World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma is most known for his musical talents. The 63-year-old Ma recently brought his cello skills to the U.S.-Mexico border to make a statement about global unity. The musical performance was a part of an event – called Day of Action, celebrating the relationship between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. For Ma, the performance went beyond just music but a call to action urging people to “build bridges, not walls.”
The performance is part of Ma’s Bach Project, where he performs music by Sebastian Bach in various locations around the world.
Ma played Bach’s Suite No. 1 in a park across to the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, one of the bridges that connects both U.S. and Mexican cities. The bridges are significant not just for where they’re located but their role in U.S-Mexico relations.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, 37 percent of the $612 billion in exports and imports between the U.S. and Mexico last year came through Laredo’s three international bridges. The bridges are also one of many ports of entries along the border where asylum-seekers and other immigrants can go to request entry in the U.S.
“As you all know, as you did and do and will do, in culture, we build bridges, not walls,” Ma said in a speech at his performance. “I’ve lived my life at the borders. Between cultures. Between disciplines. Between musics. Between generations.”
When performing on the Mexico side, Ma played the same songs and gave a similar speech on that end. Despite having a translator for him, Ma tried his best to speak Spanish to the crowd.
Many at the performance couldn’t help but feel inspired my Ma’s work.
Mateo Bailey, 16, who lives in San Antonio, also plays the cello and is the son of Grammy award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey. He told NPR News that Ma’s message connected to him because of his Mexican-American background.
“I’m half-Mexican as well as half-American,” Bailey told NPR. “For him to connect cello with what’s happening in the world is like, it’s a cultural bridge that was just built, and it’s amazing.”
For Ma, the performance is a reflection of what he wants to see in this world during divided times. Music is universal to so many people and is a way various different cultures unite as one.
“We live in a world of boundless possibility, but we also face daunting challenges, even to our very survival,” Ma says about his Bach Project. “I believe that during times of stress, confusion, and insecurity, we should share sources that offer comfort, purpose, and meaning. Bach does that. When his music touches us, it reconnects us to our common humanity.”
For as long as Luis Miguel has been in the music industry, he has incredibly private about his personal life. He rarely gives interviews or even attends award ceremonies. He’s been spotted eating at restaurants with hired staff to hold up sheets and umbrellas to block him entirely from cameras and other fans. Here are some things you might not know about the bestselling Latin music artist.
Luis Miguel was born Luis Miguel Gallego Basteri, named after bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín.
Born on April 18, 1970, that makes the singer only 48 years old. He’s almost a full year younger than Jennifer Lopez, but his crooner status somehow puts him at viejo status in my book.
He wasn’t born in Mexico, and neither of his parents is Mexican.
That’s right. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and neither of his parents is Mexican. According to the Netflix/Telemundo series documenting Miguel’s life, his father conceived of a plan to get a fake birth certificate and ‘market’ his son as Mexican.
Miguel’s father actually moved him to Mexico to market toward Méxicanos.
Miguel has absolutely embraced Mexican culture (and Mexico has embraced him). He’s perfected the artistry of mariachi, and he’s currently on his ¡México Por Siempre! tour.
He was born on April 18 but celebrates his birthday on April 19.
His mother was a famous Italian actress and his father was a Spanish singer (Luisito Rey) born in Cádiz. His father didn’t register him with Puerto Rico’s Civil Registry until the following day, so his birth certificate is dated April 19. Que raro, no?
Miguel’s mother mysteriously disappeared when he was 16 years old.
Her whereabouts are still unknown, but there are many a Reddit thread that theorize that Luisito Rey killed her after she uncovered some dark secrets; that she flew back to Italy and has been in a psychiatric hospital ever since; that an indigent Argentinian woman might actually be the living Marcela Basteri.
Miguel’s father stole mad money from him.
Miguel’s father was also his manager and the ultimate villain. Luis Miguel’s godfather also happens to be a renowned psychologist who has described him as a psychopath and abuser. We know he was an alcoholic and drug addict, and after Miguel fired him as a manager, he drank himself to death by 1992.
It all started when Miguel was just 11 years old.
The story goes that the family was about to go bankrupt and homeless when Miguel’s father convinced telenovela star Andrés García to let Luis sing a Tijuana club. After the crowd fell for him, Luisito Rey saw his son as a meal ticket.
Miguel’s father made him watch and analyze every movie, recording, and performance of Elvis Presley.
By the time Luis Miguel was 11 years old, he released his first album, Un Sol, under EMI Records. It almost immediately became a gold disc.
His father was so obsessed with Miguel’s success, he even drugged him with ephedrine.
The Netflix series shows how young Luis Miguel was worked around the clock to study music, and record songs. As a young boy, he passed out from exhaustion and side effects from the drugs.
Luis Miguel is the only Latin singer of his generation to not crossover into the English-language market.
Ricky Martin’s entrance into the “Latin Explosion” of the ’90s didn’t get to him. He only ever sings in Spanish.
Probably because he was pioneering his own market explosion: Bolero Pop
In 1991, his career exploded when he released Romance, an album of boleros remade for the modern world. He followed that album up with Segundo Romance.
Luis Miguel’s voice can span three octaves, 6 notes.
The press loves, to call him the “Latin Frank Sinatra.” Luis Miguel’s voice has topped charts in Pop, Mariachi, ballads, and so much more.
Sinatra personally invited him to record a duet album that would be his last.
Luis Miguel’s own father used to blab about how Frank Sinatra wanted to record La Gran Ciudad together back in the day, but that was never true. Luis Miguel would be the only Latin star that Frank Sinatra sang with.
Luis Miguel speaks fluent Spanish, English, Italian, and Portuguese.
If you only speak English and Spanglish, like me, todo bien. Don’t let that hit you too close to the ego. Todavía somos Latinxs.
Miguel has never been married, but he’s dated the best of the best.
Yup. Mariah Carey and Luis Miguel were an item for a while. Who else? Oh, just Salma Hayek, Sofía Vergara, Daisy Fuentes, Aracely Arámbula and Myrka Dellanos. Casual.
Today, he’s been seen with his showgirl, Mollie Gould.
But, again, Miguel’s life is private so we can only speculate. He has been seen holding hands, having dinner with, and glowing with the 19-year-old California native.
Miguel has three children.
His oldest daughter, Michelle Salas, was born when Miguel was just 18 years old, but he didn’t acknowledge her as his own until she turned 18 years old and they took a DNA test. Today, they have a good relationship.
Miguel also had two sons with actress Aracely Arámbula.
Miguel is a self-taught sommelier and has his own wine label.
It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon, the only wine worth drinking, IMHO.
The rumor mill has it that Luis Miguel is suffering from some health problems.
He was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in April 2010ds and has canceled concerts and tours since then. Sometimes, he’ll appear on the stage for just a few minutes before calling off the concert and being forced to pay in the six figures for breaking a contract.
Last year, he surrendered to a federal arrest warrant.
He was ordered to pay over $1 million to his former manager, William Brockhaus, and the judge even ordered him to surrender his 2013 Rolls Royce. He was released by the U.S. Marshals the same day he signed over that car.
Luis Miguel was the first Latin singer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He was also the youngest male singer to receive a star at the time. He’s won 5 Grammys, 6 Latin Grammys and 11 Lo Nuestro Awards. And the guy is still 48 years young. Keep it coming, Luis.
Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny has been a vocal advocate for the betterment of the educational system in the United States — in his island home of Puerto Rico specifically. Last year, he was accused by an educator in a viral post of creating “A generation of idiots” with his lyrics. In response, Conejo Malo replied with an editorial of his own that discussed his experiences with the island’s lacking educational system. His words helped to shine a light on the lackluster institutions while advocating for improvements for teachers and students alike.
Now, the rapper has made another move that speaks towards his dedication to enhancing education.
Over the weekend, Walmart stores in Puerto Rico dropped a line of Bad Bunny approved notebooks — just in time for the back to school season!
Twitter / @drivtexi99
According to this tweet, the Bad Bunny line of libretas comes in three different designs based on BB album art and featuring the Puerto Rican rapper. The retailer and the rapper have yet to make an official statement about the notebook collaboration so the appearance of these books is a fun surprise.
Though we don’t have a statement from the retailer, Walmart’s Twitter account was quick to brag about the awesome new products.
Twitter / @Walmart
As of now, the notebooks aren’t available on Walmart’s website. According to this tweet, they retail for $3.98 each so, if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon them at your local Walmart, be sure to stock up for the upcoming school year.
Once news of these notebooks got out, Bad Bunny fans were all for it.
Twitter / @mprodriguezw1
This Twitter user reminds us that the Bad Bunny notebooks aren’t just for back to school —catch us at work using our libretas de Conejo Malo. It will make our 9 to 5 go that much quicker.
This tweet promises to take Bad Bunny notebooks to the highest level of education.
Twitter / @MariaGee04
Twitter User @MariaGee04 is ready to pull up to her final year of undergrad with her arms full of Bad Bunny notebooks. We hope that the presence of the Puerto Rican rapper during her studies helps this educated Latina’s year fly by.
Our Mitú Shop has more than just Latinx-themed tees and jewelry. Right now, our Back To School shop has notebooks, backpacks, shirts, sticker packs, and pencil pouches to get you stocked up in style for the upcoming school year. Check out some of our coolest BTS items.
1. This Latino Hustle Notebook that lets everyone know who you are.
Mitú Shop / Latino Hustle Notebook
Let the world know that you aren’t just a Latino — you’re a Latino who’s hustles. Use this notebook to write down all of those big plans and then check them off once you’ve hustled through that list.
2. A backpack that’s just as hot as you are.
Mitú Shop / Hot Stuff Backpack
Since spicy is how you like to live your life, represent with this medium-sized backpack. Perfect for school or for just stowing your stuff, this backpack even has a pocket specially designed for your laptop. The material is water-resistant and it’s designed to be ergonomic so don’t be afraid to load it up and get on with your day.
3. This reminder that conchas will always be there when you need them.
Mitú Shop / Self Conchas Pencil Pouch
Sometimes you need a delicious sweet treat. Sometimes you need a pencil. This concha pencil case can at least help you with one of those things. Designed to keep all your pencils and pens together, this pouch is perfect to use as a catch-all for anything you’re looking to store.
4. Show off your superpower with this dynamic tee.
Mitú Shop / Being Latina Is My Superpower Kids Tee
Send your chica to school with a clear declaration of her super Latina-ness. The 100% jersey cotton shirt comes in three sizes — 2 years, 4 years, and 6 years.
5. Get Your survival pack in Mitú’s exclusive limited-edition Dora and The Lost City of Gold Barrio Box.
Mitú Shop / Dora and The Lost City of Gold Barrio Box
In our limited edition Dora and the Lost City of Gold Barrio Box there are many treasures to discover but some are especially suited for your back to school prep. The Drawstring Survival Pack, Adventure Fuel Reusable Water Bottle and Educated Latina Pencil Pack are perfect for your return to the jungle that is higher education. Be warned — only 100 of these boxes exist so get yours soon before they sell out.
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