Three Rivers Commercial News | Robert Tomlinson, Staff Writer
THREE RIVERS — The first time Lazarus Finn, who goes by the stage name Lazo, listened to Bob Marley as a young man in the island country of Dominica, it “transformed his life”.
“The first time I listened to him, I was really, really young. I listened to the Catch A Fire album, and it was the catalyst for what I wanted to do with my life,” Lazo said. “It wasn’t just about the style, it was the lyrical content. The messages and themes he sang about really impressed me.”
That album helped inspire Lazo to go into music. When he immigrated to Toronto, to pay tribute to his main musical inspiration, he created a tribute show to Marley called Lazo & Exodus, which will be making a stop at the Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers on Friday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m.
Lazo said before he was inspired by Marley, he was only into music just a little bit.
“I used to fiddle around on the guitar, but I didn’t decide I wanted to be a musician until later,” Lazo said. “Marley’s music affected me profoundly.”
Lazo said he was also inspired by more contemporary artists of the ’60s and ’70s, such as John Lennon and Bob Dylan.
“I’m very into message music, not just music for fun,” Lazo said. “Music for fun is okay, but I think music’s about awakening the consciousness of people and trying to bring people together instead of dividing people. It really interested me to pursue this career. Music is a very powerful medium. If you’re blessed with the talent, you should use it for the right things.”
At just 15 years of age, Lazo found a bit of fame for the first time. His band, Black Blood, reached No. 2 with their first album, which also received extensive airplay in the Caribbean. Lazo said it was “fascinating” at the time to have that happen.
“At that time, I wasn’t conscious of the music business, it was just a bunch of kids having fun,” Lazo said. “All of a sudden, we had this song and album playing all over the Caribbean, and all the cool people would recognize us and go, ‘here’s the guys from Black Blood!’ and we were stars at the time.”
In 2010, Lazo got an opportunity to tour with The Wailers, the band formed by the remaining members of Bob Marley & the Wailers following Marley’s death in 1981. He said he was surprised when he was contacted to tour with them around the United States and South America.
“It was amazing. As a boy growing up, I never dreamed of being on the stage with people like Aston Barrett and Keith sterling and all those guys in the Wailers,” Lazo said. “I got a call out of the blue from the Wailers’ manager looking for a singer, and I guess they were looking all over the internet for one, and saw some of my videos. I thought it was a joke at first, but they said it was a real thing. It was fun to see my childhood idols and share the stage with them, it was just a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
Lazo said he is looking forward to being in Three Rivers for the first time, performing some of Bob Marley’s greatest hits.
“I take pride and pleasure in performing his great work and representing the Wailers,” Lazo said. “People of all ages and from all walk of life will enjoy the night. It’ll be a great family atmosphere where people come together and spread love and peace around humanity.”
Tickets for Lazo & Exodus are on sale now for $15 at the Riviera Theatre’s website. Doors for the show open at 7 p.m.