Doug Levitt is a songwriter, singer, author, and photographer who has made it his life’s mission to tell the stories of people who are poor and downtrodden in America. He created a project called “The Greyhound Diaries” that tells the life stories he has been told while riding on Greyhound buses back and forth across the nation. One of the truth’s of the United States is that nobody rides a Greyhound bus to get from one place to another unless they’re run completely out of other options. By telling these stories he makes these people and their struggles relatable and, he hopes, will ultimately help with a solution to poverty in the country.
As he has been riding Greyhound buses for the last 13 years, Doug Levitt has traveled over 120,000 miles crisscrossing the nation. Riding the bus provides an insight into a part of America that most people barely see, especially on the nation’s more prosperous coastal regions. It was the overwhelming poverty, alienation, and hopelessness in parts of the country, especially in “fly over country“, that led Doug Levitt to successfully predicting the eventual election of Donald Trump.
During his travels, Doug Levitt has met a great variety of people on the bus including a neo-Nazi with a Hitler tattoo. As Levitt is Jewish, he was obviously rather alarmed when this person sat down next to him. As it turned out, he was offered a sandwich and told he could have the seats to sleep on while the neo-Nazi took the floor. This is an example of the underbelly of society that often gets hidden in our country. Greyhound bus riders are popular with people just released from prison as states tend to give them a bus pass to leave the area.Doug Levitt performs the songs he writes for “The Greyhound Diaries” at venues around the country including concert halls as well as homeless shelters. The music and stories of “The Greyhound Diaries” have also been featured on channels such as CNN, MSNBC, and PBS. It also has a website that features the music, photography, and writing that make up the project.
Move over Shakira. There’s a new Venezuelan singing beauty, and she is turning heads in the music world. That beauty is Norka Luque. Norka is burning up the Latino dance charts with the hit singles from her first album. Her hit, Milagro, is making the kind of noise in the record industry that turns ordinary singers into superstars. But Norka isn’t an ordinary singer. She has been called extraordinary ever since she started singing in public at the age of eight in Venezuela.
But let’s fast-forward a couple of decades. That’s when Norka Luque and Emilio Estefan met. Estefan is the guy that married Gloria Fajardo and turned her into the lead singer of the Miami Sound Machine. Estefan has 19 Grammys and is still one of the most influential people in the music business especially the Latino music business. Estefan has produced albums for Shakira, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, and Celia Cruz just to name a few of the stars that put their trust in him and his team of composers. When Estefan and composer Archie Pena heard Norka’s voice, they knew they had another superstar in the making. Norka had all the qualifications. She was trained professionally; she has style, panache, and beauty along with a keen business sense. Norka studied business in France, but she also earned degrees in fashion, the culinary arts, and marketing. Norka can hold her own during a business meeting, but her first love is singing, and it shows when she is behind a microphone and on stage.
It took Norka and Estefan’s team some time to put together the right arrangement that fit her style, but when they did Latino music lovers came out of the woodwork to buy it. Norka’s first album earned her a female pop artist of the year nomination in 2011. She also got to work with her idol, Shakira as well as Ricky Martin, Celia Cruz, and Marc Anthony. Norka became friends with Gloria Estefan. Gloria helped Emilio find the right sound for Norka. Gloria knew Norka’s music was pop dance music with a reggae, Mediterranean twist. That may sound crazy, but it works for Norka. Her single, Milagro, is one of the top records on the Latino dance charts.
Norka’s career is just beginning. She is becoming one of the Latino artists that cross over into the mainstream music scene. Her songs are being played on radio stations around in this country and around the world.
Check out Norka’s music on Soundcloud!