Following sold-out debut cabaret concerts at Joe’s Pub and The Green Room 42 in 2019, and a featured number on Playbill’s virtual ¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices this October (for which the Mexican-born multi-hyphenate mega-talent served as Music Director), Broadway Records released Jaime Lozano & The Familia’s highly-anticipated Songs by an Immigrant in physical CD format and across all popular streaming platforms in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. And what a celebration it is, expressing the heart and soul of the Latinx immigrant experience.
Produced by Lozano, Jesús Altamira, and Demián Cantú (who edited, mixed, and mastered the album), the one-hour twelve-track song cycle, composed in Lozano’s eclectic mix of genres from his native culture and his new home in NYC, represents a musical melting pot of styles, inspired by everything from Mexican folk music, mariachi, salsa, and Tex-Mex, to Broadway ballads, pop, and jazz. All of the diverse melodies and beats (with engaging arrangements and orchestrations by Lozano and Altamira) are well integrated and harmonious (as all people should be), and thematically united by the resonant narrative of this momentous concept album.
Lyrics by Lozano’s writing collaborators (Migguel Anggelo, Neena Beber, Jorge “Georgie” Castilla, David Davila, Mark-Eugene Garcia, Marina Pires, and Noemi de la Puente) bring an empathetic voice (in both English and Spanish) to the challenges (“Far from Home”) and struggles (“Hold Tight”), the lack of acceptance (“The Generic Immigrant Welcome Song”), discrimination (“You Gotta Change Your Name”), and inhumanity (“The Other Side”) , and the tight-knit sense of community – a true and supportive “Familia” – in the immigrants’ shared situation, while chasing the American dream (“Dreamer”), but deeply missing their homeland (“Venezuela”). The songs are at once personal and poignant, universal and theatrical, with occasional touches of humor, as they define the individual characters, tell their stories, and elicit our feelings for them, as all great works of musical theater do. This is an album that not only entertains with its musical artistry and affects with its momentous content, but cries out for a fully staged production.
The expressive songs are performed by a talented roster of top Latinx musicians, Broadway veterans, and singers (with vocal arrangements by Roke MD) – Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton’s multi award-winning orchestrator and music producer), Mauricio Martínez (On Your Feet!), Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton), Ana Isabelle (Spielberg’s West Side Story), Florencia Cuenca (A Never-Ending Line), Marina Pires (The Heartstring Project), Migguel Anggelo (LatinXo), Raul Midón (two-time Grammy nominee), Gaby Moreno (Grammy nominee and Latin Grammy winner), Jorge Glem (Venezuelan cuatro player and Latin Grammy winner), Marcial Istúriz (Venezuelan salsa singer and Latin Grammy nominee), Mireya Ramos (from the Latin Grammy Award-winning female mariachi band Flor de Toloache), Antonio Sánchez (Mexican-American multi-award-winning jazz drummer), and Bobby Pulido (Tex-Mex Billboard artist) – all masterfully delivering their signature sounds and specialties to create an encompassing experience. And if that weren’t enough, the album also contains original liner notes by Lin-Manuel Miranda, an aficionado and advocate of Lozano’s powerful work (as am I).
Jaime Lozano & The Familia’s Songs by an Immigrant is available through Broadway Records, Amazon, iTunes, and other streaming platforms. A portion of the proceeds from sales will benefit R.Evolución Latina; to learn more about the organization’s mission and initiatives, visit the website. To listen to a selection from the album, click on the arrow below: