Food and music have always been intertwined, both reflecting vibrations of life. Our quality of life, health and longevity are determined to a great extent by the food we choose as well as the music we listen to. I am reminded of this every time I enter the Hillcrest Farmers Market. Markets like this have been around since man first began living in communities–a social setting where people congregate to swap wares, stories and ideas. Indeed, democracy was founded in the marketplaces (agoras) of ancient Greece; they were the center of every village, town or city.
The sounds of the market contribute to the atmosphere that makes it so appealing. People talking and farmers hawking their wares are a melodic background to procuring the fresh produce of the day. Often, markets will invite musicians to play, adding a festive tone.
In Hillcrest, one musician stands out among the many talented people I have seen perform. He is Santiago Orozco, a native of Columbia who resides in San Diego and brings his thoughtful music to the markets of San Diego each week. The positive message of his music intertwines with the market sounds in beautiful harmony, uplifting spirits and enticing people to return. It is not uncommon to see people spontaneously break into a dance upon hearing his well-crafted Latin inspired rhythms.
Santiago’s views of music, life, food and community are full of compassion and generosity which are felt each time he strums his guitar and sings his songs. His music complements my cuisine as it is full of flavor and vitality, at the same time re-assuring and comforting.
In his own words, Santiago talks about his life and music:
“Life is music. The World is music. This story started in Colombian when I was 13 years old. I started jamming with a old guitar that was in my home, without any expectations or intentions. Since that time life began to take me down the music path. One day I just woke up and realised my whole life was about walking, swimming and flying into the deep of the music ocean. With music, a passion for travel started to light my heart. Learning about cultures, people, places, colors, flavors, and views, I started to find myself, and build music from the roots of my travels and experiences.
My music talks about life, the social situation,the people, the experiences, the feelings, love, moments, dreams, in fact, talks about the huge life of every person. It talks about the big World that every human carries inside himself. The beautiful song that everyone is in this short life. I am a singer, guitar player and songwriter. Drawing from reggae and Bossa nova, to Rumba, flamenco, Colombian Styles, ballads and a little bit of rock. Singing songs in French, Spanish, English and Portuguese. My music is a mix of styles from all around the world, soft and calm or full of energy.
I have worked many years in the music world, solo and with many bands. I am always mixing with the different rhythms of the world. I was born in Colombia, studied in Argentina, and have traveled in Brazil and the USA. I take music from every place and mix it to make a beautiful combination of flavors.
The most important reason I make music is to give a message, a positive message for the crazy and hard moments of this life . I express many ideas and feelings in songs. I find it wonderful to share music with travelers and people from different countries, to change the moment for them in their journey, but also for the locals too, for sure! Anyway, every person is a traveler and a walker in some way. It doesn’t matter if they go to other places or not. I think it’s beautiful to share with people from other cultures. I am a traveler also, so I decided to make music with this spirit. I feel that when you travel, your music get richer, full of colors and flavors. Always learning about the places where you are walking. I make music like a little trip, like a voyage.
My project its called “Todo Mundo” which means all the World, and that is just how I feel about the music, like it is all the World together, a mix, one heart beating, one air, one wave. Playing from the organic street to stages, acoustic or electric, solo or with a band, my music invites the listeners to travel, dance, feel and think. We are Todo Mundo. We are music, our life is the best song play ever, the radio is the World……”