El Camino: an autobiography set to music


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“She was a lonely woman,” said William Mendoza, producer/director of the Latin Heartbeat Orchestra, remembering his mother. “I would ask her how are you doing? And she would say, “Here with my loneliness.” Doña Soledad, the second song of the salsa group’s new album, “El Camino,” was inspired by conversations between Mendoza and his mother.

In the podcast, “3 Questions With…,” he shared intimate details of stories like the one of his aging mother, a woman struggling with being alone after a lifetime devoted to her children and family.

“My father was a hard working individual,” Mendoza said as he shared another story in his musical autobiography.

Mi Padre Un Trabajador is about how his father, forced to live in the streets of his native Puerto Rico after being orphaned, moved to the U.S. mainland to work in the Utah salt mines at 17-years-old before returning to the island and starting a family. 

“My father worked seven days a week,” said Mendoza of the person he calls his role model. “I needed to tell that story.

“EL Camino” is filled with stories of people and experiences that shaped Mendoza’s music and the person he is today.

In “3 Questions With…,” he also shared insights about how Latino artists have shaped different genres of American music.

The Latin Heartbeat Orchestra featured earlier this year on CTLN when the group performed a virtual concert as part of AARP’s Events for Connecticut series. If you missed it, you could still watch the show through the rest of the year by registering online.

SUGGESTION: An Evening with The Latin Heartbeat Orchestra

You can also catch Mendoza and the Latin Heartbeat Orchestra in person this weekend! They perform live at the “Puerto Rican Bay Fest” in India Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island, on Sunday, August 29.

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