Educator José-Luis Orozco on keeping culture alive with the kids
Legendary singer-educator José-Luis Orozco has been crooning traditional Latin American nursery rhymes, song and reciting poetry to eager audiences across the world for over forty years. Born in Mexico City, Orozco moved to the United States at 19 to find his own version of the American dream and soon realized that his calling was to keep Latino culture alive through children’s songs and literature.
“I’ve always loved music, leaving home at just 10 years old to travel across 34 countries as part of the Mexico City Boy’s Choir,” said Orozco, who’s now 64 years old. “Singing to presidents in Honduras in Argentina, singing to big audiences in concert halls and learning about different cultures made me realize at a very young age what it meant to have pride through song.”
Orozco – who has a Master’s degree in Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco – has recorded 13 studio albums of nursery rhymes to date and has written children’s books all with the goal of motivating children to learn about Spanish language and culture. With performances slated this weekend as part of the LéaLA Book Fair, Orozco offers his tips for promoting Latino culture and language alive with the kids in multi-cultural landscape.
It’s important for Latino parents – whether from Peru, Puerto Rico or Panama – to share with their children the oral traditions they learned themselves as kids.
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