Sunday 9/12/21, Praying with a Saint of 9/11/2001 

Classes were cancelled as we got word of the attacks, on the morning of 9/11/2001. The head of the dance department assembled students in one studio. The first thing she said was, “You must realize, we are going to war.” 

How might the last twenty years have been different if, instead, the first thing we said had been, 

“Lord take me where you want me to go. 

Let me meet who you want me to meet. 

Tell me what you want me to say, 

And keep me out of your way. 


-Prayer of Father Mychal Judge OFM, FDNY Chaplain, first recorded casualty at the WTC, 9/11 2001. 

I learned his story from Saint of 9/11.

This Sunday, we remember and we pray at TLC of NYC. Music Director Horace Beasley and I will perform my setting of “Mychal’s Prayer”:

Sunday 9/12/21, 11Am Eastern

Trinity Lutheran Church 

164 W 100th Street in Manhattan 


From Love to Love to Love- 

Yo soy de la Guagua, 


Costly Grace, Music in Dialogue with MLK's Legacy 

When Dr. King said “We, as a people, will get to the promised land!”, he was speaking to a mostly African American christian community engaged in a struggle for the dignity of striking sanitation workers. He was intimately communicating a message of hope to a beloved community. Yet ,Dr. King's sense of who “we” are, was expansive, disruptive and transformative. 

I badly want to be a part of that “we”,a part of Dr. King’s beloved community. But if we, as Dr. King said, are ‘’caught in a network of mutuality”, what would this gracious belonging cost me? What would it cost us? 

Costly Grace wrestles with these questions from Dr. King. Costly Grace is my Gospel/Rap oratorio project, in conversation with the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here's a one minute short video intro to Costly Grace:

Thanks to for helping me create this work as an artist in residence. 

Thanks to Luther Seminary for inviting me to workshop the project at Luther’s Beloved Community Institute. 

More on Twitter @MarcosylaGuagua and 

Peace, Blessings and Thanks for Listening, 


¡Yo soy de la Guagua! 

Vamos juntos.

Solidarity and Syncretism: It seems like Beto takes it personally  

I Don’t Agree with his Conservative Policies, Pero...I Ain’t Mad at Beto for “Code Switching”. 

Mr. O’Rourke clearly seemed to take the recent racist massacre in El Paso personally. On a policy level, I hope he will adopt Julian Castro’s view on decriminalizing immigration in the aftermath. I hope his policy may evolve because Mr O’Rourke’s level of authentic emotion seems to contrast with that I’ve heard in responses from other anglo “white dudes”, such as President Trump and former VP Biden in response this terrorism. Maybe you think Beto’s just reacted more emotionally because of he’s from there, but, yeah. Exactly. What might it mean to Mr. O’Rourke to be from El Paso

Maybe he feels the horror of this racist attack so personally because, on the inside, he really is Beto.   

Mr O’rourke has been criticized for using his nickname in his political career. Although he was clearly called Beto from a young age, he also admits to having chosen it as his public “brand” to appeal to Hispanix. Is that “cultural appropriation” or mestizaje

I experience this criticism of cultural misappropriation as hinging on a gringo way to frame the question of identity: identities being seen as binary and genetically fixed from birth. Mestizaje, conversely, implies that human identities syncretic, nuanced and even conflicted, and born of relationships, experience and history. 

Mestizaje is a concept that emerged out of the horrifically violent social relations of America latina’s past and present. However, mestizaje may also imply insights gleaned by the survivors of this horror: Humans influence other humans when our cultures come into contact. I am not saying that cultural mis-appropriation for economic gain is not a real problem, but I think of it is an aspect of more broadly exploitative social relations. The syncretic mestizo observation I offer is: whether our relations lead to solidarity, empathy and cooperation, or segregation, hatred and exploitation, there is no scenario where one human intimately relates to another human without both humans’ beings being irrevocably changed. 

Being offended by Beto being Beto, or speaking Spanish, may be related to an impulse to make “white” people act “white” and contain mestizaje latino-americano to the south of “the Border“.  The offense could also be defensive from the point of view of some gente latina. But why do european Americans have to be so “whitened” and monolingual? Why does latin American cultural influence have to be so small, fragile and scarce? 

When Mr O’Rourke,  Senator Booker and Mayor Deblasio were mocked in US anglo media as if their attempts to use Spanish in the first debate were grotesque, I perceived the enforcement of the narrowness of permissible gringo identities through public shaming. I hope US “woke” folk will reconsider this shaming in the aftermath of the el Paso attacker's terrorist manifesto. I’d love it if all US candidates spoke Spanish and had a criollo nickname. Beto’s criollo code switching can seem desperately eager at times. Maybe that’s because he feels the stakes differently. Other candidates may have wanted to speak some Spanish because of who their constituents were, or who the audience on Telemundo was, but Mr. O’Rourke and Mr. Castro may have felt the need to represent who they themselves were. Whether by nickname or last name both men have lived experience in relation to la frontera

Maybe all people, including european Americans along with gente latina, can have fluid, complex, resilient identities. Maybe the boundary between the U.S. and the rest of the Americas can never be impermeable, no matter how brutally that boundary may be policed. Maybe even rich kids, labeled “white”, growing up on the side of the border where power and privilege are concentrated, can be authentically and irrevocably influenced by closeness to la frontera. 

If we can envision and actualize these kinds of “webs of mutuality”, we can offer a real alternative vision of the future to the “replacement” theory of “white nationalists”: A future where blending does not mean ending. If brother Beto wants to be a part of that future, I say: Bienvenidos, manos a la obra 

¡Viva la Raza Cosmica y Mestiza! 

Peace, Blessings and Thanks for Listening. 

Yo soy Marcos de Jesús, 
y yo soy de la Guagua.

Baile de Cortéz 

Guaguer@s Estimad@s, 

Here is my musical homage to Alexandria Ocasio Cortéz: “Baile de Cortéz" 

Baile de Cortés means “dance of courtesy”, a description of AOC’s unique combination of warriorship, grit, graciousness, empathy and kindness. 

The video features voices and the rhythms of Danza and Bomba puertoriqueña. My duet partner is one of the greatest interpreters of the Puerto Rican lyrical songbook alive, mi papá, Don Miguel de Jesús. 

The complete Span-glish lyrics are below. 

Peace, Blessings and Thanks for Listening, 



Baile de Cortéz 
by Marcos de Jesús,

Homenaje a la Honorable Alexandria Ocasio Cortéz 

Marcos:    Hermana, estoy cansado 

De vivir    siempre bregan-do, 

Papi:    Y casi nunca ganando, 

Pero usted me tiene re- animado. 

M:    Se hace el camino al andar, 

P:    Pero asi- ay que caminar! 

M:        Hacia una vision moral 

        Que al pueblo puede inspirar. 

P        Con la cortesia de mi clase 

        Orgullosamente humilde. 

        (en harmonia)↰ 
Tutti        Este ritmo rebelde. 


M            Es un baile de Cortes 

Tutti          Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, 


The image 
the orange one 
offers of us 
New Yorkers is obscene, 

Got my prima almost embarrassed to say she’s also from Queens. 

But real life 

for real folk 

who really rep Queens 

Ain’t about being greedy, 

petty, ignorant and mean. 


M        Es un baile de Cortes, 

P    Brava defensora de Queens! 


Just when the Bx was wondering, 

Where our groove went, 

This chick makes a switch from bartending 

To leading a movement! 

Out of asthma alley we make city air breath free 

The Bronx is still the birthplace of the revolutionary. 


M         Baile de Cortes, 

Tutti    Nuestra Senora del Bronx! 

        Versito 1, Tutti, (Cantada en hamonia) 
        Esta Bomba que tan rica es, 
        Representa un baile pa’    Representante Cortes, 

        Esa amable, humilde         y brava 



Coro (bass instrumental, Seis corrido double time) 

M    Original de mi Bronx, 

Tutti     y Puertoriquena! 

Versito (Cantada en hamoniaa,Oyó Mula) 

Tutti                Esa chamaca de las nuestras 

        Tan sabia y tan lista 

        Va ensenando a Ortega 

        Como ser socialista 

        No toleramos ningu-    na reconquista 
                (beat drops out) 
        Pero si no quieres ser ra-cista: 

        ‘Stan invitados toditos- 

    M    Al baile de Cortes 

                De Cortez 

        De Cortes 

                De Cortes 

    Tutti    Alexandria Ocasio Cortez! 
        (rep secion) 

(spoken over riff:) 

    Like Emma Goldman said: 
    “If there won’t be dancing at the revolution, 
    I’m not coming!” 
    Pero a lo mejor puede ser: 
        Un baile de Cortez! 

(Bass finishes riff) 

        Ne Cede

        Ne Cede

        Ne Cede Malis.    (Hats, Xs) 

¡Caballeros! Dance, Spoken Word and Bomba In Search of How to be a “Good Hombre” 

Estimada Gente Guagüera, 

Donald Trump talks a lot about “Bad Hombres”, defining latino masculinity to elicit fear and build his power. 

How can Latino men and boys choose to publicly and positively define ourselves? How do women and girls want to see masculinities actualized in our social world? Are there elements of latin@ traditions of machismo and marianismo that we can cherish, celebrate and reform to serve an agenda of gender equality? 

 I think we need an ongoing public dialogue about these and other related questions. ¡Caballeros! is my part contribution to that conversation.

Come join the conversation this weekend when “¡Caballeros!”, my Bomba/dance/hiphop exploration of latino masculinities, featuring Wilson La Antigua of Bombayo, will presented by Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center as a part of a diverse program called “Sorpresas”:

 248 W 60th St, Friday April 5th 8pm, Saturday April 6th two shows: 3pm and 8pm 
After the Saturday 3pm show, Wilson and I will participate in a talkback conversation about ¡Caballeros!, facilitated by Jinah Parker asking: What do we want from masculinity? 

Here’s a trailer for ¡Caballeros!: 

I’m also performing in 3 of Annabella’s whimsical, passionate and lovely dances. 

Tickets: or at the door $25 adult, $15 student/dancer. 



Sick of Santa Claus? Check Out Ol’ Saint Nick  

Esteemed Guaguer@s, 

Saint Nicholas is the patron of the defense of young people from abuse or exploitation. 

If you’ve felt abused or exploited by the holiday season of shopping and consumption, maybe the stories of the life and ministry Saint Nicholas could be a source of relief and inspiration. 

My favorite composer, Benjamin Britten, made a lovely, queer, brilliant, yet accessible oratorio of Saint Nicholas. Britten had a heart for the common folk, just like Saint Nic’. The piece was written so it could be performed mostly by amateurs with the support of a few professionals . That’s my man Ben! I think he was as clever as any composer who ever lived, but he didn’t want to make music that showed a superiority to the common people. He wanted to make music that would uplift the common folk. Amen Ben!

New York’s own, Downtown Voices, gave an exquisite performance of the piece you can experience here 

If you only have time to watch one movement, I recommend the one that starts here 
It’s Nicholas emotional personal testimony of his spiritual journey. 

I want to keep advancing Britten’s mission of connecting art music to traditions and lives of the common people. That’s why I’ve been collaborating with my man Benjamin on some songs. So far, I have a spoken word/hiphop joint and a Gothic dance anthem that he has made contributions too. He’s not with us anymore, like Saint Nicholas, he’s passed on into the communion of saints, so I’m talking about sampling. 

By the end of January, I intend to reach out to the Britten/Pears foundation and other potential partners. Are there other Britten people out there who would want to support and facilitate this initiative? I’m really nervous about that. I am mostly self taught, and largely unpaid. An amateur, I do it for the love. But if Ben were still with us, I think he'd love the idea. With support to work on this project full time for a while, I really think it could become something remarkable, though perhaps strangely beautiful. If you like that idea please pester me/encourage me to follow up/give me your advice. I’m not going to share my collaborative work without official support. But I’d like it to known right now: 

Hola! Soy Marcos, a Germa-Rican, Bronx based, rapper/folklorista/church musician, and I freakin’ love the music of Benjamin Britten! 

I hope I get to share that love more soon. For now, lemee know about your experience of listening to Britten’s Saint Nicholas. 

I think Britten’s raw and soaring setting of this text offers us an experience of the heart of Saint Nicholas’ witness. In some traditions, Saint Nicholas brings gifts to children every year on his Saint Day. But the heart of the stories about him, is that he cherished the gift of every human life, especially those whose lives weren’t valued by his society, like widows and “the fatherless”. His ministry was not about presents, but being present in the ultimate reality that everything is a gift, amazing grace. Britten’s music transports me into that ultimate reality. Amazing extravagant and sometimes strangely beautiful grace: How sweet the sound!

Paz, Bendiciones and Thanks for Listening,


Code Switching: Made with Love, Now Made Easier to Access  

Esteemed Guaguer@s, 

I usually have an idea who I’m making a song for, but, for me, the intention behind a song is completed by the grace of God, in the heart of the hearer. "Love isn't love into you've given it away..." I have lots of songs that have not yet reached their intended audiences. Sometimes, I feel like each of those songs is a love letter I have never sent. 

I also already have an album that I put a lot of love into.  

Maybe <em>Code Switching</em> was intended for you. If you haven't heard it yet, please think of it as a new part of your relationship with Marcos and la Guagua. If you haven’t heard it in a while, I hope it’ll do something new for you now on the next listen, like taking out an old note of sentimental value, and reading it from a new perspective. It was released four years ago, this past month, but now it’s easier to hear than ever before.

I'm happy to share the love.

Hear it on youtube with no login required.

Or on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes or Youtube Music with a login. 

Please let me know what you experience with this music. 

I am Marcos de Jesús, and I approved these messages. 

Advent Blessings and Thanks for Listening,


Sunday Evening Post: There I Go Again 

Esteemed Guaguer@s,

I wanna always keep falling in love.

It's a risky way to live.

But here I go again...this video...documents the first public performance of a song that has been one of my innermost anthems for nearly two years now. I've been re-writing it in my head, testing out scenarios of what new life and new love could be like. But as my mentor, Horace Beasley, says, "Love isn't love until you give it away." Thanks to the generous audience of thoughtful/creative/heartful writer folk up in the BX for making this debut meaningful. It was performed at the Bronx Community College Writing Center Poet's Cafe (open mic), made possible by the initiative of Prof. Janet Robertson, Director.

If you like the work, please subscribe and hit the bell for notifications on my Youtube Channel.

Lyrics below.

Peace, Blessings and Thanks for listening,


PS- That performance video link again


                    There I go Again 
                                copyright Marcos de Jesús 2017 
One look from you and I’m shot through, your eyes pe-    ne-trate me.     

I’m down for the count in the mind-game, knocked out, ru-mi-nating: 

Did she mean to look at me? Was it meaningful? Was she just lost in thought? 

Did she just look at my socks? What can she see in these jeans? I just want her to see 

What I could see between me and her, I wish      I could tell her. 
            ‘I just love  spending time with you. 
             And finding ways to be kind to you. 

            I may not have what you need in a man 
            I’m not asking can I be… 
            I’m not asking to be… 
            I’m not asking can I be your man.              
But, there I go ag-ain-                 
Thinking about for-ever! 
‘Cause I seem to catch sight of your  soul 
In private passions passing over your face. 
There I go ag-ain! Encan-tado, volando 
Charmed, dis-armed and En-chanted by your smile. 
But, I’m afraid to fly from now to for-ever in your eyes ‘cause then I may never. 
    Learn to  be al-right     with where I stand  right now. And then 
                     a-gain, me encuentro o-ran-do. 
How can I take her where she sends me 
         In Mo-ments of     
        Every day grace. 
I’m living for these    mo-  ments … 
Everyday mo-ments of  quiet grace. 
 Moments of every day grace. 
For now that’s all I can take.     
‘Cause I’m too heart broken to really have the heart for dating. 
If I were smart, I’d stick to my smart phone, 
Swipe right and left like an art form,          
En Espa- ñol   
the verb that means “hoping” 
Can also describe the act of 
    There I go      a-gain       
    2da voz        Sonando en ti     
                 Orando que tu 
                 Te pudieras sentir 
                 lo que siento yo. 
But, I’m afraid to       fl-y. 
                Tan pobre que soy 
                 no te puedo ofrecer 
                  mas nada 
           que es-te sue-no de amor 

    I don't wanna “make believe” 
    But, I be-lieve, in love       
There I go again. 
2da voz            Some dreams     are better than the real thing. 
There I go again. 
                        Some things      are not meant to be. 
There I go again! 
               Fine                            SDG


Journey Back to Grace: 4 Songs of Love and Loss 

Dear Guaguer@s,

In Journey Back to Grace: Songs of Love and Loss, I invite you on a raw, vulnerable, personal journey. It’s a journey through stages of grief at the loss of my life commitment. It’s a journey back to hope. Journey Back to Grace gives you an idea of what Marcos and la Guagua songs are at their heart: active dialectics of the voice and the drum, of feeling and thought, the personal and the universal. La Guagua invites you to dance. La Guagua seeks to uplift us. La Guagua means to move you. The journey was performed and recorded with help from Ardashir Ethan Lea, in the gracious, acoustically gorgeous sanctuary of TLC of NYC.



Copy ready link:

The Lyrics:

I-               I Can’t Believe It 
                        by Marcos de Jesús Wille, copyright 2015 

There are many things that I have doubted.
You were one thing that I was sure of. 
I took a long time before I asked you, 
And you said yes…but now I’ve lost you. (beat drops)    

I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 

I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe from the 

Crazy girl who cried when I said I wanted space. 
The ambitious woman who said it was time we got a place. 
My beautiful bride. 
My joy and my pride. 
The strong help I trusted to always be by my side. 

I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 

I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 
I can’t believe it. 
But, I guess I’ve got to 

Believe it the dream is over now. It’s time to wake up 
And forget a strangely beautiful dream like I do most every morning. 

I can’t believe it. 

I thought we had everything. 
Why’d she leave…Why’d she leave…Why’d she leave…
It?                        fine    SDD        SDG


II-                    Involucrado con los Muertos 
                        by Marcos de Jesús Wille, copyright 2015 
Es que ella es 
Tan involucrada con los muertos 
        She´s so, She’s so involved with the dead. 

Tan involucrada con los muertos 
        Torn between joy, love, and dread 
        She see´s a world on fire. 
        Maybe all great storytellers are prophets and liars! 
        Y me deja pensando. 
        Que lo que le pasa a mi 

No se le pasa a nadie 

        Un matrimonio tan feliz 
        Que termina asi 
        Ay, ay, ay de mi 
        Lo que tengo que sentir 
        Y sobrevivir 

        Pero la pérdida pasa a todos 
        Aunque no tengo idea ni modo 
        Aguantar lo 
        y lo cierto 

Es que ella es 
Tan involucrada con los muertos 
        There’s nothing to be done         
Tan involucrada con los muertos 
        Somos Calaveras de veras, so let’s try to have some fun. 
        Asi Abuela lo vio 
        Por esa nena me muero, but what a lovely way to go. 

        Y me dejado a mi 
    Involucrado con los muertos, muerto 
    Involucrado con lo muerto, eh! 
    2x o mas con soloista ad lib 

        Pero la pérdida toca a todos 
        Aunque no tengo idea ni modo 
        Aguantar lo 
        Y lo cierto 
        Es que lo nuestro 
        Ya ha muerto. 

         Y viviremos 
        Juntos y involucrados con lo muertos. 
                    SDG    SDD

III-                   Now and Forever 
                            by Marcos de Jesús, copyright 2015 

Hashtag keep the Faith 
Mis padres, abuelos and now my 
No fault keep it out the courts. 
But, why do we join, construct, define, 
Is it just the build up for inevitable decline? 

So a man shall leave his mother, 
A woman leave her home, 
So what?! 
So they go to the county, the church, throw a party, then die alone? 
She was beautiful, haunted, divine. 
But I couldn’t save her, beautiful savior. 
Was she ever really mine. 

    Now and Forever 
Now what?! 
Forever’s what I thought, 

I started already. 
¿Y como era pa’ mi abuelita? 
Matrimonio terminado 
Porque le vio como negrita, 
La suegra, 
Mi bisabuela. 

Y que de mi Abuelo 
la trato de defender 
Sus promesas mantener 
Pero que feliz mi bisabuela 
Cuando salió su nieto, 
Tan lindo y tan rubio, 
Lo queria comer crudo. 
Te revelo el asunto: 
Tres generaciones 
de fracaso aqui estamos frente de Dios 

    Now and Forever 
Now what?! 
Forever’s what I thought, 

My parents were waiting before they got divorced. 
Long suffering, 
There were no unforced errors, 
The game was over 
Then the war came 
Then the news dropped 
And we’d never be the same, 
Family failed 
No money, matrimony unsuccessful 
Was there anything to life besides more or less stressful 
Now and forever will I ever find mine 
Jesus lover of my soul 
I think I’m running out of time! 

I did say I do 
‘Cause I thought I wanted to- 
    Now and Forever 
    Be thine! 
        SDG SDD 


IV-                        Canto de Lo Que Muera 
                                    por Marcos de Jesús, copyright 2014 

Fueron a la playa 
A nadar con la familia 
Y perder lo que se asuma 
En la arena y la espuma. 

Y nos fuimos al desierto 
A desear lo que no es cierto, 
Naufragar entre nopales, 
“California uber alles”. 

Y yo soy un vagabundo 
Y eres tu, el mar profundo 
Y yo vivo en tu playa 
y me caricia todos tus aires. 

Estos aires agradables, 
Y turbulentes huracanes, 
Que viven de tu calor 
Y mueren en tu ausencia, 

Canto de lo que muera 3x 
Como Yo… 

    Canto de lo que muera 
    Como yo. 
    Canto. Canto 

Fueron a la playa 
A nadar con la familia 
Y perder lo que se asuma 
En la arena y la espuma. 

    Canto de lo que muera 
    Como yo. 
    Canto. Canto 

Soy un vagabundo 
Y eres tu, el mar profundo 
Y yo vivo en tu playa 
y me caricia todos tus aires. 

    Canto de lo que muera 
    Como yo. 
    Canto. Canto 

    Como yo, como yo 
    Canto de lo que muera 
    Que muera como yo 
    Como yo 
    Canto de lo que muera 
    Canto, Canto 

¡De lo que muera como yo! 

Canto, canto de lo que muera! 

    ad lib etc 
    ultima vez 

De lo que muera como yo… 

Fueron a la playa 
A nadar con la familia 
Y perder… 
                        SDD    SDG