How did Gregor Huebner, a German composer, and violinist of contemporary music, fall in love with Latin Music, and bring El Violín Latino to life? Blame it on Johnny Almendra, a Brooklyn born percussionist and bandleader, who hired him to play with his hip Salsa band, Los Jóvenes del Barrio. This was in 1995, around the time Gregor decided to move to New York City.
For his album EL Violín Latino Vol. 3, Gregor composed a song titled "Los Soñadores/Dreamers”. The song pays homage to the young adults who immigrated to the United States as little children but remain out of status —no human being is illegal. Under the Trump administration there is great risk of deportation.
Yumaria Grijt, vocalist and lyricist, traveled to New York from Curacao (her native land and where she still resides) for the recording session with El Violín Latino. Yumaria learned to speak Spanish, as a little girl, by watching Venezuelan telenovelas (soap operas) with her grandmother. As a result, she is able to sing fluently in English and Spanish. The same languages that many DREAMers speak.
As I was filming the recording session and heard Yumarya Grijt singing the lyrics she wrote, I felt there was a story we needed to share; and I felt an urgent need to shout our support for the young immigrants. This video represents our shout to all who might not know what DACA is or what a DREAMer means to this country. It is our hope that the message resonates with you.
The other musicians involved in the project are: John Benitez (acoustic bass), Louie Bauzo (percussion), Klaus Mueller (piano), Ludwig Afonso (drums), and Jerome Goldschmidt (percussion).
I am immensely thankful to all the great photographers who permitted use of their work for this cause. And I am elated with my involvement.