Entertainment

He Is One Of Broadway’s Best Choreographers And His Story Of Being Undocumented To Chase His Dream Is Inspiring

sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

Colombian dancer and choreographer Sergio Trujillo has lived a life, and it’s getting more colorful. The artist won his first Tony award last weekend and took his stage moment to thank his cast, his husband, and to come out as a formerly undocumented immigrant.

This isn’t just a story about an immigrant who has made spectacular contributions to American culture and art. Trujillo wants other dreamers to know that, despite the political climate, they should keep fighting for their dreams. Anything’s possible.

Trujillo first dedicated his award “to my Colombian family who had taught me to love music and dance since I was a little boy.”

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

As Trujillo stepped up to the mic to make his acceptance speech, he literally jumped up and down on the stage. “I’m so lucky,” he began. “There are so many people I love in my life.” He specifically thanked his mother and siblings in Spanish and continued his speech in English.

“I arrived in New York City over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.”

@JuntaHispana / Twitter

“I didn’t just show up yesterday,” he announced. “I arrived in NYC over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.” Trujillo later told AP News that his announcement felt like he was coming out as a gay man all over again.

Only his husband, family, and close friends knew about his immigration story.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

He opened up about the internalized shame he still carries from living in the U.S. without papers. “One keeps it so deep inside, it’s like a secret that one must maintain. So when I talk about it I still feel guilty, like I’m doing something wrong,” he told AP.

Trujillo felt called to use his platform to send a message of hope to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“I stand here as proof,” he said to an audience giving him a standing ovation. “For all those dreamers, I want you to hear this. The American dream is still alive. You just have to keep on fighting because change will come.”

Trujillo quickly code-switched and concluded with a rallying call in Spanish.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“For all those who are listening, I want you to know that if I, Sergio Trujillo, born in Cali, Colombia, can win this moment, so can you. You can do it.”

Trujillo’s family moved from Cali, Colombia to Canada when he was 12 years old.

@murphymade / Instagram

They lived there illegally for a few years until they were granted amnesty. He then crossed the Canadian border with his Colombian passport and stayed illegally for ten more years until he was granted citizenship.

He studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto until he quit to try his luck on Broadway.

@stepsonbroadway / Instagram

He lived at friends’ houses, took dance classes and auditioned. Once he started being hired to perform in Broadway shows, he was able to get temporary visas.

Trujillo’s hard work has certainly paid off.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

While he hasn’t publicly spoken about this very long chapter of his life–one which necessitated his success–he told AP that “now, more than ever, is the perfect time to talk about that.” Trujillo doesn’t anticipate dancing at the White House anytime soon.

In 2014, four Broadway shows, all choreographed by him, were playing at the same time.

@Venmedios / Twitter

Trujillo first started out as a dancer on Broadway and worked up to become a choreographer. He’s also won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Memphis in 2015.

His first Tony is for Best Choreography for Ain’t Too Proud.

@KosherComputing / Instagram

The Broadway musical is based on the lives of The Temptations. As the Chicago White Sox owner is seeking to commemorate the organized burning of disco and soul music created by Black and Latinx artists, this commemoration of The Temptations is more important than ever.

His first Tony nomination was for his work on On Your Feet!–the Broadway depiction of the lives of the Estefans.

@gloriaestefan / Instagram

In an Instagram post, the infamous Gloria Estefan congratulated Trujillo, “CONGRATULATIONS to the wonderful @sergiotrujillo1 who was nominated previously for our musical, @onyourfeetbway and last night won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography for @AintTooProud. #TonyAwards This is SO well deserved and it’s about time, baby!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”

His name has also graced the Broadway production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

His work on that production earned him a 2018 Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. The entire cast was all-female.

Trujillo has been with his husband, Jack Noseworthy, for 30 years.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

The two met in 1990 and married in 2011. Just last year, they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family.

We stan this family photo.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“My world all in one beautiful picture!!!!,” Trujillo’s caption reads. We assume that the woman is his beautiful mother. We’re mami’s boys and girls all our lives.

Apparently, if Trujillo was trapped on a desert island forever, he’d want to be with Jeremy Pope.

@jeremypope / Instagram

He played Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud, so the two have worked together. Don’t worry. We have footage of Trujillo’s husband’s reaction.

Noseworthy’s face when hearing Turjillo’s answer:

TodayTix / YouTube

Trujillo digs the hole deeper when he says that Pope is just so talented that he’d be able to do anything. He’s also a good cook.

Honey, you in trouble.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has named him one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world.

@theatre_direct / Twitter

His work cannot be denied, and, truthfully, neither can his love for marido, Jack. Happy Pride.

Congrats on your Tony and a much-appreciated coming out, Trujillo!

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

This time, for coming out as a once undocumented immigrant. Your story is an inspiration.

READ: This Colombian Model Was Told To Bleach Her Birthmark — But She Put Her Foot Down

Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Entertainment

Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Pop music is far more complex and deeper than Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift (no offence, ladies). In a multicultural society like the United States, we have to rethink what we consider as mainstream. This term is generally used for artists whose work is consumed by Anglo audiences. Think about it, an African-American rapper “breaks into the mainstream” when white folk start paying attention, right? Otherwise, the artist is just “niche”. That is why we gotta reconsider what “mainstream” means when it comes to Latino artists and shows. 

Which brings us to Pepe Aguilar, perhaps one of the most popular singers in the planet and who is taking Mexico and the United States by storm with his Mexican rodeo extravaganza “Jaripeo Sin Fronteras”. The show brings together charreria, songs and a good doses of good old Mexican pride. 

So who is Pepe Aguilar? (as if you didn’t know, right?) 

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

His full name is José Antonio Aguilar Jiménez and he is Mexican-American as it comes. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, while his parents were on tour. He was raised in Zacatecas, where he first became a rock musician and had a band called Equs, which was influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and The Who! Can you imagine that? Well, one thing led to another and he ended up going back to his Mexican roots and becoming one of the best-selling ranchera acts of all time. 

He is, of course, the son of the late great Tony Aguilar.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Pepe Aguilar has ranchera en la sangre. He is the son of Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre, two legendary musicians in their own right. Tony Aguilar was also a strong presence in the Mexican film industry. Aguilar senior recorded over 150 albums, which sold over 25 million copies. Can you get more mainstream than that? Well, Pepe is making sure that the family legacy lives on. 

Introducing Jaripeo Sin Fronteras!

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

This amazing show has Pepe Aguilar as the lead, but includes acts by his kids Angela (what a voice on this lady!), Leonardo and Antonio Aguilar Jr. Marichis and rodeo acts are also included of course! The show is touring non-stop in 2019 in both sides of the border, bringing a message of unity. Just look at what they did in Mexico City.

Let’s not forget that for the Aguilar family showbiz is like second nature.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

The show just flows like the musical blood that runs through those Aguilar veins. This is Pepe with his brother, perhaps the only Aguilar not deep into showbiz! In an interview for CE Noticias Financieras, Guadalupe Pineda, the famous Mexican singer and Pepe’s cousin, says of him: “Pepe is a great dad, he’s doing the best for every one of his kids. As an aunt, you simply know and feel that we can all be wrong and that the boy is very young and has every right in the world to get ahead”. 

So, of course, the show includes the next generation of Aguilar talent!

Credit: Instagram. @angelicaguilar_mxfan

Angela Aguilar followed the family tradition of being born while on tour. She came into the world in Los Angeles while her mother was accompanying Pepe Aguilar on tour. And you can tell that musical talent is there. Her version of “Shallow” is enough to make anyone cry! And she had Lady Gaga’s blessing, as Angela said in the Mexican TV show Ventaneando: “Suddenly I’m playing the piano trying to practice and concentrate. Lady Gaga said yes, practice, you’re going to sing it. Oh, my God, I’m going to die! I mean, Lady Gaga knows who I am is like. wow!”.

The show includes all sorts of equine acts, and the horses are quite unique.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Some of the amazing horses in the show are shaved by the amazing Rob Ferrell, a barber who is so dexterous with the blade he is able to imprint a Mexican aguila y serpiente on the equine’s skin. You can look at his work (on human and horse surfaces!) here: https://www.instagram.com/robtheoriginal/  

The show has been a sold-out in localities North and South of the Border.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Look at the Honda Center in Anaheim: un lleno total, carajo! Pepe Aguilar is a consummate businessman and he knows that every city is slightly different. He explained the concept to Billboard: “It’s basically a modular concept, where you can change the pieces. The fundamental parts are the horse shows and the Mexican traditions. In some cities we’ll have special guests, in others, only the family is going to perform”. There are still some dates available this year: 

September 20 — Atlanta, Georgia @ Infinite Energy Center

September 22 — Chicago, Illinois @ Allstate Arena

September 27 — Tacoma, Washington @Tacoma Dome

Even if you are not a fan of ranchera culture, you have to admit the show is quite spectacular: the whole Aguilar family makes an appearance, look at Leonardo riding that horse.

Credit: YouTube. @STO

Leonardo is the latest success story in “La Dinastía Aguilar”. He has been nominated for two Latin Grammys despite his tender age: only 20 and he is already a great act. He released his first record when he was only 12-years-old, Nueva Tradición, a collaboration with his sister Angela.

And of course Pepe Aguilar has been super amazing with fans, because that is just who he is.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

You don’t get to be on top and stay on top without being an approachable and kind celebrity. Pepe Aguilar knows well who pays his wages: the millions of fans that love him and his multi talented family. 

And of course Mexican cities are embracing the show with sold out venues.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has had a huge appeal in Mexico, which tells us that being “Mexican” goes beyond national borders. No one cares Pepe Aguilar was born in the United States: we share one identity and one heart. 

So can haters admit Mexican culture is mainstream now?

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has performed in the main arenas of almost every major city in the United States. See what we meant with rethinking what mainstream means?

And yeah, those are some of the most beautiful caballitos we have ever seen.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Just look at those ojitos pispiretos, beautiful beasts. And as Billboard reports, no animals are harmed, so worry not: “Pepe, who rides several of his Andalusian horses in his own equestrian performance, also specifies that no animals are hurt during this tour”. 

Tejano Music Icon Selena’s Murderer Is Asking For A New Trial After Accusing Prosecutor Of Hiding Evidence

Things That Matter

Tejano Music Icon Selena’s Murderer Is Asking For A New Trial After Accusing Prosecutor Of Hiding Evidence

Yolanda Saldívar, the woman convicted of killing the iconic singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, is demanding a new trial. In an exclusive interview with Radar Online, the late “reina de Tejano music’s” former fan club president alleges there is evidence that could free her from her lifetime sentence for the 1995 murder.

Saldívar claims that the prosecutor in her case, Carlos Valdez, has been holding exculpatory material evidence.

According to Saldívar, it is proof that is favorable to the defendant and shows that Valdez did not disclose to the defense or the jury in the trial for Selena’s 1995 murder more than two decades ago. She says that Valdez discussed the alleged evidence, a pair of high top white Reebok sneakers and a black baseball cap, during an interview with Spanish-language media.

“The Petitioner paraphrases Mr. Valdez’s media interview where he stated that he and the defense counsel, the late Mr. Douglas Tinker, discussed what [evidence] would or would not be introduced to the jury,” reads court paperwork of a Second Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Saldívar on March 28, 2019.

“How could this be? It is the jury, no less, that would decide the fate of the Petitioner, between [life] in prison and [freedom]. The jury, NOT the defense or the prosecutor is the trier of fact of all relevant material evidence and they alone should and DID determine between conviction and acquittal,” she writes.

In layman terms, Saldívar contends that allegedly relevant evidence in her case wasn’t presented to the jury.

This information is obligatory, and suggests that leaving out the information was “a nefarious attempt to obscure a verdict against the Petitioner.” According to her, including the hat and shoes in the evidence could impact the case against her.

In the interview, Valdez passively says that Saldívar was wearing the bloody hat and sneakers. He attests that Saldívar stepped in Selena’s trail of blood as she followed the late singer running for her life. However, Saldívar, who claimed the shooting was accidental, asked that if the shoes and bloodstains on them could prove she committed the crime, then why did the prosecution exclude them as evidence.

“The prosecutor, Mr. Valdez, presented evidence of the trail of blood he states the victim left behind as she ran 130 yards (390 feet) from the room to the front lobby of the motel,” the court papers read. “The ‘withholding’ of the victim’s shoes (i.e. White Reebok Tennis Shoes) are of a great consequence because if it is as Mr. Valdez claimed in his March 16, 2018 interview that the Petitioner ‘stepped’ on victim’s blood as she followed the victim, then ‘intent’ would have been proven or disproven. For 23 years, the jury nor the defense knew that such shoes existed.” 

She continued, saying she had “no doubt” the prosecutor “impaired the verity of the evidence by not only withholding the evidence but claiming that those tennis shoes belonged to the defendant, inciting and infecting the public’s sediment even more against the Petitioner before, during and now with his recent media interview.”

Saldívar went as far as accusing Valdez of knowing “those tennis shoes belonged to the victim” and said “withholding them helped get the conviction of the Petitioner practicing a travesty of justice to the rule of law and violating the constitutional rights of the Petitioner.”

Despite her demands, however, Saldívar’s case was dismissed without prejudice because the Petitioner filed the petition in district court and must seek permission from the Fifth Circuit.

Saldívar, a former nurse, founded Selena’s fan club in San Antonio. She became the club’s president and was later also promoted to manager of the late artist’s clothing boutiques, Selena, Etc. 

In 1995, six years after Saldívar had started the club, Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, was receiving complaints from fans that they weren’t receiving their paid items and heard rumors from fellow employees that Saldívar had been embezzling money from both the fan club and the boutiques. As a result, Saldívar was fired. 

On March 31 of the same year, Selena met with Saldívar at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi to retrieve financial records Saldívar had been refusing to give to the Quintanilla family. While the “Como La Flor” singer was leaving the motel room, Saldívar shot her in the back, severing an artery. Selena, in critical condition, ran toward the motel lobby. Before collapsing, an employee claims the songstress named Saldívar as her shooter.

Selena was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. 

At the time, she was 23 years old. Soon after, at the Days Inn, Saldívar was in a nine-hour-long standoff with the police, calling the shooting an accident and threatening to kill herself before she was arrested.

On October 23, 1995, jurors found Saldívar guilty of first-degree murder. Three days later, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole in 30 years — the maximum prison term in Texas at the time. She is currently serving her time at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas. She will become eligible for parole on March 30, 2025.

Read: Netflix Officially Cast The Role Of Selena Quintanilla And ‘Twilight’ Fans Will Be Thrilled