Latinos Come in All Colors … The Next Generation
By Carmen Robles
My 23andme.com DNA results earlier this year revealed an 8.5 percent African ancestry connection associated with my Puerto Rican heritage.
My parents, Luis Mario Robles and Maria Trinidad, immigrated to Brooklyn, N.Y. in the mid-1940s. They had three children together; my sister Maria Luisa (Lisa Marie Rodeghier-Sinclair) who was born in Puerto Rico; me (first born in U.S.) and our brother, Luis Mario Robles, Jr. (who passed away two years ago.)
My sister has two sons, Jason Rodeghier and Adam Sinclair – they are both one half Puerto Rican, their children are one forth. Taylor Martin is Jason Rodeghier’s daughter. She is my sister’s granddaughter, my great niece. She shows signs of her roots through her musical artistry and her gifts of song and dance.
Our household’s “next generation” pride and joy, Martin is a 2015 graduate from North Central University where she earned a B.S. in Youth Development Studies.
Currently she is a dance teacher and youth mentor at Urban Ventures, a nonprofit organization located in south Minneapolis.
In keeping with the spirit of mentoring, encouraging and engaging youth in community leadership through hands-on experiences, my great niece exemplifies the mission of my organization, Jovenes de Salud. A Latino based peer-to-peer leadership program; Jovenes de Salud provides a platform and a plethora of opportunities for youth and young adults to express and share their fresh perspectives.
I hope you enjoy her review of the Ordway’s season opener, “The 70s Songbook” and encourage the young person in your household to share his or her unique, new century point of view of the world around them.
Written by Jeffrey P. Scott and James A. Rocco and hosted by James A. Rocco, “The 70s Songbook” was a fascinating exploration of the American Broadway music of the 1970s.
Not only was a spectacular selection of musical pieces from this era displayed, but also presented was historic reference and detailed explanation and storytelling of the song history, including history of the artists and their song-writing journeys. This show that honors the decade of the 1970s had a wide range of different genres that took the audience on a musical journey of reminiscing the classic and never-forgotten music of the past.
Performed by some of Minnesota’s best musical theater stars, the show featured the songs by artists Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Elton John, Carly Simon and many more. Though the setting and audience seemed to be pretty sophisticated, the host talked to the audience in an almost conversational way, which was very refreshing. It was evident that the performers were not just performing, but that they were genuinely having a great time singing and acting out these 70s hits. As a dancer and performer myself, this was something that truly stood out to me.
The songs definitely hit home with the audience, which included both youth and the older generation, however, was primarily older people who lived during this era. As a result, there was an excitement and a sense of reminiscing in the audience as everyone clapped and laughed along with the songs that they were so evidently happy to hear once again. It almost felt like the audience was celebrating life in the 70s, and as a 22-year-old, it sure looked to me like our grandmothers loved their music back in the day, and were just thrilled to sing along to them now. It sure was fun to see everyone come alive when songs were played. I believe I was able to see what songs were the biggest hits back then due to the singing and excitement that went along with each song.
There was a wide variety of music that was played. There was jazz, show tunes, classical and even a couple of songs that sounded pretty country/folk to me. I sure do understand why a lot of older people miss music from back when they were younger … it all is so different, creative, and personal to each artist.
I have never been to New York, but after this show I sure do think I have a better understanding of what famous Broadway music is like. Before each song, the host detailed stories about the history of the song and about the artists’ relationship with it and how it came about.
“The Songbook of the 70s” was a great taste of what famous American Broadway music was like in that decade. It told an inspiring story of the history and progression of music within our country during that time. I feel as though I have a whole new understanding of 1970s music now after going to this show, for which I am ecstatic.