ATHABASCA — A Colombian-born musical activist will be taking the stage at the Nancy Appleby Theatre for the first time this weekend, Nov., 28.
Cristian de la Luna has been in Canada for over 17 years, coming as a political refugee with his family after his father was released from prison after four years after he was framed for the murder of a politician, and all those experiences are poured into his music and other projects.
“I recorded an album. I made many, many songs during the pandemic. I worked on a few other projects. I'm just writing a novel,” de la Luna said, listing of his pandemic workload during a Nov. 19 phone interview.
The book is historical fiction, sort of autobiographical and sort of not, he said.
“It’s a little bit of auto-fiction,” he said. “It’s a little bit of history of when we came in to Canada and all the process and the story of my family.”
Between the book and some virtual performances de la Luna has also been working on an album, recently returning from Mexico, where he has been laying down tracks with a well-known producer.
“We're going to be releasing the new album in March 2022 and we're just working now and finishing the mixing first and then the master,” he said. “So, from here we don't have a date exactly for singles, but we'll eventually have that posted.”
He also created songwriting classes and worked with a French school in British Columbia teaching Grades 6 to 11 and with international students through the University of Alberta.
“I was wanting to do it but having this time I was able to advance in that project too," said de le Luna. "One was steps to create a song or writing techniques; more how can I see that more inclusive way of writing together.”
de la Luna is looking forward to be performing his unique blend of Afro-Caribbean, funk, and pop for his first appearance in Athabasca.
Tickets are $20, and proof of vaccination or a recent clear COVID-19 rapid test must be provided at the door and masks must be worn for the whole performance. Heartwood Folk Club also chose to limit the audience to half, so 140 of the 280 seats will be available.
Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.