Thousands of Justin Bieber fans were disappointed when he lost the Best New Artist Grammy to the comparatively unknown Esperanza Spalding. Adding to the shock was the fact that Spalding is the first jazz musician to win the award. For people who have heard her music, none of this exceptional recognition is a surprise at all. Spalding is uniquely gifted at combining different strands of music in creative ways. Check out the joyful sound of her debut album Junjo streaming on Freegal and then check out her latest and Grammy winning album, 12 Little Spells.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is another artist gifted in bringing seemingly disparate elements into a harmonious whole. His work, which combine elements of classic Broadway with contemporary and diverse music genres is revolutionary. His Pulitzer Prize winning Hamilton and breakthrough musical In the Heights are celebrations of musical abundance. It's also worth checking out his Oscar nominated work in Moana.
For Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought I would highlight some films that I have enjoyed over the years for their outstanding acting and compelling stories, characters, and depictions:
Frida is a biopic about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The colors and cinematography are stunning.
Based on a true story, Stand and Deliver tells the story of Jaime Escalante, an inner-city math teacher who inspires his students to succeed.
Maria Full of Grace tells the story of Maria, a young Colombian woman, who out of desperation, takes a job as a drug mule carrying packets of heroin that she has swallowed.
One of the best things (for me) about presenting storytimes is the opportunity to find and share great music with kids and their adults. And, because I'm lucky enough to co-host a Spanish bilingual storytime, I've been introduced to and found some fun, educational, playful, and truly silly songs. Honestly, too many to note in a short paragraph. So, here's a list of my Children's Music Favorites for Hispanic Heritage Month. ¡Disfruta de la música!
This list of three represent some of the brightest Hispanic and Latinx musicians contributing to the landscape of popular music today.
Kali Uchis - “telepatÍa”
The Colombian-American chanteuse’s sultry, mostly-in-Spanish R&B hit about telepathic love intrigues with its cool coffeehouse vibes. The track is available on CD or by streaming/download on Freegal.
The new wave R&B singer proudly shares his Mexican heritage through his music. Miguel’s EP Te Lo Dije features five Spanish-language versions of tracks from 2017’s War & Leisure album, including the title track “Te Lo Dije”, “Sky Walker”, and “Banana Clip” . Miguel also recorded the unforgettable duet “Remember Me (Dúo)” with Natalia Lafourcade from the Coco Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Ozomatli - “Mi Destino”
As the six-piece Latin rock/hip-hop band explains about the song’s meaning, “Whether you're a Dreamer, an immigrant, or a person of color that challenges people’s norms, you're not alone as we each travel this road to fulfill our destinies.” The funky track features vocals by B-Real of Cypress Hill and Gaby Moreno.
Movies & Music - Question of the Week
The 1992 film Like Water for Chocolate was based on the 1989 novel of the same name by this author, who also wrote the screenplay for the film.
Mario Vargas Llosa0
Gabriel García Márquez0
Last Week's Trivia Answer: The Dodgers