By : Fredwill Hernandez
The City of Los Angeles honored and declared Thru. – Oct. 27, 2016, Juan Gabriel Day, and kicked off its three day Dia De Los Muertos [Day of the Dead] celebration at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes [LA Plaza] by paying tribute to the life of late Mexican singer / songwriter [Juan] Gabriel with an altar tribute and free community concert with the likes of Mariachi Garibaldi [de Jaime Cuiller], Angeles Ochoa, Julian Torres, Stephanie Amaro, and longtime [Gabriel] composer/ arranger and collaborator Carlos Rodgarmar.
“Buenas noches, good evening – it’s a true pleasure to be here tonight specially when we are honoring such an incredible human being as Juan Gabriel, he definite deserves to have El Dia de Juan Gabriel [Day] here in Los Angeles, since LA was like his second home. I would like to tell you a little bit about his music which knew no language, had borders or genres. His songs were sung in Japanese, German, Turkish, French, Italian, English, and of course in Spanish, in all genres, without a doubt he was one of the most influential composer, singer, and embassadors of Latin and specially Mexican music worldwide, he really deserves this and much more,” eloquently expressed Univision Radio on-air personalities Maria Elena Nava [ of Recuerdo 103.9 FM] who along with Eder Diaz “Gorritas” [of K-LOVE 107.5 FM] hosted the Amor Eterno: Un Homenaje a Juan Gabriel, Spanish for Eternal Love: Tribute to Juan Gabriel.
Among many distinguished guest [spotted] were also LA City Councilmember Gil Cedillo [1st District], John Echevestre, CEO, LA Plaza, and Angelita Ramirez [Exec. Asst.] on behalf of Hilda Solis, LA Supervisor [1st District].
“Good evening to all, I thank you all for being here tonight in this special day, with so many good memories of Juan Gabriel, I would like to acknowledge and thank my colleagues [LA City Council], along with the Mayor who voted and supported me yesterday, in declaring today Juan Gabriel Day here in Los Angeles, one of the most extraordinary artists of the world, of our time, who sold over 100 million records, and wrote over 18,000 songs. All of us have our memories of his presence, he embodied the spirit of all immigrants who come here to make a better life for themselves and for their families, and made a contribution to the culture, this city, this nation, and all of the Western hemisphere and let me say all of the world. He had this incredible spirit of never quitting, overcoming his humble and modest background and becoming one of the performers for which we are all proud of, world renown with his incredible [incredible] talent, we are proud of our heritage every time we hear any one of his incredible songs, and as I said earlier, he sold over 100 million records – can you imagine that, with over 18 thousand songs [that] he wrote, God has blessed us with his presence, God now is embracing his own concert up in the stars with Juan Gabriel, having his own private concert, but we will never forget him because we have declared this to be the day of Juan Gabriel, and we will commit ourselves to doing this every year [yearly],” expressed Cedillo, before, the music tribute got under way.
In between sets of Juan Gabriel’s classics performed by Mariachi Garibaldi, Ochoa, Torres, and Amaro were dance numbers performed by Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles.
“Good night, how’s everybody doing on this beautiful magical night, as we pay tribute to such a magnificent person, who has filled our hearts and left us with such great memories, that will be with us forever, but that was who Juan Gabriel Alberto Aguilera Valadez was,” enthusiastically expressed Ochoa. “I was humbled and fortunate to have met him at a young age, and yes I had the opportunity and was blessed to sing and record original unedited songs penned by him that [certainly] elevated my musical career forever. Some of the songs he gave me include “Dejame en Paz,” [“Leave me in Peace”] and “No Me Quierres,” [“You Don’t Like Me”], I had the opportunity to tour [extensively] and open up for him, and also witness first hand all those great qualities [he had] that made us fall in love with him and what he did, this is why I am excited and thrilled to be here tonight and that I was invited to be part of this very deserving tribute to him, thank you.”
With an overwhelming turn out, plans for next year’s Juan Gabriel Tribute are already underway.