I don't consider myself the Ugly American. I like to hear other languages musically and promote multi-lingualism in our home (although, to be fair, the second language has been Hebrew, considering last year's bar mitzvah). To that end, it was amusing when I opened Jose-Luis Orozco's new English-Spanish CD, ¡COME BIEN! EAT RIGHT! and my younger son exclaimed, "Is that from the PJ Library?" (A service that send Jewish-themed books to children).
A musician, composer, and educator, José-Luis has won multiple awards for his 16 (yes, 16) recordings. However this CD migrates his music to Smithsonian Folkways for the first time. José-Luis travels 125,000 miles per year performing singalongs to reach kids, families, and teachers. His multilingual music demonstrates that values translate naturally around the world and that you may not understand the words to a song but that there may be universal concepts and feelings behind them.
This theory becomes a reality in songs such as "Chocolate" and "The Fruit Conga." And as soon as "Sabrosos Colores" started, I realized that Dan Zanes has been singing this tune in concert for more than a decade. ¡COME BIEN! EAT RIGHT! is broken into two sections, Spanish and English. It's more than 70 minutes of music – and would have worked in the "old days" as a double concept album. It still works today – and there's not una sola palabra (one word) of Hebrew to confuse my youngest listener.
¡COME BIEN! EAT RIGHT! is available from Smithsonian Folkways, José-Luis' website, Amazon, and iTunes.