Last week, my wife and I went uptown to the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. We went to see Latin History for Morons, the one-man Broadway show by John Leguizamo.
For those who don’t recognize his name, he is a Colombian/Puerto-Rican American comedian and actor seen in movies such as Super Mario Bros, Moulin Rouge, John Wick, and many others. But perhaps he is most famous as the voice of Sid the Sloth in the Ice Age movies.
Here’s a trailer - you can see actually see the full show on Netflix.
The show is funny, poignant, and troubling at the same time. It is filled with truths about the invisibility of the contributions of Latinos to America.
Growing up, I too felt invisible many times.
Now, being invisible may not seem like such a big problem. But if you don’t have proof that someone like you has tread the path, then you have internal doubt.
It’s a psychological problem; an issue of mindset.
Here’s an example of this from athletics. Before Roger Bannister broke the track record for running a minute in under four minutes, no one believed it was possible. Within two months of his record at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, someone else also ran a sub-four-minute mile. Since then, many others have done so.
On a logical level, we know that just because something hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done. But it’s so much harder to believe.
One of my greatest mentors was my high school music theory teacher Andy Blackett. He had this uncanny ability to always make you believe more in yourself, to dig deeper, and to know that it could be done.
“You can do it."
In the world of music education, I still see a great division between the haves and have-nots. Many of the first-world cultures have realized the secret power of music education and have made that a mandatory part of growing up. Through learning music, you become empowered.
But in my travels throughout other parts of the world, I’ve seen a gap.
And it’s completely understandable. Who cares about music lessons when you’re still worrying about covering the basics of food, shelter, and clothing?
But as the world rapidly moves to a massive middle class, the opportunity to close the equity gap only increases.
As Leguizamo says in his show, “the future is Latino”. I’d like to contribute to that future.
I'm super thrilled to announce my songbook Piano For Kids Vol. 1 is now available in Spanish.
It's called Piano Para Niños Vol. 1. I hope this to be the first of the entire series. And yes, I’m still working on the English Piano For Kids Volume 4, with Volumes 5 and 6 in the wings.
If you have my English version, then it’s almost exactly the same. A few of the songs had to be rewritten as the original English didn’t make sense in the Spanish context. I’ve also included popular Spanish folk song Los Pollitos.
I'm hoping this book series can help to unlock the potential of millions of children in the Spanish-speaking world.
"You can do it!"
P.S. As a self-published author, it would help greatly if you could leave a positive review. Thank you!