Ruben Blades will be the first Latino to receive the Harvard Medal of Arts
Writer Margaret Atwood and architect Frank Gehry are other alumni of the elite institution to receive this honor.
Father, husband and state official doesn't seem to be the description of someone with an "exciting" life, but Panamanian singer Rubén Blades is an artist of contrasts. Likewise, he starts singing his mythical "Amor y Control" that appears in a cameo on "Fear The Walking Dead," to the point that many wonder if there's anything he's not good at.
They won't be surprised to know that Blades is about to become the first Latino to obtain the Medal of Arts awarded by Harvard University, an honor that before him has been given to great personalities who have attended the institution, such as architect Frank Gehry, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and writer Margaret Atwood.
Blades was well known at Harvard. We are referring to before Blades became "the genius of song" - and more than that - when he was studying for a master's degree at this elite university after graduating from law and politics in his country. At that time, he was already pointing to ways as a musician, moving from being part of the Fania All Stars salsa group to receiving standing ovations at Madison Square Garden. He has also won no less than 17 Grammys and Latin Grammys in his almost three decades of work, as well as releasing a score of wonderful albums.
But if there's one thing he's known for, it's his political side...
We don't know if the idea of leading his country has crossed his mind again, as he had tried to do in 1994 when he ran for election, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that...
"The arc of Ruben Blades' dynamic career is truly amazing," said the director of Harvard's Office of the Arts in announcing his award.
Yosvany Terry, professor of music and director of the Harvard Jazz Ensembles, pointed out that Ruben Blades is one of the most universal Latinos and "has been an inspiration to the young generation of Latinos around the world with his unique vision and message: an America for all without division."
The awarding of the Harvard Medal of Arts will take place on April 30th during the ARTS FIRST festival, which every year brings together students, professors and those close to Harvard who are passionate about art in its many forms, from performance to musicals, dance and visual arts.