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Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band World Reggae


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"Lazo-Passin Thru"

“Canada-based Lazo has been a fixture on the international reggae scene since the early nineties, when RAS Records released two well-received albums by this Dominican singer and multi-instrumentalist. Since then he has built up an impressive body of work, and he recently toured with The Wailers, delighting Bob Marley’s fans – and reggae lovers in general – with his obvious commitment. However, he left, having felt the need to concentrate on his own works, and “Passin Thru”, his seventh CD, whilst bearing faint traces of Brother Bob, justifies his decision. This is a very impressive set of mostly original roots reggae compositions, dealing with serious times, pleasure and pain, beautifully sung, melodic and memorable, with a couple of lover’s tracks that are equally noteworthy – there is some excellent use of saxophone and flute too. The result is truly uplifting music, and recommended, of course.”
Norman Darwen reviewer/writer for IRIE UP and former contributor to - IRIEUP

"Mr. Sunfest Lazo brings a special song when he plays in his 15th Sunfest"

Section: Entertainment

If there was ever a perfect performer to come up with a Sunfest song,
Lazo is the mon.
The Toronto reggae star offers up Sunfest, a sweet and danceable tune,
on his new album Passin Thru.
With its smiling tributes to "Victoria Park" and "London-town" and "the
cultural experience you can't deny," it sounds as if Lazo knows and loves
Of course he does. The program identifies him as Lazo (a.k.a. Mr.
It's only fair. Lazo will play his 15th Sunfest in a row when the TD
Sunfest 2010 edition opens its four-day, free run on Thursday night at
Victoria Park. He missed only the first appearance of the London world-beat
Of course, Lazo is going to play Sunfest at Sunfest this weekend.
"Oh yeah, oh yeah. Without a doubt," he says. "I'm really looking
forward to playing the song and getting the crowd involved in the song and
(laying) so much rhythm on them."
The Juno winner plays the Kiwanis bandshell on Saturday at 7:15 p.m,,
and returns for a fest-finale spot on Sunday at 10 p.m. on the Galaxie
Lazarus "Lazo" J. Finn began his music career at 15 years of age with a
band called Black Blood, whose first album was a hit in the Caribbean.
Soon after moving to Canada, Lazo formed his own band, Unity. His first
recording here arrived in 1990.
In 2010, Lazo toured the United States and South America as a member of
the world renowned Wailers, Bob Marley's original backup band.
The Wailers starred Aston "Family-Man" Barrett on bass, and the Keith
Sterling on keys.
Intrigued by his website, the Wailer camp called and
signed him up as a singer and guitarist. One of Lazo's other projects is a
Bob Marley tribute known as Exodus.
Still, Sunfest comes first for Lazo this season.
"I got off the Wailers because of Sunfest," Lazo says. "I was going to
do some stuff with them in the summer. But I said, 'No, Sunfest was my main
gig. I couldn't cancel it.' Hopefully, I get back with them in the winter."
While Lazo knows many, including Sunfest artistic director Alfredo
Caxaj, would choose Sunfest as the top tune on Passin Thru, he won't name a
personal favourite. The album includes a Jamaican-flavoured take on Bob
Dylan's Knockin' On Heaven's Door.
"Alfredo is going to vote for the Sunfest one," Lazo says with a laugh.
"It's very difficult to say ... It's like having kids ... this is my
favourite kid, you know?"
He also loves all the Sunfests he has played, but has no hesitation
about picking a favourite -- this one.
"Every year is better, every year is better than the other year," Lazo
He just might be right. Every Sunfest combines amazing sounds and beats
from all over the globe. This time, however, Caxaj has come up with a
world-class mix that includes a top U.S. band, the Grammy-winning
Klezmatics, hard-rocking Russians in Namgar, African women Chiwoniso and
Dobet Gnahore and many Canadian jazz and world-beat performers.
"Alfredo is great. Alfredo is extraordinary. He's very hard-working and
he's very committed to his Sunfest," Lazo says.
"I really, really tip my hat to him for being the originator of such a
great festival. He's an amazing guy."
Sunfest 2010 also brings three ensembles based in the Netherlands, via
a program backed by 25,000 euros from the Dutch government performing arts
They are Beatriz Aguiar, Monica Akihary with the Boi Akih Trio and
Drums United, which pulls together percussionists from seven countries. The
groups arrive after Caxaj was one of those invited to the Netherlands for an
introduction to the program which supports travel and other costs as a way
of bringing Dutch performers to the world.
Caxaj also points to Sun of the East '10, a showcase during Sunfest for
Middle Eastern music and dance. "We have done it but we have never presented
that many groups, highlighting that region," Caxaj says. London's Light of
East Ensemble and Toronto's Jaffa Road, with London-raised Aviva Chernick,
as its singer, are part of the showcase.
Another new Sunfest feature has Canadian groups competing as Galaxie
Rising Star contestants.
On Sunday night, one of 10 Canadian groups at Sunfest will win $5,000
in a juried competition as part of radio and satellite music power Galaxie's
sponsorship of the fest.
What: TD Sunfest 2010, the 16th annual outdoor festival of world music,
dance, food and crafts in London; presentation of not-for-profit
Sunfest-London Committee for Cross Cultural Arts Inc.; free, but donations
welcome; more than 30 performers, including Canadian-based world-beat and
jazz acts. Headliners include performers from Britain, the Netherlands,
Russia, Colombia, Mexico, U.S., Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe.
Where: Victoria Park and a section of Wellington Street east of the
park near City Hall. Details: Programs are $3; more than 250 food and craft
vendors; visit or call 519-672-1522. The Kiwanis bandshell and
Galaxie (Wellington Street) stage are used for evening concerts all four
nights of Sunfest. The Galaxie and two other stages have music on Saturday
and Sunday afternoons. A third stage, located at the north end of Victoria
Park, is the festival's main jazz base on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
afternoons and early evenings.
When: Thursday to Sunday. Music starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday, noon on
Friday, 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday). - London Free Press /

"Lazo Releases NEW CD PASSIN THRU"

LAZO just finished touring the United States, Brazil, and Argentina with Aston "Familyman" Barrett and the Wailers, as a singer/guitarist, and is now focusing on the promotion of his Brand new 7th CD: Passin Thru, and getting ready for LAZO spring/summer concerts in the U.S. and Canada.

Hanging out with Familyman, and playing dominoes with the legendary Keith Sterling(Peter Tosh/ keyboards) on the tour bus while we crisscrossed America was a lot of fun. South America with Wailers and Alpha Blondy was real nice. Heard much about Copacabana in Rio, and I had a wonderful time staying at the hotel on the beach there. Got to do some swimming in the ocean,and guess what! the manager of the restaurant on the beach there, gave me a free lunch and drinks!and would not even accept a tip from me!few nice people still around huh!!!
Being one of the Wailers biggest fans when I was growing up, I had many questions for Familyman about the early Wailers days, and Bob Marley in particular. I was very interested in knowing about the songs,and song writing process:who did what, and who wrote what. It was abundantly clear that Familyman was very instrumental in creating the Wailers sound.

It was sad to leave at the end of the tour, as we were beginning to establish a brotherly bond. However, we both came to the realization that it would be better for me to continue on the path LAZO has been trodding. Every man has his work to do! Wailers done their work, and LAZO has to do his work.

Many of my musician friends are of the opinion that I should stay with the Wailers because they have "made it" they have the bigger name, the big tour bus and gets the bigger shows, travel the world and receive the star treatment where ever they go. One of my good friend said:you been on the ground for so long man, why would you ever want to leave the Wailers! I beg to differ, however. After many, many years, seven CDs and thousand's of live concerts I would feel very empty and inept to abandon LAZO for the Wailers, or what seem to be greener pastures.
Moreover, despite the fact that Bob Marley was one of the greatest song-writers,my teacher, and inspiration, I feel better doing my original songs, the songs I created.

I do look forward to jammin with them again, some time, some place when the opportunity arise.

Checkout some of the Passin Thru tracks on my site, and some live photos of LAZO and Wailers in my slide show! New website out next week!

Stay focused, do what you know is right, and remember love will always conquer hate!!!

Lazo - MySpace


Passin Thru
(Y.T. Records) 2010

The Time Is Right
(Y.T. Records) 2006

Congo Natty Dread
(Y.T. Records) 2004

Children of the Palm Race (Y.T. Records) 2002

Love is on Your Side
(Y.T. Records) 2001

Heart and Soul
(Y.T. Records/ Factor ) 1998

Something Real
(RAS) 1995

Impetus ( RAS ) 1993

Satisfaction Guaranteed (independent) 1990



Lazarus J. Finn (Lazo) began his music career at 15 years of age with a band called Black Blood, whose very first album charted #2 and received extensive airplay in the Caribbean. Soon after immigrating to Canada, Lazo formed his own band, Unity, to showcase his original compositions. Upon relocating to Toronto, he created The Lazo Band, and released the well-received recording, "Satisfaction Guaranteed". Lazo subsequently produced two solo CDs: "Something Real" (nominated for a Juno Award in 1995) and “Impetus”, for Washington D.C. based RAS records (Lazo was the first Canadian artist signed to that label).

“Impetus” is such a strong effort that it was the first independent album to chart on Vancouver’s Z95.3 (TOP 30) and was scooped up by the Washington DC based RAS records, becoming the first Canadian artist to be signed by the label. Lazo’s music video, “Crucial”, produced by Video Fact and RAS Records reached #3 on the charts in Guyana, South America and received extensive play on CSN (Caribbean Satellite Network), as well rotating on America’s BET (Black Entertainment Television).

Honoured with awards from industry peers, Lazo was chosen as the Top Reggae Performer of the Year from the internationally recognized Canadian Reggae Music Awards and along with many Juno (Canadian equivalent to the Grammy) nominations; he garnered a Juno Award in 2000 for Best Reggae Recording for his “Heart and Soul” CD. The optimism shared from his beautiful composition, “Love Is on Your Side” captured a Juno nomination as did another album “Something Real” in 1995.

Lazo's new release, "Passin Thru" ( Y.T. Records 2010), brings out the best in Lazo and is a true testament to his song-writing abilities, a must for industry and fans alike. Available now at

Affectionately embraced year after year as the festival crowd favorite Lazo's nickname, "Mr. Sunfest" is well deserved- Artistic Director "Alfredo Caxaj" recently touted…"Is it any wonder we’ve invited him back for a 15th year in a row?"

Lazo tours tirelessly throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. His list of international venues & festivals is ever growing, (i.e. Brazil’s Carnaval de Salvador, El Salvador, Argentina...)

In 2010, Lazo toured the United States and South America as a member of the world renowned Wailers, (Bob Marley's original backup band featuring Aston "Family-Man" Barrett on bass, and the legendary Keith Sterling on keys.)

In addition, Lazo fronts for Craig Martin's Classic Albums Live: Bob Marley - Legend performing at venues such as Hard Rock Cafe, House of Blues, and theatres across the US and Canada. Craig recently commented to a fan, " Lazo has always been an exception to the rule- I can't control him, and yet I can't see me doing the show without him."

EXODUS- The Amazing Tribute to Bob Marley is Lazo's tribute show to Bob Marley is a MUST SEE.

" I just wanted to say as a lifelong Bob Marley fan, I was thrilled to have
the opportunity to see the Legends show... you really capture
the vibe and sound of the legend himself- it was incredible. Every aspect was
great from the incredible guitar solos to the beautiful back up singers.
I have heard 101 Marley covers and I felt not only did you capture the
sound but also the mannerisms of Bob you exude the love you have for him
and his music." Phill McVeigh

Band Members