Arturo Reyes was born 34 years ago on the 12 of March, in a small town in the agricultural center of the San Joaquin valley of California. He grew up on a small piece of land, too small to call a farm. He spent much of his youth in the dusty fields with migrant workers, picking seasonal crops with his four siblings and his mother, Guadalupe.
"You name it, I've picked it," he laughs. In the fields he listened to his mother sing rancheros. Later, he was introduced to blues, jazz, and American standards.
His early life was peppered with instability and abuse, leaving him hungry for another life, so he left home at 16.
"It's taken a long time to get here, comfortable with myself; all of me. As a child I was ashamed of my heritage and later, my sexuality. By trying so hard to blend in, I discovered I didn't; and it's ok!!"
Now, he finds himself going back to his Latin roots, celebrating his heritage and seeing the beauty in it. He has come to the realization he does not have to define himself as a person, painter, or vocalist. His insight can be heard through his delivery and choice of songs. The emotion is unmistakably raw and his passion unwavering.
"When people see the bright colors in my paintings, it puts a smile on their face. They're happy at that moment, and that's a good thing. A gold fish only has a memory for 30 seconds. Come see my paintings; be a goldfish and SMILE," he laughs, referring to his Bossa Nova rendition of Charlie Chaplin "Smile" the first song on his debut album BYOB (Bring Your Own Blues).
So pour yourself a glass of wine and hold on for a delightful, relaxing mix of Latin jazz, country blues, and luscious jazz ballads, and enjoy the view.