ABOUT

“…a unique talent who holds to the traditions of heavyweights like Bob Marley and Manu Chao. Quique is really one to watch!”

– Garvia Bailey, CBC Radio Canada.

Pan Am Games Performance
Photo: Randall Cook
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Juno Award Winner: World Music Album of the Year 2015

Canadian Folk Music Award Winner: Best Solo World Artist of the Year 2014

“Quique represents a modern version of a Pan-American Troubadour fusing traditional Mexican styles such ranchera and huapango with rock, reggae, done in an unassuming way, built upon solid musicianship…A very promising debut recording!”
–Marc Fournier, SONGLINES Magazine, UK.

“Modern day troubadour Quique Escamilla makes music that comes straight from the soul. The stories he tells are the stories we need to hear; socially and politically conscious lyrics paired with exceptional musicianship. He’s a unique talent who holds to the traditions of heavyweights like Bob Marley and Manu Chao. Quique is really one to watch!”
–Garvia Bailey, CBC Radio Canada / Jazz FM Radio, Toronto.

Quique Escamilla was born and raised to a family of six in the warm, tropical southern lands of the state of Chiapas, Mexico. He started singing Mexican folk songs at the age of four at his family reunions. Today, Quique is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer, and an international touring artist based in Toronto, Canada.

Since his arrival in 2007 in Canada, he has rapidly become a rising star on the Canadian, and consequently in the North American and the European scene. 
He breaks down language barriers through his powerful voice and passionate delivery while fusing traditional Mexican styles of music with modern sounds of rock, reggae, ska, pop, jazz, cumbia, bolero, and a variety of other diverse sounds from Latin American and the Caribbean.

His lyrics carry powerful messages that are inspired by and support various social and political issues such as human rights, immigration reform, global conservation, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, anti-oppression and indigenous rights. 25 years of performing live have seasoned Quique to effortlessly connect with his audiences–either solo or with his band; be it in an intimate house concert setting, a large music festival such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, headline Toronto’s majestic Koerner Hall, or rock the Millenium Park’s main stage in Chicago. 

”After each song the sold-out crowd at Canada’s National Arts Centre walked willingly into the palm of Quique’s hand and became his diehard fans. He is charming without being silly, political without being pretentious, and gifted as a performer in every way.”
– Amanda Putz, CBC Radio-Canada, Ottawa.

Despite the distance from his homeland, Quique remains strongly attached to his Mexican roots. He is honoured to be in Canada to share with and disseminate among his audiences a flavour of his Mexican culture, heritage and traditions

through his music and live impassioned performances. His first full-length record “500 Years of Night” was released in 2014, which won him the World Music Album of the Year at the JUNO Awards 2015. The album also won the World Best Solo Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards 2014.

In most recent years, Quique has had the chance to share reputable stages along with high caliber artists from all diverse genres such as Los Lobos, Ron Sexsmith, Alabama Shakes, Jesse Cook, Serena Ryder, Jim Cuddy (of Blue Rodeo), Michael Franti, Los Texmaniacs, Noura Mint Seymali, Cyril Neville (of the Neville Brothers), etc. 

”Sunday’s early-afternoon highlights included the Interstellar Rodeo All-Stars, featuring Quique Escamilla and his many hats, singer- songwriter Danny Michel, and Blue Rodeo’s frontman, Jim Cuddy. The three, backed by members of the Garifuna Collective, traded tunes — with Escamilla’s Mexican-flavoured version of Johnny Cash’s ‘Walk The Line’ taking the title of crowd favourite.”
–Sandra Sperounes, Edmonton Journal.

Quique and his band have appeared to perform official showcases at international music conferences such as WOMEX 2016, Folk Alliance International 2015 , 2016, 2018, Mundial Montréal, SXSW.

In 2016, Quique did four European tours, and in 2017 he returned to Europe to do a two-month tour which include performances in seven European countries.

“Quique Escamilla epitomizes the vibrancy of Toronto’s world music scene – his songs draw on his roots in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state, and are delivered with the rock energy and flair of Canada’s largest city where he now lives. Last year Escamilla crossed the Atlantic four times, playing in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, and Spain, leading to a powerful performance at Womex 2016 in Santiago de Compostela. The climax of their set is the politically-charged “Máscara de Esperanza” for which Escamilla dons the familiar balaclava-mask of the Zapatistas, only to remove it at the end in a gesture of hope and truth.”
-Tony Montague – fRoots (UK)



”Escamilla conveys plenty of emotion through his music and Spanish vocals”
–Nicholas Jennings, Penguin Eggs Magazine, Canada.

Quique will release his new album titled “Encomienda” in November 2018, with a special album launch party celebrated along with his uniquely created and multi-disciplinary Day of the Dead show at Koerner Hall, in Toronto. He will embark on Canadian, U.S. and European tours in 2019, 2020.

"...one of the most unique troubadours I’ve ever encountered for his eloquence and enchanting manner, on and off stage..."
– Amy Mangan, Artistic Liaison
Mariposa Folk Festival

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FROM THE PRESS

“Modern day troubadour Quique Escamilla makes music that comes straight from the soul. The stories he tells are the stories we need to hear; socially and politically conscious lyrics paired with exceptional musicianship. He’s a unique talent who holds to the traditions of heavyweights like Bob Marley and Manu Chao. Quique is really one to watch!”

– Garvia Bailey, CBC Radio Canada.

“After each song the sold-out crowd at the National Arts Centre walked willingly into the palm of Quique’s hand and became his diehard fans. He is charming without being silly, political without being pretentious, and gifted as a performer in every way.”

– Amanda Putz, CBC Radio-Canada, Ottawa.

“Sunday’s early-afternoon highlights included the Interstellar Rodeo All-Stars, featuring Quique Escamilla and his many hats, singer-songwriter Danny Michel, and Blue Rodeo’s charming frontman, Jim Cuddy. The three, backed by members of the Garifuna Collective, traded tunes — with Escamilla’s Mexican-flavoured version of Johnny Cash’s ‘Walk The Line’ taking the title of crowd favourite”

– Sandra Sperounes, Edmonton Journal.

“An unassuming singer-songwriter, Quique blends traditional Mexican musical forms such as huapango and rancheras with contemporary rock and reggae influences. – Quique has become a sort of a darling for the CBC. His sound has captivated their attention which has opened the door to several performances on CBC radio, including the presentation of his debut EP in January 2012. – Quique Escamilla and the Band, in a short amount of time, have created a strong following behind their electrifying live shows and with a few more years we can be sure Quique will be taking a leadership role in Canada’s growing Alt-Latino movement”

– Sergio Elmir, Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.

“In a city like New York, São Paulo, Paris, Toronto, or any multicultural city, we may all have our frame of musical reference, but we can appreciate and take the best of all the musical forms that cross our paths…Every once in a while a musician comes around that “crosses all those bridges” and brings the sounds together for a fine mix and audible feast that can be appreciated by all. We have seen this with many great troubadours, from Bob Marley and Calle 13 to Manu Chao. In Toronto, we have Señor Escamilla and we are now in the “summer of Quique.” He recently opened up for Michael Franti & Spearhead at the Luminato Festival and has developed quite a name for himself with his musical talent and the ease in which he speaks with the crowd, switching it up from Spanish to English without any problems”

– Alex Bordokas, UMA NOTA, Toronto.

“Quique Escamilla is constantly evolving, always digging deep for truth, passionate about life and honouring the past. His music is stirring, rhythmic and he has a clear voice with a profound message. But what makes this folk and roots troubadour one of the most unique I’ve ever encountered is his eloquence and enchanting manner, on and off stage, with audiences, fellow musicians, friends and strangers. Quique Escamilla quickly teaches everyone he connects with, that music isn’t just a show, it’s life and it’s all around. It’s in us and always has been. He’s ready. Are you?”

– Amy Mangan, Artistic Liaison – Mariposa Folk Festival.

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