Jaime Lozano and the Familia: Songs by an Immigrant

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Jaime Lozano and the Familia

Songs by an Immigrant
The Green Room 42, NYC, November 24, 2019
Reviewed by Joel Benjamin

Jamie Lozano

Jaime Lozano is a beloved musical artist both in and out of the Latino community.  His Songs by an Immigrant at The Green Room 42 brought together talented members of his “familia,” terrific Latino artists who add gusto and sensuality to his songs.

All the music was composed by Lozano for the scores of several musicals and an upcoming CD; the lyricists were varied.

Fitting right into the evening’s theme was the first song, “The Generic Immigrant Welcome Song” (lyrics: Noemi de la Puente), a sardonic condensing of the scary experiences of newcomers sung by an ardent, silver-voiced Javier Ignacio, who also sang a passionate “Mi Perú,” a paean, but a rose-colored-glasses one, to that country.

Exotically made up, Migguel Anggelo thoughtfully sang Lozano’s version of Jerome Kern/Dorothy Field’s “Pick Yourself Up” called “I’ll Start Again (The Bicycle Song)” (Migguel Anggelo/Christina Quintana/Lozano) about having to overcome losses, both material and spiritual, to survive. He also crooned his own love song to his country, “Venezuela.”

Linedy Genao used her beautifully focused voice on another I-will-survive song, “Getting Up Is Easier” (Lauren Epsenhart). 

Charismatic Mauricio Martínez, star of the recent On Your Feet, harnessed his beautiful pop tenor voice on several numbers, one of them a romantic duet with Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, “DJ, Can You Hear?” He interpreted “Enough Is Enough” (Lauren Epsenhart), a song of regret and the set-ending “Dreamer” (Jorge Castilla), a salute to the Dreamers whose futures are in peril.

Gonzalez-Nacer contributed her own interpretation of the love song, “Te Soñé” (Lozano), sung in Spanish.

A surprise guest was Elinda Galindez who stepped in at the last minute to perform her jazzy version of Lozano’s “Mountain in the Sky” (Marina Pires) about self-discovery and opening oneself to the world.

Lozana’s lovely wife, rich-voiced Florencia Cuenca, sang her husband’s “And the Years Go By” (Nina Beber), a wistful tale of two sisters in Cuba, and “The Other Side” (Beber), about the courage to “build a world.”

Throughout, Lozano was charmingly, if facetiously, self-deprecating about his talent. His stories of his adventures and successes in this country were the glue that held the show together.

Joel Benjamin

A native New Yorker, Joel was always fascinated by musical theater. Luckily, he was able to be a part of seven Broadway musicals before the age of 14, quitting to pursue a pre-med degree, which led no where except back to performing in the guise of directing a touring ballet troupe. Always interested in writing, he wrote a short play in high school that was actually performed, leading to a hiatus of nearly 40 years before he returned to writing as a reviewer. Writing for Cabaret Scenes has kept him in touch with world filled with brilliance.