By Rafael Moreno
A native of Queretaro, Mexico with an international following, Rafael is one of the most widely recognized Latino artists/composers of sacred music today. This album is a compilation of his most well-known songs, all re-interpreted with new arrangements for this recording. From charismatic classics to vallenatos, mariachi, and children’s music, Rafael’s contributions to the Spanish-speaking church are immense and richly varied in genres. Be sure to check out his many albums with WLP/GIA.
Natives of Puerto Rico and ministering many years in the Philadelphia area, Damaris and her late husband Diego have gifted the Spanish-speaking community with songs that celebrate and reflect Caribbean cultures’ vibrancy and spirit. Shortly after leading the Hispanic choir in the papal liturgy in Philadelphia in 2015 (at which Diego was the psalmist), Diego passed away unexpectedly. An incredibly gifted guitarist, he trained generations of students in playing the cuatro, the melodic guitar typical of Puerto Rican folk music. Damaris is now the director of the office of worship for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and a good friend of GIA (she was part of our recent summer series). This album was recorded in Puerto Rico and features some of their best writing and vocalizing, including the title track “Eso Me Basta” based on the suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola.
The last recording/album by the legendary Argentinian composer Pablo Sosa before his passing earlier this year. Pablo was indeed prolific, with an impressive catalog of exquisite compositions and effusive, imaginative poetry informed by his ministry as a Methodist pastor. His work in sacred music has elevated Spanish language artistry across genres and brought awareness to the immense musical riches of South America.
By Tony Alonso
Composer Tony Alonso presents a groundbreaking collection of liturgical music that calls on his own Cuban musical heritage to provide new ways of singing the liturgy in Spanish, English, or bilingually. The first project of its kind, Caminemos con Jesús not only utilizes rich Cuban idioms but also explores what style and musical form can teach us about praying together across cultural and linguistic boundaries.
If you like Santana and rock en español, you will love this powerful album that is geared to Latino/a youth and young adults. Jorge’s message about discipleship is bold and unabashed, just like the melodies and rhythms that empower the message. Of Puerto Rican descent, Jorge has worked tirelessly in the area of Pastoral Juvenil in and around Chicago.
By the late Eleazar Cortés, who passed away this very month 2 years ago. Eleazar was one of the greatest liturgical composers of our time, with a gift for assembly melody and a wonderful theological sense. He did this album in 2001 and it features some of his most memorable tunes, from the tender setting of Psalm 137 “Si No Me Acuerdo de Ti” (featured in Bishop Seitz keynote at NPM this summer) to the infectious joy of the title track “Alabemos a Dios”. Many of Eleazar’s tunes appear in hymnals like “Celebremos/Let Us Celebrate” and are considered staples of Hispanic repertoire. Eleazar was a native of Mexico, a talented mariachi performer, and spent the bulk of his ministerial career serving at parishes in the Bay area of California, including San Juan Bautista mission.