Musician, composer, arranger, orchestrator, music director, and vocal coach Jaime Lozano has taken the term multi-hyphenate and extended his flourishing fame with it, from his homeland of Mexico to his home base in NYC and throughout the world, far beyond Andy Warhol’s proverbial fifteen minutes. With a Master’s in Musical Theatre Writing (on a full scholarship) from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to his endorsement by Broadway’s living legend Lin-Manuel Miranda (who wrote the liner notes for Lozano’s most recent album) and his active schedule on stage and in the recording studio, his musical talents have been widely acclaimed and are soon be heard again live in two upcoming concerts at iconic venues in Manhattan.
On Thursday, March 3, at 7:00 pm, Lozano will appear at Feinstein’s/54 Below as a featured guest, along with Eden Espinosa, for an in-person concert and livestream by his long-time friend, collaborator, and fellow Monterrey native and NYC resident Mauricio Martínez (Broadway’s On Your Feet! and National Tour). The following month, both Espinosa and Martínez will be among the performers in Lozano’s headliner show at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
This April, the 24th season of Lincoln Center’s popular American Songbook series (and the first back on campus since 2020) showcases performers whose cultural heritage informs their music in American Songbook: A World of Voices. Nine musicians, from Honduras, Mexico, India, Guinea, China, Sudan, Venezuela, Tunisia, and Guatemala, will present their personal visions in the fields of musical theater, pop, Western and Eastern classical, rock, jazz, and folk. Representing Mexico is Jaime Lozano’s Songs by an Immigrant, which will play to a sold-out house on April 15, beginning at 7:30 pm, in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse on the Lincoln Center campus.
The 90-minute concert staging of Lozano’s eponymous album presents stories about diversity and integration, honestly portraying the challenges of the first- and second-generation middle-class US immigrant experience in pursuit of the American Dream and in search of ways to build bridges instead of walls. Lozano, both the creator and conductor of the event, will be joined on stage by members of his “Familia” – an all-star Latinx lineup of Broadway and Off-Broadway performers (Andrea Burns, Shereen Pimentel, Florencia Cuenca, Nicholas Edwards, Javier Ignacio, and Marina M. Pires, along with Espinosa and Martínez).
Jaime graciously blocked out time on his ever-busy calendar to answer some quick questions about his life, his career, and his upcoming concert.
- What three emotions did you feel when you got the word that you were booked at Lincoln Center?
Jaime: Agitation, joy, and responsibility. Since I arrived in NYC back in 2007, I have seen a lot of great performers I admire be a part of this American Songbook concert series. It is truly a dream come true.
- What are you most excited about in your upcoming concert?
Many, many things; I think my excitement comes from the sum of many layers. Being part of the series; having an all Latinx ten-piece band with horns and strings; continuing collaborations with long-time Familia members and making our links stronger; collaborating with new members, people for whom I have a great admiration. Of course, playing a sold-out room is always exciting! People make me excited onstage and offstage. Sharing.
- Who has been the biggest inspiration in your career?
I am so bad with these questions! Hahaha. I wish I could answer with just one name or thing. I would say my familia. My family. My blood family, my mom, my mom’s sisters who raised me. My wife [Florencia Cuenca] and my son [Alonzo] and the great team we are together. My chosen family of artists, performers, and musicians in NY and Mexico.
- What is it about family?
EVERYTHING! The love and support. Getting mad at each other. Listening to each other. Helping and lifting each other. Crying together. Laughing together.
- What’s your favorite pastime when you’re not performing?
There’s not a single night that I don’t sit with my wife on the sofa and watch a movie or a show. She likes to say that what she enjoys most about watching shows together are my reactions. But she doesn’t so much enjoy that that I turn my comments option on! Of course, I don’t do this in a theater . . . Okay, the reaction part I do.
- What do you miss most about Mexico?
My sixteen-year-old daughter living in Monterrey. Food, food, and food! Good tacos.
- What do you love most about New York?
The diversity you see everywhere. Diversity of languages, accents, cultures, food, music, art. And even though most people living in NYC hate Times Square, I LOVE IT! [As do I]. It’s a place I love being, to recharge my soul with its light and people. And that diversity.
- What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve ever gotten from an audience member?
This has happened a few times; I really love when an audience member, or a few, gasp at the end, or in a certain moment of a song.
- What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Passionate. Committed. Dreamer.
- What three things do you always have in your refrigerator?
Meat. I love meat, steaks. Milk, for my wife’s and my cafecito. And cheese. Oh, and on the fridge door a message to or from my wife.
- Which song in the show can you relate to most personally?
The song “Dreamer” certainly has a very special place in my heart. It is an anthem for me.
12. Do you most often say yes, no, or maybe?
A few years ago, I was a YES person. I used to say “yes” to everyone about everything. To be honest sometimes that could be a little problematic. Lately I have learned to say “no” more. But definitely, I never say “maybe.” It is not in my personality.
- If you weren’t a performing artist, what would you be?
I was supposed to study criminology. I felt very passionate about it when I was in high school. Now I have found a new passion in cooking. I am not a “master chef” but I really enjoy it. Maybe it’s not actually too late to become a chef also!
- What is it about music?
Heart. Universal language. Immediate connection.
- What do you hope will be the next step for Songs by an Immigrant?
My hope is that my songs will touch as many hearts as possible; to have the opportunity to perform in places everywhere, of all sizes, and that people relate to those stories. We are working on Songs by an Immigrant: Volume 2; maybe there will be many more volumes. We are going to Mexico during May and June to do a few concerts. We want to do London and Spain, maybe next year. I am just trying to do what I love to do – that is telling stories, honest stories, stories close to my heart, and hopefully one of those is also someone else’s out there listening to the album or in the audience.
Thanks, Jaime, for sharing your valuable time and your heartfelt feelings with us, and congratulations on your big event at Lincoln Center! I look forward to seeing you there and at Feinstein’s/54 Below with Mau!
Jaime Lozano’s Songs by an Immigrant plays Friday, April 15, 2022, 7:30 pm, at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Rose Building, 10th floor, Lincoln Square, NYC. Currently, there is no availability, but additional seats may be released closer to the performance date. To inquire about tickets, call (212) 721-6500, or go online.