Tri-City Herald article on Jade (May 11, 2007)
Jade will be at Gettman Hall (River of Life MCC) in the Tri-Cities tomorrow and Tuesday, performing Tortilla Heaven and ICONS Vol 1, just as he did here in Yakima this weekend. The Tri-City Herald published this article on him which I thought was worth duplicating here.
Jade Esteban Estrada tour lands in Kennewick
By Dori ‘O Neal
Artwork by Angel Hess
May 11, 2007
Jade Esteban Estrada is a musician on a comedic mission to enlighten the masses.
If that sounds a little confusing, you’ll have to check out this funnyman’s shows May 21-22 in Kennewick.
The first of his two shows, Tortilla Heaven, is a bilingual performance written by Estrada’s sister Celeste Angela Estrada. It takes a humorous look at a Mexican American family struggling to hold onto their culture while living in the United States.
The second show, ICONS, he describes as a show that sort of picks up where the TV series Will and Grace left off, bringing gay people and their culture into the limelight in an entertaining and funny way.
Estrada, 31, took time out from his tour schedule for a phone interview with the Herald this week to talk about his music and comedy, as well as his insight into the gay rights movement.
“Much of my show focuses on gay people and the issues they face,” he said from his home in Texas. “I’m a storyteller who addresses uncomfortable topics, but I tell them humorously hoping that they will help enlighten people.”
He uses characters in his shows that are taken from gay people from history, such as Sappho (Greek poet), Michelangelo (artist), Oscar Wilde (playwright), Gertrude Stein (American writer), Sylvia Rivera (the 17-year-old drag queen from the Bronx who ignited the Stonewall riots in 1960s New York when she threw her shoe at the NYPD), and comedian Ellen DeGeneres.
“You’d be amazed how many people just don’t want to believe Oscar Wilde was gay,” Estrada said. “He was a complicated man, but I do keep my portrayal of him funny.”
Though Estrada’s shows are more funny than musical these days, that’s not how he got started in show business.
He first earned a name for himself as a Latin pop star about 10 years ago in New York City. But his life as an entertainer began as a young boy when he sang in his school’s choir in his native San Antonio.
He studied with Tony award-winning actress Zoe Caldwell in New York before he became choreographer for Latin personality Charo, then eventually launched his solo singing career in 1997.
Estrada has played to sold-out audiences all over the world. He figures his popularity comes from his ability to tell the truth about uncomfortable topics using humor.
“You can tell the truth without using a soapbox,” Estrada said. “I guess you could call my show part music, part social commentary, but it’s all entertainment.”