Since returning home from his visit to Venezuela last weekend, Jose has continued to relive the encounter, reflecting not only on his personal experience but also what he found to be the situation in that country.
We’ve heard how the changing political climate has impacted their society; some say for the better, others not. But that being said, Jose was touched beyond words by the gracious and generous people he encountered, despite their challenges in learning to cope with their new reality at this point in time. He found their spirit and love for him overwhelming and their enthusiasm up-lifting beyond words.
Jose had not been in Venezuela for a number of years. He was concerned that the situation at hand may have tempered their taste for him or their desire to invest in an evening of his music. To his greatest pleasure did he find that, not only was the venue beyond sold out, but their warm-hearted reaction instilled in his own heart a gut-wrenching appreciation for them and their enduring spirit.
It also brought to his mind a phrase coined by Rose Schneiderman, an early 20th Century labor union leader and activist during one of America’s most tenuous moments, when she sagely remarked that the human being “Must have bread, but … must have roses, too.” That which brings peace to the soul (as only the Arts can do) is exactly what Ms. Schneiderman was referring to and what Jose hoped to impart upon the people of Caracas last weekend. Hopefully, his love for the them came through in his music where essentially, his mission, as with any visit he makes, was to share his music and offer his audience a pleasant time.
The enthusiastic reaction of Jose Feliciano’s visit to Venezuela from the moment he landed there until the moment he later departed will live in his own heart for years to come. He plans to return to the country as soon as his schedule permits where he again hopes to bring his music, the roses, to a people who are so very deserving.