Latin Music Executive & Steinway Artist Releases Classical Album & Book

Latin Music Executive & Steinway Artist Releases Classical Album & Book"Art needs no boundaries - just boundless commitment," says Jorge Mejia, a conservatory-trained classical composer and pianist best known as President of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Latin America and U.S. Latin, which represents songwriters like Maluma, Luis Fonsi, and Shakira.

Mejia would know - he often follows a late night at a star-studded Latin music industry event with a 4:30 a.m. alarm to carve out time for composing and writing. "Burning the candle at both ends requires a good demon to push you forward," he says. "Part of what makes my life make sense is continuing to create, to use music and words to explore my own experience, to convey emotion in a way that hopefully resonates with others."

To be released via Sony Music Latin, An Open Book: A Memoir in Music is an ambitious genre-blending project, born of Mejia's devotion to storytelling in all its forms. An audiobook alternating narrative vignettes with orchestral preludes recorded by the composer with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, An Open Book is inspired by Mejia's colorful family history in Colombia, musical coming-of-age, and charming romantic misadventures en route to meeting his wife, women's rights advocate Amanda Mejia.

Drawing on his experiences as an immigrant in America, Mejia's evocative compositional style explores intersections of identity, culture, and language. A recent performance of musical excerpts from An Open Book, narrated by the composer in Spanish, earned praise from El Nuevo Herald as "a full-scale and colorful mosaic. Mejia's world is imagery, cinema, storytelling, and he doesn't hold back."

Mejia's compositions have been played by the Nu Deco Ensemble and Miami Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Havana Lyceum Orchestra and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who described his preludes as "almost a genre of their own. Composed to be performed next to spoken text, they create a wonderful cinematic effect, full of vibrant colors and lush melodies."

Recently named a Steinway Artist, Mejia is committed to 'reaching across the aisle' of musical genres. "Classical music when seen up close is irresistible. If you can get somebody close to a vibrating cello, unless they're made of stone, they can't help vibrating themselves. It transforms and transfixes you," says Mejia. "But in the world we live in, with split-second soundbites, sometimes a complex piece of classical music requires a point of entry. I'm hoping that this album of preludes, paired with the stories that inspired them, will allow new listeners to relate to them immediately - offering them a doorway to the power of classical music."

Befitting a dual words and music release, An Open Book: A Memoir in Music will be celebrated with a reading and performance at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center. The performance will feature a chamber orchestra, including members of the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, accompanying the composer at the piano. Co-presented by Miami cultural mainstay Books & Books, the launch concert kicks off Mejia's Latin American tour, which will also include appearances in Ecuador and Uruguay.

Liz Wallace, Vice President of Programming for the Arsht Center, says, "Jorge's passion for sharing the emotive experience of classical music with new listeners has inspired us to reconfigure the Knight Concert Hall for this performance. The audience will actually be on stage with the musicians, facing the hall, allowing them to experience the visceral thrill of the orchestra from an intimate perspective that will be a rare treat."

Mitch Kaplan, founder of Books & Books, adds, "Having known Jorge since he was a college staffer in our flagship location, I've watched his artistic career develop for many years. I have such respect for his unique voice, shaped by his role as an active member of Miami's bilingual and cultural communities. His self-deprecating humor and natural charisma shine through in these emotionally honest stories, and the reading experience is enriched by his music."

Also available as an e-book with musical tracks, An Open Book is five years in the making, influenced by a wide range of art spanning Mozart to magical realism. Mejia's creative process is also inspired by his work as a music executive. "I have a front row seat to the fortitude and flexibility that it takes to be a successful songwriter. The relentless perseverance of the artists I work with has motivated me to respond to my own very clear need to create. It's scary to risk the status quo, to continue to question and re-define yourself," Mejia admits. "But ultimately, we are each empowered to craft a life for ourselves that honors all that we are. And if we could each create a worthy tribute to those who inspire us... Imagine how much richer the world could be."



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