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Musician entertains SHA residents


Musician entertains SHA residents


Seattle Housing Authority resident, Ruben D. Barron, performs live music in both English and Spanish at various senior housing properties. He encourages his audience to join in by singing, dancing and playing instruments. 

"I play music and everyone starts playing percussion instruments or dances. The idea is to get everyone involved, so everyone has a good time," said Barron. “When I sing in Spanish, I tell them the story in English so they can imagine what I'm saying." 

Barron has been playing at SSHP buildings for the past two years and even received a Volunteer of the Year award from SHA.

Aside from performing live music for residents, he also volunteers with some landscaping tasks around his residential building. He said he became an arborist at 18 years old, "I was so fast that they would call me squirrel and now that I'm 75 they call me bear."

Barron was a dentist in Mexico and practiced for 10 years. He moved to the United States in the 1980s and found it to be very difficult to continue his dentistry career. Instead, he worked for the City of Seattle for 20 years.  

Throughout the years, Barron's gigs included open mics, playing for various Latino groups and a Democratic breakfast event for former Gov. Christine Gregoire. 

Nowadays, Barron's goal is to play at all 22 senior housing buildings. 

"The greatest satisfaction is for me to do something that I never thought I could do," said Barron. 

Barron wants to make his neighbors and other residents happy. "Experts say that music is the medicine for old people, lonely people, sick people and veterans. Music is a medicine for me and it's something that I enjoy," he said.