¡HOLA TODOS! – Cheating a little this week since this blog is about Latino arts and culture in our Pueblo de Los Angeles. But, just back from a week in the Big Manzana and must report the Latino presence in Times Square in two very different ways. A big marquee boasts the name of the Puerto Rican kid that leapt from teen heartthrob to superpop star and most recently to fatherhood and life as an out and proud gay man. Ricky Martin is starring as Che in the big “Evita” revival and the crowds are eating him up. The 40 year-old Martin is no stranger to the New York stage. He starred in “Les Miserables” about sixteen years ago, probably never dreaming he would return one day with twin sons. And peering down at Ricky from giant billboards across the street is the gorgeous Sofia Vergara, sipping and loving her diet Pepsi. Don’t you just love Latino Broadway?
¡Y ESTO! – I’m a big fan of anyone that celebrates Latino arts and culture, especially when it comes from our younger generation. Meet Richard Moreno de Martinez. He found me through a mutual friend because he had a rare recording of my Dad’s he wanted to give me. So, I schlep out to La Princesa Record Store on Lincoln in Venice belonging to his Godmother Margaret. She’s owned the joint for 39 years. Margaret tells me Richard used to sit in her store every day after school when he was about 12, just listening to all the great artists. He admits he didn’t understand a word anyone was singing, “but the passion behind the voice intrigued me, especially Amalia Mendoza.” So, there Richard sits on this day busy at the computer transferring discs to a WMA file to preserve and clean up the sound. I don’t know anything about WMA files or any of the tech work he is doing. I only know he is archiving and preserving our music and he’s made a brisk business of buying and selling rare LP recordings. Music lovers can reach him at Moreno.firstname.lastname@example.org ¡HASTA PRONTO!