Interview with Javier Jara
By Sanjana Mishra
Javier Jara grew up surrounded by music in Ecuador. His family was filled with talented singers that had a great love for music. Celebrations like Carnival would cause the whole family to get together and enjoy the wonders of Latin Folk music. After Javier's father gifted him his first guitar, a spark was lit within him to pursue his dream of being a musician. He packed up his whole life and came to the United States to learn more about music. Once he received his Master's in Music at the University of Texas, he began to teach music. However, he found that this did not really satisfy him.
Javier found inspiration when looking back to his roots. He looked around the Latin immigrant community and saw their injustices. Their daily lives and struggles were going unseen, which was not acceptable for Javier. Additionally, he saw how the Latin Immigrant community faced persecution by Americans during the Trump Presidency and wanted to remove these negative sentiments. He wanted everyone to know that this vibrant community is filled with kind, hard-working people that are trying to survive in this turbulent world. This is when Javier decided to take his passion for Latin folk music and intertwine it with his love for the Latin-American Immigrant community.
He partnered with another musician named Yahir Duran to turn the beautiful stories of Latin-American Immigrants into gorgeous melodies. Their partnership turned out to be a complete success! After conducting an interview with a member of the Latin-American Immigrant community, Yahir would turn their story into a poem. Javier would then take this poem and write corresponding melodies to make it into a song that he would perform. Javier and Yahir wanted the world to know that the Latin-American Immigrant community is a vital part of society in America that can not be kept in the shadows.
People in this country tend to have a skewed perception of Latin-American immigrants, but they are mere humans trying to make a living in this world. Javier and Yahir are doing incredible work educating communities and spreading joy through their art, especially during uncertain times like the COVID-19 pandemic. Javier continues to help the community by playing at restaurants, vaccine clinics, and coffee shops, which aid these businesses to continue bringing in revenue.
The people whose stories they write music about inspire them to continue their work despite difficult times. Javier talked about the story of an immigrant woman from Ecuador,
"She was discriminated against on three fronts because she was a woman, an indigenous person, and an immigrant. She was a math genius, and that was why people were fascinated with her. She came to this country because of her brains. But when she got to the math building, they thought she was a cleaning lady. The song is about discrimination towards these people, and we want to show that they contribute many positive things to his country. The beautiful thing about this country is that it is a melting pot of cultures and ideas that make the United States what it is. That is what we are trying to do with our music, poetry, and journalism."
Javier and Yahir continue to do this tremendous work. They are telling the stories of the Latin-American Immigrant community through beautiful music. With the help of the community, they can go on to write wonderful works that will touch our hearts.
Stream Javier's music on Spotify:
Javier Jara 2020
Follow Javier on Instagram for updates on live performances"