By Stephen Weir
It is not his stage debut, not by a long shot, but for Zachary de Lima this Sunday evening’s gig is a coming-out-party for the young Trinidad Canadian guitar singing performer. de Lima and Caribbean Fusion will be giving their first indoor Toronto performance November 24th at Scarborough’s Victoria’s Pub.
The de Lima name has a familiar? It should. The manager and super fan is his father Richard de Lima who briefly was the head of the 2019 Toronto Caribbean Camera and over the years has been involved with Carnival and Pan in Trinidad.
“Probably because of my father I took up Pan really early … I was 4-years old,” 22- year old Zach de Lima told the Caribbean Camera. “By 2009 (when he was 11) I was a Tenor Pan steel drum player with the Invaders Steel Orchestra and took part in multiple Trinidad Carnival Steelpan Panorama competitions.”
de Lima moved on to the piano and played with the Nativity Roman Catholic Church Choir on Sundays. The rest of the week he was playing guitar with Insight his teenage pop rock band! He appeared not just in Trinidad, but also in Grenada and Canada.
He recently left Trinidad and came to the GTA to pursue his musical dreams and to be with his extended Toronto family.
So what does he sound like? He has posted a number of songs on You Tube that have already attracted thousands of listeners. One can’t miss his strong Trinidad roots – it is a mix of the traditional and a brand new mash-up of Caribbean and North American styles.
“In many ways I think my music is probably more suited to this market than back in Trinidad,” he explained. “I don’t do Calypso, and I am not non-stop Soca. I don’t play my pans, but hey, maybe we will work that in one day.”
Before the weather turned cold Zachary de Lima cut his chops in the Canadian scene by performing at a whack of outdoor parties in Toronto. It was at one of these BBQ concerts that Zachary found his first band mate, Ronnie Saldenah, yes, the son of Mas K band leader Louis Saldenah.
“It was a backyard party and while I was performing Ronnie went crazy, he loved the music,’” said de Lima, “He said he had to be part of it. And that is how Caribbean Fusion got its drummer!”
Victoria’s Pub, located on Midland Avenue in Scarborough, is a large venue for the new band. de Lima is confident that the room will be filled. “It is almost a week away and we have sold a lot of tickets!”
After Sunday’s debut, the band will be looking for more gigs in the GTA. de Lima is chasing grant money to help with a recording project planned for the Spring. As well he is hoping to collaborate with Drew Gonsalves (Kobotown) who has taken an interest in the group!