Magic Penny Award

2016: José-Luis Orozco

We are pleased to announce that the Magic Penny Award recipient for 2016 is José-Luis Orozco. The Magic Penny Award is given to people who have demonstrated lifetime achievement in the field of children’s music, and José-Luis Orozco has dedicated his life to bringing Spanish and English children’s songs to children all over the world.

In addition to being a performer, José-Luis is also a bilingual educator, songwriter, children’s author, and recording artist who has created music, books, and videos for children in both languages. He encourages the learning of the Spanish language and promotes Latin American culture through his art. By championing Spanish language songs, both traditional songs from around Latin America and Spain, and his own original songs, José-Luis has provided children growing up in Spanish speaking homes here in the US a sense of pride and connection to the music of their parents and their home culture, as well as providing children growing up in English speaking homes easy access to the music of their Spanish speaking school mates, and a musical tool for learning Spanish themselves.

José-Luis‘s love of music and singing began early. He credits singing with his paternal grandmother in his birth city of Mexico City as his earliest musical inspiration. At the young age of 8, he became a member of the Mexico City Boy's Choir, and traveled to Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

At age 19, José-Luis moved to California, subsequently earning his Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco.

After completing his Master’s program, José-Luis dedicated himself to what he truly enjoys – singing and writing for children. His early experiences of touring around the world taught José-Luis a respect and appreciation of different cultures, and he has spent his life finding ways to share this appreciation with children through his books and recordings. He has become an acknowledged expert in children's music and is a featured speaker and presenter at educational conferences and seminars for teachers, parents, librarians and childcare providers who seek to use music as an important learning tool in multicultural classrooms. He continues to perform for children throughout the country and world at concert halls, libraries, bookstores and schools.

José-Luis has a rich catalog of songs for children: 15 CDs, a DVD, and 3 award-winning songbooks. His most recent CD, “¡Come Bien! Eat Right!” has just been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award in the Best Children’s Album category! Hopefully we will be able to celebrate this honor with him at the conference.

José-Luis Orozco is the father of four and grandfather to two children. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

We look forward to honoring him at the Magic Penny Award Ceremony at the CMN Conference on October 16, 2016 in Los Gatos, CA. Come sing with José-Luis!