Joint Interview with Jaime Lozano and Florencia Cuenca: Broadway en Spanglish at 54 BelowJan 31, 2024
I have been very fortunate to interview Jaime Lozano several times throughout my 15-year career, but I am so excited to finally be able to conduct a joint interview with Jaime and his wife Florencia Cuenca, who is an actress, singer, and songwriter in her own right.
Together, they are presenting their new show Broadway en Spanglish at 54 Below on Wednesday, February 7 at 7pm EST. Click here for tickets!
In this joint interview, Jaime and Florencia answered to my call to reveal:
- How this show came together
- What audiences will experience that they won't get anywhere else
- How this show will help with representation in musical theatre
- Balancing marriage, family, and a working partnership
- So much more
According to press notes, "Broadway en Spanglish showcases the rich cultural heritage of Mexico while celebrating the timeless beauty of musical theater. Featuring live accompaniment from the esteemed Mariachi Real de México de Ramon Ponce, Lozano and Cuenca breathe new life into iconic Broadway tunes with Lozano's fresh arrangements. Audiences can expect a fusion of traditional Mexican music and the familiar melodies that have become an integral part of musical theater history."
1. This February you are both returning to 54 Below with your new show Broadway en Spanglish. What excites you about this upcoming show?
Jaime: Very excited because it is our first concert of 2024 and having the honor to present it for the first time at 54 Below. This show holds a very special place in our heart.
Florencia: I’m so excited to be back in the city after spending a couple of months in Cambridge doing the world premiere of Real Women Have Curves The Musical.
2. Which Traditional Mexican song & Musical Theatre song did you know had to be the first ones included in this show?
Jaime: The project started as a necessity to embrace who we are. Musical theatre has been dominated for many many years for the same kind of stories and music in some way. So, instead of trying to fit into that same narrative, we decided to be who we are, and use our music and culture. So we put together the two things we love the most: Broadway/musical theatre/storytelling and Mexican music.
Florencia: It all started one day that I was coming home and I was listening to the Hamilton OBC (Original Broadway Cast) recording. I remember so vividly the minute I started listening to the song Burn, I was like this totally can be a ranchera. I told Jaime we should do a cover of this song with mariachi and in Spanglish.
3. What is something that audiences will experience at this show that they won't get anywhere else?
Jaime: Us. Being ourselves. Also, I don’t think they will find something like this anywhere else. This fusion of Broadway and mariachi. It is very unique.
Florencia: I think the mix of mariachi and Broadway is something that they will love.
Florencia Cuenca and Jaime Lozano performing together
Photo Credit: Russ Rowland
4. What was the hardest part about putting this show together?
Jaime: I think personally that putting the show together is not hard. It is what we do for “a living.” We do shows. We tell stories. We sing them. But always the hardest part is to actually make them happen, find a stage and the people, bring the audience. I think that is the challenge. We have many ideas and many projects, but finding the audience for those, I think is the hardest part every single time.
Florencia: I don’t think it’s a difficult show to put together. It’s just friends and family doing what we love. Telling our stories through music and celebrating our culture.
5. How do you feel a show like this will help get more representation in the musical theatre community?
Jaime: Everything is about the people. So I think seeing two Mexican immigrants pursuing their dreams, on a stage in NYC, doing what they love, and being themselves might inspire a few other people of color.
Florencia: The more we do these kinds of shows, the more I learn there’s a need from the audience to listen and see people like ourselves on stage. Representation matters.
6. Over the past few years, I feel like you both have been working together more & more as opposed to when I first met Jaime. What do you like about working together?
Jaime: We always have collaborated together in many capacities. As writing partners, composer and director, composer and singer, director and actress, parents, husband and wife. Florencia is the first person who listens and reads everything I do and her feedback and advice has been part of every single project. Also, to be honest, every musical I do always has a character for her. She has inspired me since day one.
Florencia: I love that our creative vision is very similar and that helps us a lot. Jaime is my best friend and partner and I trust him 100%, so it’s really easy to be on the same page when we are working together.
Florencia Cuenca and Jaime Lozano
Photo Credit: Chema Lozano
7. What challenges, if any, do you face in working together & being married?
Jaime: The lines between being husband and wife and creative collaborators are completely gone and erased. We are “everything” the whole time. We are cooking at home and at the same time thinking about the next project or we are working on a new song and then Alonzo wants to play and we have to do both, at the same time. There is no working schedule at home. All those lines and borders between labels are totally erased and I love that dynamic in our life. And Alonzo is growing up in this world, doing homework at rehearsals and recording sessions, seeing shows every single week, spending time in dressing rooms playing with our Familia: our musicians and collaborators. I just love our life.
Florencia: I think the challenge is to find the balance. As Jaime mentioned, we are everything all the time. So sometimes it feels like we work non stop, and we don’t have free time and sometimes it feels like we are just super focused on the family and we are late for a work deadline hahaha.
8. How do you feel your joint ventures have strengthened your marriage?
Jaime: We know each other very well in every single sense. And the curious thing is that even when in life we might have very different opinions when it is about art and storytelling we are always on the same page. I couldn’t have a better partner for this journey. We are very supportive of each other's projects and we are always in some way part of each other's projects even when we are not working together, we are always very involved and invested and asking advice.
9. What is something you didn't expect to happen in your relationship, that did happen, from working together?
Jaime: To be honest, I can’t think of anything. Maybe Florencia will. I have always felt this relationship and collaboration is so natural and organic and it is part of who we are.
10. What is something we didn't get to talk about in this interview that you'd like my audience to know about you?
Jaime: Come and see this relationship and collaboration on stage. We will be performing at one of our beloved homes: 54 Below on Wednesday, February 7th at 7pm and you will learn more about our journey and who we are. Besides sharing songs from our Broadway en Spanglish project, we always tell stories about us and our challenges. Please come be a part of this Familia.
Florencia: We are always creating projects like these, where we celebrate our culture, heritage etc. You can follow us @flowcuenca @jaimelozano to be updated on our creative endeavors.
More on Jaime Lozano:
Jaime Lozano is an accomplished musician, vocal coach, composer, arranger, orchestrator, musical producer, and musical theater director from Monterrey, Mexico who has been considered by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda as the “next big thing” on Broadway. Jaime was one of the five artists selected for the 2020 Joe’s Pub Working Group. Jaime is currently working on his new album Songs by an Immigrant Vol. 2, part of his project Jaime Lozano and The Familia. The Familia is a group of the best Broadway and Off-Broadway performers put together by Lozano to sing about their immigrant experience, songs and stories about finding a new home, learning a new language, dealing with discrimination, trying to fit in, pursuing the American dream, being in love, growing older, and missing their native land.
More on Florencia Cuenca:
Florencia Cuenca is a brown Mexican immigrant singer, actress, and songwriter based in New York City. She made her first album Aquí - Los Nuevos Standards produced by her husband Jaime Lozano which BwayTunes.com calls “One of the most unique cover albums of recent memory,” and subsequently toured all around Mexico, Latin America and New York City, performing in some of the most prestigious jazz venues and festivals and being awarded with the Hot House Jazz Award 2016 for Best New Jazz Artist. She has performed Off-Broadway in numerous shows, including Children of Salt (NYMF 2016 Best of Fest) and A Never-Ending Line (album released by GRAMMY award winner label Broadway Records). She has performed in iconic venues such as Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, among others.