There was a rumor a couple of weeks ago that José José had passed away. Thankfully his wife put those rumors to rest because the thought of another Mexican legend dying would simply be too much. But we must face reality, José José is getting up there. The 70-year-old singer won’t be around forever. His career has impacted countless lives throughout the world. Recently, one young man has gone viral because of his rendition of a José José song and you’ve got to hear it to believe it.
This viral video shows a star in the making, and could be Jose Jose’s replacement.
A news station in Yucatán, Mexico, posted a video of a manual worker singing the Mexican singer’s classic “Lo Que No Fue no Será” and nailed each note.
His friend captured the entire song on the spot as he took a break from his yard work. Even his co-workers, who were also on a break sitting beside him, moved away from the shot so he could take center stage.
As his friend recorded the beautiful rendition, and also encouraged viewers to share the video, which have surpassed 2 million views and has more than 72,000 sharesd.
Rangel Martinez, a Facebook user moved by the video, commented on the video, saying: “I liked his singing very much, now imagine if had rehearsed and was rested. My respects to this man God bless him. José José is a clear talent, yes, but this man is not far behind.”
When you think of a conductor for a symphony orchestra, the image of a male suited up with tails and wielding a baton is usually what comes to mind. Mexican-American conductor Jessica Bejarano, who sports multiple tattoos on her arms, is working to change that image to be more inclusive for the multiple communities she is a part of.
Growing up in Bell Gardens in southeast Los Angeles County, Bejarano lived with her single mother and two other siblings. She grew up hearing the sounds of loud gang members and gunshots before she ever heard the notes of classical music.
Jessica Bejarano is taking up space as a Latina woman in the orchestral conductor community.
The 38-year-old told PBS she credits classical music with saving her life.
“Unfortunately kids get arrested, kids are murdered, kids are imprisoned, kids get pregnant. I defied all those odds, I didn’t become any of those statistics because music was always there to keep me on a straight path,” she told PBS’ Chasing the Dream.
Bejarano started playing the trumpet in elementary school through college. However, it wasn’t until she was in an orchestral class at Pasadena City College that she became interested in classical music.
She can even pinpoint the specific piece of music that made her fall in love with classical music.
She told KCRW one rehearsal in college sparked an intense love for classical music when she heard the orchestra play Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
“What is this music, and why is this the first time I’m ever listening to it? It was like an instant spark in my being, in my energy, in my body. I will never forget that evening,” she told KCRW’s Press Play. “I knew at that point, I needed to know more about classical music, and I needed to immerse myself as much as possible.”
She knew that he needed to chase the education that would help her open doors.
From that moment, Bejarano went full force into attaining the education she needed to become a conductor. She went to the University of Wyoming to attain her Bachelor of Music in Music Education and she pursued a Master of Arts in Conducting from the University of California, Davis.
However, her background was questioned by music instructors in her program. It was as if they questioned why someone who looked like her wanted to or thought they could be a conductor.
After sharing her dream to be a conductor, she said the instructor told her, “Are you serious, you really want to become an orchestral conductor? Why don’t you try going down to Mexico, you might have better luck down there,” Bejarano told the magazine. She continued, “It was definitely a hard pill to swallow but the more people told me I couldn’t do it, the more I wanted it. I used that negativity as fuel to push me to where I want to go.”
She did use that negativity to push through and apply to programs for her Ph.D. in conducting and job opportunities to become an assistant conductor.
That was when an opportunity popped up in the city she had always wanted to live in—San Francisco.
Bejarano was offered the job of an assistant conductor for $2,000 a year. After discussing the matter with mentors and friends, she decided to take the job despite the dismal pay and juggled multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Bejarano is definitely living the music life she wants.
Aside from being the current music director and conductor for the San Francisco Civic Symphony, she has also been invited to be a guest conductor at concert halls across the country.
She also continues to inspire the LGBTQ+ community in the arts. Although Bejarano told XQsi she had a tough coming out experience of her own, she wants to be a safe haven for others to be included in all areas of music. She has practiced that by being the music Director of VOICES Lesbian Choral Ensemble in Oakland and a guest conductor for the Bay Area RAINBOW Symphony, whose mission is to promote and support LGBTQ+ musicians and composers.
What’s up next for this conductor?
Bejarano wants to crack the glass ceiling of maestros being only men for the largest symphonies in the country. As of now, there is only one female maestra for the top 20 largest symphonies in the U.S.
By continuing to compose a symphony of inclusivity, resilience, and representation in music, we believe she can get there.
In the history of Lollapalooza’s 27-year history, the music festival has never (ever) had a Latin artist headline the concert. How insane is that? While Lollapalooza — which began as a touring festival and now takes place every summer in Chicago — has featured Latin musical artists in the past, none have been a primetime headliner until now.
J Balvin will take center stage at this year’s Lollapalooza music festival, making the first Latino to headline the show.
“SIEMPRE ELEVANDO 💯 NUNCA INELEVANDO @lollapalooza,” J Balvin wrote on Instagram. “LATINO GANG Chicago, we’re coming to see you this summer at #Lolla!”
The festival, happening August 1-4, will also feature Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots, The Strokes, Tame Impala, Flume and The Chainsmokers.
Here are more Latino artists performing at Lollapalooza this year:
Boombox Cartel will be there as will Rosalía, Sonia de Los Santos, Omar Apollo, 123 Andres, Boy Pablo, Malu Trevejo, Deorro, and more.
Speaking of Latinx representation at festivals. Because so many music festivals lack Latino music, more festivals have since launched in order to serve this community.
Ruido Fest, which also takes place in Chicago, launched to long ago as did the Los Dells festival, Afro-Latino Festival, LAMC (which has been around for a while), Nuevo Fest, LatiNxt, NYC Migra Punk Fest, and more. You should defintely check them out if you haven’t already.
Here’s how social media is handling that J Balvin will be a Lolla headliner.
Where’s the lie?
Seriously, what took them so long?
Festival organizers are finally paying attention to what audiences love: Latin music!
Just keeping it real.
J Balvin will draw the crowd in, no doubt.
If you’re at Lolla just for J Balvin, you won’t be alone.
Click here for more information on this year’s Lollapalooza.