Quintet recital brings awareness to migrant stories

Mariachi Oso performed Thursday night in Roxy Grove Hall as the grand finale to a three-day Baylor Symposium. Jamie Barrett | Reporter

By Jamie Barrett | Reporter

A three-day Baylor Symposium — Migration and Food Needs: Latin American and U.S. Perspectives — came to an end Thursday night with a rhythmic quintet recital featuring guest performer Mariachi Oso.

The recital was held in Roxy Grove Hall and helped open the minds of those in attendance to the stories behind migration in not just the United States but also other places in Latin America.

Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian, a jazz studies lecturer and a member of the quintet, said what he was most interested in learning from the project is how much music is involved in helping those who are migrating get accustomed to their new environment.

“I have always been interested in how music plays a role in creating a home for these communities who a lot of times feel out of place,” Kuyumjian said.

The recital encompassed a variety of jazz artists, from Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder. Each song told a different story, helping guests better understand the symposium’s message of changing the narrative about migration throughout the Americas.

Dr. Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi, who helped plan the three-day event, said he hoped to shift the story of migration in the media and highlight the positives that accompany it.

“The emphasis is so skewed and so narrow that you miss the abundance of migrants’ contributions,” Cardoza-Orlandi said. “It is a very limited story, and we tried to broaden it.”

Attendees of the recital were engaged with the performance, and the speeches given by Kuyumjian between songs helped guide them to the messages behind the music. The recital ended with a standing ovation for all the performers.