from Victoria BC
Music Director, Checo Tohomaso, brings a wealth of musical experience to the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir. Born in Florida, and raised in Hawaii as well as Okinawa Japan, he has entertained with many notable performers throughout his career. Checo was honoured to play keyboards, percussion and sing background vocals for the last European tour of Motown legend, Marvin Gaye. As a keyboard player and background vocalist for the Green Machine, the band providing the sound for The Commodores and Lionel Ritchie, he continued to tour the world extensively until Expo '86 brought Checo to Vancouver.
Checo’s musical journey began in early childhood where his first performances were as a member of a church choir. The son of an African-American Christian mother and Peruvian/African-American Jewish father, Checo grew up surrounded by different styles of ethnic music. When asked how his passion for Gospel music began, Checo points out “ninety per cent of American Soul, R&B, and Jazz singers have their musical foundation singing Gospel music in the church and I was heavily influenced by those artists at a very early age”.
Following Expo ’86, Checo toured the Canadian school system exposing youth to ethnic and soul music. In addition, he worked extensively with the First Nations population to provide positive motivation, from the perspective of a person of colour, and deliver messages of staying in school, staying off drugs, and racial tolerance.
Checo is now living in Vancouver where he coaches soul, R&B, gospel and light jazz-style vocals, and teaches both keyboards and bass to students from across the lower mainland. He is musical director for both the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir and the Vancouver Outreach Community (VOC) Soul Gospel Choir. In addition to teaching and leading the choirs, he performs on his own, singing Motown, 60’s, 70’s, 80's and 90’s-style music at various venues throughout Greater Vancouver.
|Victoria Soul Gospel Choir||Musical Director|