Easy as do re mi: Jose-Luis Orozco and the power of music in teaching language

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Jose-Luis Orozco, who’s been singing on stage since he was a little boy in Mexico, has made it his life’s work to teach kids language through song. He’s recorded 13 CDs. He’s also written children’s books and maintains a mini-empire of bilingual education resources, so he’s also a model of how you can turn passion for music into a career. It’s not just a matter of practicality, Orozco told us when he visited KCRW. Being able to communicate in another language is a bridge to a more peaceful world.

We talked to Orozco in advance of his performance at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena on Wednesday night, but most of the time he takes his show on the road to school districts across the country that have bilingual education programs, from Alaska to North Carolina.

A grandfather of four, Orozco says one of his sons just moved to India.  So perhaps the next time we hear him sing, he’ll incorporate some Hindu.

Here’s our conversation: