Juanes highlighted a festive evening at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday, August 17, as part of the Americas and Americans Festival, highlighting music from North and South America. The Columbian-born star invigorated the Hollywood Bowl crowd with a collection of his top favorites, some new pieces made with Juan Luis Guerra, a Bob Marley cover, and a cover tributing recently deceased and fellow Columbian Joe Arroyo.
Juanes was eccentric, speaking candidly to the relaxed audience in both English and Spanish throughout the night. Reminiscing of how he got his difficult start in Los Angeles as an immigrant from Columbia over 15 years ago, Juanes humbly thanked the crowd for their support and encouraged everyone to chase their dreams as he did.
The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by conductor Thomas Wilkins, joined Juanes and his band in the second half of the show, allowing Juanes to show off a more subtle pace to his popular songs. The orchestra also played a few pieces created by Columbian composers as Juanes rested backstage. Juanes later admitted his “overwhelming emotion” as he heard the orchestra recreate many of his country’s most famous pieces.
The Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA), an organization created by the LA Phil to provide free lessons and instruments to underserved youths in Los Angeles, joined Juanes on stage for a few songs. These young musicians dazzled the audience with their spectacular rendition of some of Juanes’ popular songs. The singer himself was overwhelmed with the program’s initiatives, claiming how “music is the universal language and helps unite us all”.