Back in the spring, Low Key had the opportunity to sing for opera great Martina Arroyo inside of a charming apartment on Manhattan's West Side. The event was a "micro-gala" in support of Ms. Arroyo's foundation which is in place to give opportunities to aspiring young opera singers. We knew it was a big deal, but we weren't privy to the magnitude of the woman we had the job of singing for.
The gig went off without a hitch -- we sang our barnburner Disney tune, "The Distance" before hearkening back to the 1950's with our rendition of "In The Still of The Night." The performance brought tears to the eyes of the iconic diva, which is a memory that will not fade quickly. She was gracious and tender in our exchange with her afterwards. She asked questions about our lives and how it is we got together in the first place. We could tell she was a diva by the way she moved, the way she spoke -- she had that indescribable "it" factor. But for the duration of our time in that apartment, Ms. Arroyo made it very clear that she genuinely cared about what we had to say.
Just last night, the same Ms. Arroyo was honored at the Kennedy Center for her lifetime of achievement in the realm of arts and humanities. She sat alongside Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock, Shirley MacLaine and Carlos Santana at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC.
It makes one wonder: what business does a bunch of acapella goons who get together to sing over a six-pack on Sunday nights have crooning for this national treasure?
The answer lies in the music. When you share music, you share a piece of yourself. It is a gift that asks no reward, because you love giving it. Low Key isn't breaking racial barriers or sending talented youths to school -- but we are sharing our love of singing, of music, of harmony, with the people around us.
And we may never be honored at The Kennedy Center (you never know), but whether it's helping some guy propose to his girlfriend in the boxing ring where they train on Saturdays or accompanying a wedding ceremony for some darling folks from across the pond, we get an active role in proliferating joy.
Congratulations, Ms. Arroyo -- you deserve the recognition not only for your personal successes and contributions to the artistic community, but because you embody the goodness and wholeness that all people should aspire to.