Originally born in Montreal, Luis Giraldo grew up in Bogotá, Colombia. His musical career began playing keyboards and singing with a Rock band in High School – they called it “Shade of Black”, and played mostly covers of U2, Miguel Mateos and Soda Stereo songs, among other popular music of the early 90’s.
He was then drafted to the Colombian army, and joined the presidential marching band, playing trumpet (and becoming section leader!) during his one-year service. Can you spot Luis in this army picture?
Later in university, he joined a Ska-Rock band called “El Jardín de Daniela” (Daniela’s Garden) while majoring in Industrial Engineering, with this group they won a couple of music contests (“Notas Radioactiva” and “Concurso de Música Kool”) and won some studio recording time. He soon realised his true calling was music, and after 3 semesters, switched over to a Music pogram with an Audio emphasis at Universidad Javeriana.
In music school he was invited to join the nationally-renowned Rock band “Poligamia”, and went on to record 2 albums with them on the Sony Music label. He also contributed original songs, which were in a more “bluesy” style, and this would prove to be the beginning of Giraldo’s interest in the genre of Jazz. Poligamia’s lead singer, Andres Cepeda, is now an even more successful recording artist. While in Bogotá on holiday, Giraldo visited Andres in the studio during the recording of his first album “Se Morir”, and ended up playing piano on the title track, which quickly became a runaway hit.
After some touring with “Poligamia”, Giraldo was asked to join Pop star Shakira’s band, in the capacity of keyboardist, acoustic rhythm guitarist and vocalist, and he went on to perform with her on 40+ shows all over North, Central, and South America.
Upon finishing that tour, Giraldo moved to Vancouver to pursue Audio Engineering studies at Columbia Academy, went on to study composition at SFU, all the while growing his interest in Jazz and the American Songbook.
One fine day he was asked to join a trio on a 4-month cruise ship engagement, playing all Jazz standards. This really drew the line in the sand for Giraldo, as he would fully “convert” to Jazz.
He spent some time aboard Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, and Disney cruise ships, and in 2002 he released his first Jazz album as vocalist, “Day Dream“. He is accompanied on the album by accomplished pianist Chris Sigerson, and well-known bassist and producer Rick Kilburn.
On July 6th, 2008, Giraldo released “It’s Always You” to a sold-out room at the Jazz Cellar in Vancouver! The album features arrangements by Bill Coon, Bill Runge and Jill Townsend, and its roster is a who’s-who of Vancouver Jazz musicians. This album is not to be missed!
Since, Luis has continued to perform in the Greater Vancouver area with different bands and under his own name. In 2013, he and Nick Apivor started a Cal Tjader tribute band called “Caliente” and have had some performances in local music venues.
To check out Luis’s upcoming shows, click here!