Buy a Record, Make a Difference 19: Jesus Caballero

Buy a Record, Make a Difference is a new series we have created to help local musicians generate income during COVID-19. It is based on the principle that we should support and reward the hard work local artists have already put into recordings, as it is an immensely difficult undertaking to be creating new material under current circumstances. There is currently a lot of emphasis on livestreaming and innovation in our industry, and while those things absolutely have their place, we think it’s also important to boost projects that have already been completed.

In each post, we’ll ask a local artist a series of the same questions, give them the opportunity to talk about recordings they’re proud of, and ask them to talk about other local musicians whose work they admire. It’s our hope that you’ll take the time to listen to & purchase the work of local artists, or at the very least share their work with others.


Photo: Sienna Brie Nyberg
1. Who are you? 

My name is Jesus Caballero. I’m a Mexican drummer/composer who came to Vancouver in 2010 to study the jazz program at Capilano University. Through the past 10 years, I have had the great opportunity to meet and play with wonderful local musicians who have inspired me to become the musician I am today. There are several projects I have been part of. Currently, I am co-leading a local band called Omianan. We have performed twice at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival (2017, 2019). This was going to be our third year. We were very excited! I’m also involved in John Paton’s Cowtrance. I would also like to thank my great friend Ron Samworth for inviting me to play with him. He’s such a big inspiration of mine and in the creative community. I have also been extremely lucky to perform with people like Clyde Reed, Jared Burrows, Peggy Lee, Cole Schmidt, James Meger, John Paton, Amir Eslami, and more.

2. Describe your music as best you can.

Most of my music drives for an emotional journey that tries to make the listener go through a personal experience, by capturing emotions–positive and/or negative, hoping them to connect with themselves and their close ones. Some of my pieces have lyrics and some are instrumental. The lyrics have indirect messages inspired by real life experiences throughout my life or by fictional stories I have read or studied, surrounded by different musical genres: progressive rock, jazz, pop, metal, avant-garde, and more. My instrumental approach usually envisions for intricate rhythms and/or free-time melodies, embodied with warm harmonies, giving total freedom to other musicians to interpret and express their art.

3. What’s your latest recording (or a recording you’d like to promote)? Where can people get it?

My latest recording is a demo/EP with the local band Omianan–a creative band that plays a collaboration of original music written by each member. It has three songs: New Home, by me; Paper Dream, by Sara Kim (The Watermill Project); and an interpretation of O Sacrum Convivium, by Olivier Messiaen. You can find it on bandcamp.

4. Is there another local musician whose work you’d like to give a shout out to? 

There are so many whom I have learned from! Right now, the first name that comes to mind is John Paton–wonderful person, composer, and multi-instrumentalist.