(pic credit: flyer for Homenaje de Jesús, 2000)
Part 1: Lead Worshippers, Notable Work [a primer]
Working with Mexícano and Latin American worship leaders for nearly 30 years, in the area of ‘Adoración en Español’, all I can say is…
I’m frequently asked to suggest Latin worship leaders and songs, especially from American worship leaders who want to incorporate a Spanish song or chorus tag in a worship set.
The impact of this music is significant. Over the 1990’s, the only Christian music movement in the Latin world was worship, and the size of the gatherings grew and grew. Soccer stadiums were being packed out in Mexico, Central and South America. One pinnacle event ‘Homenaje a Jesús’ (Homage to Jesus) was held in the Estadio Azetca in Mexico City, with over 600,000 people attending (that doesn’t include an estimated 20,000 addition in the ajointing streets, watching on large-screen TVs).
Before I list out some names to pay attention to, I would like to ‘make a plea’ on behalf of these artists and worship leaders. Yes, it’s easy to go on YouTube, search out their name, pull down some of their songs ‘en Español’, and move on… ‘hey, look what I found [for free]!!’… without contributing to their hard-work and the expenses incurred. I’ve worked with some of the ‘highly known’ Latino worship leaders and artists, and they all live pretty humble lives financially. Being a Latino worship leader means struggling financially. PLEASE, most of these artists are on iTunes, and you can BUY some of their work and help them pay their bills… PLEASE.
To start out, I like to list the ‘first wave’ that popped up in the early 1990’s. These pioneers were out holding worship nights in small churches and public squares with shaky sound systems, living off of beans and rice, and recording via the donations of Christian leaders who believed in what they were trying to do… which was unify God’s people in Latin America through gatherings of worship and adoration. How do I know? I was there, and had the Kingdom privilege of being a part of it all, with these amazing trail-blazers…
*Jesus Adrian Romero
These artists are now considered the first generation that composed most, if not all of their own songs, ‘en Español’… which means, as Latino artists, they captured the heart-language and musical ‘moves’ of the Latino world.
[BTW, having been born and bred playing rock and folk music, then playing the ‘80’s worship music (a style of folk), this Detroit boy had to learn a great deal of new musical moves to play along…]
What then began to happen was a major adoption of songs written in the United States and England, translated into Spanish. I’m not going to list those artists or songs here. In Part 2, I would like to look at the impact this flow had on the churches, and some of the un-intended consequences. As well, we’ll give some critical thought to the plus-and-minus issues of translating songs.
We are now in the Third Wave of Latino artist and worship leaders. They are significantly savvy in their musicianship and the ‘tekk’ of recording and performing music. Many are bi-lingual, well-traveled, and well-connected with the ‘international touring’ worship artists. They compose their own material, and also do a number of ‘covers’ of the hot-and-now worship songs, translated from English.
*Majo Solis and Dan
*SARAI y Buena Vida
… and a couple dozen artists I probably don’t know about.
Some of these artists have ‘affiniated’ to certain worship music groups, like Christine D’Clario and Moja Solis have recorded a number of translated Bethel Music songs.
One thing for sure; the quality of recordings and musicianship coming from some of the new kids is amazing! It’s an exciting time to be in worship ministry in the Spanish-speaking world!
I would be amiss to not point out the number of English-speaking worship artists and movements that have worked hard to bridge their songs into the Spanish-speaking realm.
Martin Smith continues to translated and record his songs into Español. He and the Delirious? band were always rolling out Spanish translations of songs, recorded a ‘greatest hits’ in Spanish, and publish their translations.
Chris Tomlin has done a great deal with his songs, in Español and multiple other languages.
Both the Hillsong and Bethel movements have websites with their ‘official’ translations (multiple languages), as well as collaborate with Latino artists to record translations of their material. In their hey-day, the Vineyard movement made some significant in-roads as well.
Te doy gracias a Ti, mi Dios, por mis compañeros en esta viaje incredible: Lorena, Marco, Rodrigo, David, Franqui, Chino, Ruth, Gordo, Claudia, Chi Sing, Güichl, Arturo, Elda, todos de los locos de San Pablo y studio ProVision…
written by crisbaj
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