Last month, I had the privilege of working with a talented singer named Adriam Lobaina. Adriam is a Cuban-born American. He escaped the atrocities of Castro’s Cuba as a young man, came to America with nothing, built a life and became an American citizen.
Adriam is making a record, and I arranged and orchestrated two of the cuts – a big medley of his favorite hymns, and an even bigger medley of patriotic songs. (“America the Beautiful,” “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It doesn’t get much bigger than that.)
I’ve always though of myself as a patriotic American. I know there is no place on earth that comes remotely close to being as great a place to live as the US. But speaking with Adriam gave me a newfound appreciation for the amazing gift I was given when I was born in this country. Seeing America through a grateful immigrant’s eyes sheds a whole new light on this wonderful country.
These are divisive times in America. I can’t help but think they might be less divisive if more of us appreciated this country the way Adriam does.