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Electronic has always been a hitching post and a meeting place for dreamers. And in the world of the imaginative and the passionate, there are those who dream and there those who make their dreams, their best possible lives on earth, happen. Eduardo Serio, owner of the acclaimed Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation, which saves big cats from exploitation, runs the nonprofit under the prevailing belief that education can start a revolution—a revolution about love and respect for all living beings. Eduardo is—and you’ll know it right off if you’re lucky enough to meet him—quite obviously a happener.

He also loves electronic music.

But to give you an idea of Eduardo’s character, there’s one story that hits the mark, bullseye. Growing up in Mexico and learning English early on, he had always admired Frank Sinatra, who had made his own larger-than-life myth “happen.” At one point in 1994, although the exact details remain vague, Eduardo was kicked out of his house “for spending all of my Christmas money on Frank Sinatra CDs instead of the clothes it was intended for.” He spent $495 on the entire discography. He’d had only $500. It’s safe to assume that if the discography numbering 20 CDs had been $1,000… well, his birthday money might have ended up at the record store as well.

That is an example of a dedicated dreamer.

As a happener, however, Eduardo takes it to another level. In the ‘90s, when Sinatra had been admitted to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles during what looked to be Frank’s final act, Eduardo—knowing this might be his only chance to meet the man who had so inspired him—again pooled all of his money. He purchased an airline ticket and, upon landing in L.A., went straight to the hospital. With an elaborate story, Eduardo convinced security that he was Sinatra’s godson. He was ushered into the hospital room and caught the “Chairman of the Board” as he was leaving in a wheelchair. “I don’t know this guy!” Sinatra exclaimed to his bodyguards. But after hearing Eduardo’s backstory, the two walked/rolled and talked together, discovering a mutual admiration. Sinatra told Eduardo, “If you ever need anything, kid, well, you’ve got it. And I’m sure you’ll be able to find me.”

Dreamer + Happener.

So, it’s evident that when Eduardo wants, loves or admires something, he goes for it. He was brought up in a family with no musical ties in Mexico, but somehow he is close, personal friends with John Digweed, Sasha, and more big dance music names than you can count on both hands and feet. And he has their respect. Go figure. Obviously there has to be a moment, before all of this, that he realized he needed to be involved with and connected to the electronic music world. The night he fell in love… and here it is in his own words:

I was living in Mexico, and not a lot of DJs came at the time—once a month, or once every two months—something like that. I remember there was a night, sometime in 1997 or 1998, and it was the first time I listened to a proper DJ, not just a club track. My mom was gone from her house, and I had some people over; we were partying. My friend was in the kitchen, and he was baking a chocolate cake. We were all really hungry, and after we ate it, I went and sat in her living room on this big, really comfortable couch.

I had just gotten this CD; it was one of the first CDs I ever bought. Back in those days, you would buy a mix, and it was more like an album. This was one of my first: Paul Oakenfold, Transport. I sat down and was sort of moving along with the rhythm of the music, thinking, “Oh my god! This is incredible!” My friend told me later that I’d actually turned to him and said: “This is unreal. I cannot believe this is happening.” Right when I was totally feeling it—like no other music before I had ever heard—there was a huge pain in my head. It was like a sword came in, and I had a massive headache, completely out of nowhere. I actually went down on my knees in pain. And then it went away. Just like that.

This… was unusual. And Eduardo thought about it for some time.

It’s funny, but at the time, I didn’t understand or think about why it might have happened. Later I realized what it was, but I was scared for a long while. I didn’t go back and listen to it again for like a month. Then finally, I went back and played it, and it was still incredible. But no headache! Then I bought the Dave Seaman, Seb Fontaine, Sasha & Digweed, Tiësto… and the rest. It changed the way I looked at music.

Now I call it “power music.”

Indeed. That’s what happens, folks, when you take a really bright guy and really good music, and you add a chocolate cake filled with really good marijuana. Now, although Eduardo isn’t a partaker anymore, he has held on to the most important part of that night: the music.

He listens to a lot of stuff. He does a lot of stuff. His nonprofit now harbors more than 250 “big cats” of all age groups—safe, sound and spread across three locations. Extracted from exploitative environments, they’ve been saved from a wide range of unwholesome circumstances. Eduardo’s act is one of compassion—putting them in a safe place, where the only people privy to their existences are their caretakers.

To count such a kind, passionate human being among our number—one who is so proactive in following his own heart—lets members of the dance music community know we’re in good company.

It’s funny what good can arise out of a simple marijuana misunderstanding.

If you’re interesting in contributing or just want to know more about BJWT…

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