Editor’s note: This is an update to a previous KidWorks blog story about Avanti, founded in 2012 by KidWorks volunteer Joe Cristina. In Joe, the students learn from a professional musician with 37 years of experience in composition, arranging, orchestration and production.
KidWorks student Lilian Ramirez might not yet have a GRAMMY award on her shelf, but just give her a little time.
The 18-year-old high school senior recently contributed several vocal tracks to a Latin/jazz/fusion album project being written/produced by Joe and fellow professional musician, Victor Cajiao.
Both Joe and Victor lead Avanti classes at KidWorks that are very popular with our youth.
“Lilian will be on two of the album’s tracks,” Joe says. “One is an original titled ‘Through the Dark Night / The Lamp.’ It’s a modern lament psalm that has an end section that speaks of hope coming to the neighborhoods in Santa Ana.”
Lilian found the entire process exhilarating.
“The recording experience was phenomenal!” she says. “It was more difficult than I thought it would be. Getting that perfect sound is tedious but once you pinpoint it, it feels amazing. I felt the adrenaline pumping the entire time. I never thought I had that energy in me.”
Lilian will begin attending San Francisco State University this fall.
“I want to become a full-fledged musician and earn my Bachelor of Arts degree in music,” she says. “I also want to become a composer and record music.”
Joe is very encouraged by Lilian’s God-given musical talent. He also says her participation on the upcoming album is giving her priceless insight about what it’s like to be a professional musician.
“During the session, Lilian sees how we do sound checks, monitor her vocal levels, and keep performing each piece over and over again until we get a take that’s the keeper.”
Joe expects the album he and Victor are producing to eventually be available on iTunes and Amazon.
So, as they say in the music business, “stay tuned”!
By Glenn Leibowitz, Community Volunteer and Content Writer