Dan Navarro Receives Distinguished Artist Award At Calexico Concert
BY MARIO CONDE
Celebrating a homecoming with a concert in front of his friends and family, Calexico native Dan Navarro performed in his hometown for the first time ever this past Saturday, April 1st.
The Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center was packed last Saturday to welcome and honor Dan Navarro by family and friends. Navarro was inducted to the Calexico Artist Wall and received a proclamation from the Calexico City Council. Navarro grew up in Calexico and is a Calexico High School graduate Class of 1969.
Navarro’s career began as a songwriter, most often with Eric Lowen, for artist like Pat Benatar whose hit single “We Belong” was big hit during the 1980s. In the 1990s he recorded and toured with Lowen in the acclaimed artistic duo Lowen & Navarro until Lowen’s retirement in 2009. Dan has transitioned into a growing solo career, steadily in demand on the national concert circuit.
Dan Navarro has also worked as a singer and voice actor in movies like The Book of Life, The Lorax, Happy Feet, Rio, Ice Age; TV series Turbo Fast, Prison Break, Family Guy and American Dad; records with Neil Young, Andrea Boceli, Luis Miguel, Jose Feliciano, Janiva Magness, and Jon Anderson of Yes; the hit videogames Fallout 4 and Unchartered 4, and hundreds of TV ads for Subaru, Shakery’s, McDonald’s, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Honda Nationwide and More.
Navarro said it was very humbling to come back and be recognized by his hometown that he grew up in and raise money for the cultural center and keep the cultural legacy alive for young and senior citizens. It is worth every minute of it.
“We learn about things we thought were important here and we have a different point of view from the rest of the world since we are a border town. We have stories to tell here and I want the local people to tell the stories whether it’s painting, photography, a movie or a song or anything you can do it. That’s why I contribute out here and hopefully it won’t be the last time,” Navarro said.
The concert proceeds are going to support the Calexico Arts Council for their art and music programs here in Calexico.
For Carmen Durazo, having Dan Navarro perform in Calexico shows love for his community by supporting the Arts Council and mentoring students at Calexico High School. He is also a judge at the Bulldog Idol talent show.
“We are so pleased to have him here and today, we honor him as Distinguished Artist so thanks to Dan who is donating his time, energy, and motivation to give back to the community since he is very proud to have been raised here.” Durazo said.
Councilman Jesus Eduardo Escobar said that Navarro is a role model for the community and for the children, showing that there is an opportunity to succeed in the arts if you’re from Calexico.
Councilman Bill Hodge agreed with Escobar that this was a great event to continue supporting the arts in Calexico and for the community to support an artist like Dan Navarro who came back to support Calexico.
“I guess not every city has celebrities and I’m surprised about the talent Calexico has produced, so this is great for Calexico,” Councilman Hodge said. “There is still a lot of hidden talent in this community that we need to support.”