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Review: Jaime Lozano Sings With And Plays For His FAMILIA In SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT At Lincoln Center

Bursting With Sound, Bursting With Life Is This FAMILIA

Review: Jaime Lozano Sings With And Plays For His FAMILIA In SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT At Lincoln Center

Heigh-Ho, My Merry Rainbow Tribe! Bobby Patrick your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in cabareT to bring you all the T!

So this week my lambkins, Bobby got his Spanish on and was feeling the beats when we donned our bowtie and patent-leather shoes for a trip to the very Lincoln Center Friday night. You see darlings, proud Mexican composer Jaime Lozano's recent work, SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT, is a show (and an album available on iTunes) about diversity and integration. Following a series of sold-out performances downtown, Jaime packed up his band and his vocalist pals and moved it all uptown to Lincoln Center's swanky Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse for the AMERICAN SONGBOOK series. Dedicated to bridging the gap between his Mexican heritage and the culture of his adopted home, the performance moved swiftly and easily between English and Spanish in song and sometimes spoken word, as Lozano would (in his adorable accent) ask his bilingual audience members to help him translate Spanish words whenever his English momentarily failed him. A fine singer and musician in his own right, Jaime served not only as performer/musician but as the musical director and arranger for this evening of wholly original compositions. Joined onstage by his "Familia" (Family being the theme for the evening, in fact), a fully Latinx lineup of singing actors from on and off The Broadway, Lozano's audience was treated to stunning vocals from the likes of:

Javier Ignacio

Marina Pires

Mauricio Martínez

Florencia Cuenca

Shereen Pimentel

Andréa Burns

Nicholas Edwards

Review: Jaime Lozano Sings With And Plays For His FAMILIA In SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT At Lincoln Center

all of whom were singing at the top of their games and considerable vocal ranges before an equally gifted band of Jaime's hermanos:

Guitar / cello - Agustín Uriburu

Trumpet - Raúl Agraz

Bass and acoustic bass - Ruben Rodriguez

Drums - Joel Mateo

Percussion - Jonathan Gómez

Sax / Flute - Alberto Toro

Review: Jaime Lozano Sings With And Plays For His FAMILIA In SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT At Lincoln Center

All of this happening with Jaime singing, conducting, and playing the Piano, Guitar, & Bajo Quinto - a kind of oversized guitar with a lot of strings to it - the musicianship and musicality were without compare and the completely sold-out crowd was not just there for it, but living for it, from start to finish. Lozano's sounds on the evening encompassed a Latinx/Jazz fusion in both heartfelt and danceable ways. Take it from little Bobby my dearlings, the audience would have been up on their feet stomping the floor, had there been room amongst the plethora of small round tables filling the space. Now here is where Bobby must let a little rain fall with this rainbow. Each of these small tables were surrounded by six not-very-comfortable chairs and offered difficult-to-navigate legroom for 2 guests, and nonexistent space for the other four. With a program that lasted 1:45 - however nice the look of the room, with its terrific view through a panoramic window on 3 walls and elegant mood lighting by Ayuma "Poe" Saegusa - the only real comfort for us in the stalls was the music. But what music it was...

Review: Jaime Lozano Sings With And Plays For His FAMILIA In SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT At Lincoln Center

Highlights of the night came in the performances of Jaime's songs FAR FROM HOME, WINGS, & NO PODEMOS REGRESAR - all sung by the composer's wife, Florencia Cuenca. Now, one might call out a nepotism foul here, but this GODDESS (whom Bobby was experiencing for the very first time) was not only utterly fantastic in the singing/acting and acting/singing departments, she truly seemed to be the ONLY choice of performer for her hubby's notes - even though she was a last-minute put in for WINGS, necessitating her use of a lyric sheet that miraculously did not distract too much from the story she sang. Here, we must let a few more raindrops fall and add some critic to this critique... For too much of the program, the sound of the mighty band overbalanced the voices. With trumpets, reeds, strings, and Mateo's powerful percussion behind them, the vocalists, while never getting totally obscured, the effect was as though they were singing from behind a curtain of sound. Fortunately, this circumstance felt as though it resolved itself somewhat about halfway through the night, and we feel sure that sound guys Ken Blessing and Danny Shepherd made some adjustments and recalibrated from their original soundcheck. Another knockout voice in the night was Shereen Pimentel, singing Te Soñé a composition with both music AND lyrics by Lozano. Basically, my dear readers, everyone in the cast listed above gave it their all in marvelous ways and brought the man's music to life individually through each number, but while the theme of the evening was "FAMILIA" and each song was a journey in and of itself, the evening as a whole didn't gel into a single, identifiable journey from start to finish. The program was all songs about the immigrant experience sung by superb performers, but, despite the stated unifying themes, each song was an experience of its own, rather than stops along the way in a cohesive, beginning to end evening. These are small jabs we are taking at a show that really went over like Buster's Gang in the room... and so Bobby just dribbles his quibbles a bit here.

All in all, in a night of chair dancing and meaningful cultural bonding, Jaime Lozano: SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT was more than a fine night out, it was a party with FAMILIA. And so we give this one a solid...

3 ½ Rainbows Out Of 5

And if Latin beats are your Jam my Lambs - Click & Pick up Jaime Lozano: SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT on iTunes

And we further suggest that all you out there check out Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, BECAUSE - To make the arts more accessible, tickets are available on a Choose What You Pay basis. There is a suggested ticket price, as well as options to pay more or less, but who can argue with a pay what you can ticket to hear some of the best music and artists in town?

See what's coming up for Lincoln Center's AMERICAN SONGBOOK: HERE

Tweet Jaime On His Twitters: HERE

See his InstaPictograms: HERE

Ande Followe On Ye Olde FaceBooke: HERE

All Photos By - Kevin Yatarola

Review: Jaime Lozano Sings With And Plays For His FAMILIA In SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT At Lincoln Center

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From This Author - Bobby Patrick