together six events per year, three in the fall semester and three in the winter semester.
The British Columbia Arts Council sends information about available performers and the committee selects the lineup.
“We are so excited to have Locarno coming, they are an absolutely wonderful, exciting, highly professional act that I think everyone is going to enjoy, a lot,” Safford said. “We got the chance to see a little bit of the performance and they are very lively.”
Due to a set-up delay, the show started 30 minutes late. Despite the set-back, the audience waited patiently in anticipation of Locarno’s Mexican and Latin American sounds.
In a 45-minute set, Landa and his band, featuring a violin, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, trumpet, and trombone, brought Latin sounds including an untitled cumbia, a style of music from Colombia. The group also performed traditional sounds of son jarocho, a regional folk music style from Veracruz, Mexico, with “Arenita Azul.” Mixing in a multicultural song with a ska vibe, “America” brought a few spectators up from their seats to dance in front of the stage.
“People were so chévere [cool] here,” Landa said after the show. “There was a good mixture of youth but also older people, which makes a really good combination and it was nice to see the two little kids in the audience”.
The goal that the TRU Cultural Events Committee has set out is to bring events to both students as well as the wider community on campus and within Kamloops. Students were, indeed, the smallest demographic.
“We’d like to have more students coming, for sure,” Safford said.