It was merengue. It was salsa. It was reggaeton

And it was right next door.

The first live music I’ve heard since early March was karaoke at a birthday party yesterday in Carolina’s yard. The barbecue smelled great, the talk sounded happy, but the best part for me was the singing.

It was all in Caribbean Espanol, it was pretty loud and it was very up and down. But, from the brash guy with the agile and on-the-money baritone to the shy woman with the pitchy alto who took a while to find herself in the song, everybody who was coaxed to the mic – or jokingly shoved away from it – sang with the same passion and total investment in the music.

That’s the thing I most value in performance, from seeing the greats in the venues we can’t go to now to a neighbor’s party. 

That passion and pleasure in the singing made it great fun to hear voices in the air, voices full of personality, voices in the clear, voices in the happy here and now.