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From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition


The concept of making a separate group to honor the variety of Latin music was a dialogue that befell for years earlier than it truly occurred, however an occasion pushed by one in every of pop music’s most necessary crossover artists solidified it.

Throughout the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a younger Ricky Martin was scheduled to carry out “La Copa de La Vida (The Cup of Life),” the theme to the 1998 World Cup. The success of the music put Martin on the map, and with the assistance of Miami Sound Machine producer-executive Emilio Estefan, the Recording Academy booked him to carry out on the 1999 Grammy Awards.

Martin’s voice, strikes and charisma so captivated the viewers {that a} phenomenon the press referred to as the “Latin Pop Explosion” ensued.

“It was a ‘earlier than and after’ for my profession after I had the chance to carry out on the Grammys,” Martin says. “Issues have been by no means the identical.”

Martin not solely gained a Grammy and received a gross sales enhance from his efficiency that night time, however his following album, launched three months later, additionally turned the one of many biggest-selling of all time.

“Due to the success of that night, it was a inexperienced gentle to now begin celebrating the Latin Grammys,” Martin provides.
His breakout 12 months cemented the game-changing music being made by legendary Latin artists starting from Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and Willie Colon to Ruben Blades, Gloria Estefan and so many others. In 2000, the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences was based as an unbiased entity. Mike Greene, Rob Senn and Michael Melvoin have been appointed as founding administrators and the inaugural Latin Grammy Awards ceremony was held that 12 months at Staples Heart in Los Angeles.

“I bear in mind the primary time I walked onstage on the Latin Grammys,” says Martin, who carried out alongside Cruz and Estefan. “Simply having the ability to stroll with these two superb legends — folks that I really like, that I respect, that introduced our language to the remainder of the world earlier than the phrase ‘crossover’ was even invented.”

Emilio Estefan, who spent years incomes trade recognition for Latin music’s variety and dynamism, noticed the beginning of the Latin Academy as a method to acknowledge artists whereas educating the mainstream in regards to the variety of its music and tradition.

“There was lots of confusion about Latin music,” he says. “Not the whole lot is mariachi, not the whole lot is salsa. Now we have all completely different sorts of music. We took lots of possibilities to start with.”

Recalling proposing that Martin carry out on the 1999 Grammys, Estefan says: “It was tough to get individuals to [include us], and to inform them ‘Let’s put Ricky Martin onstage’ and have them approve.”

Twenty years later, because the Latin Grammys  are set for Nov. 14, Estefan says he approves of how far the Latin Recording Academy has come. “We’re in good arms, and we’re fortunate and blessed that we will do that and construct bridges with music.”

Underneath the management of Gabriel Abaroa Jr., who was appointed president in 2003 and added the function of CEO in 2010, the Academy took vital strides culturally and philanthropically, too. It has 3,500 Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking members in additional than 34 international locations. The group includes recording artists, musicians, songwriters, producers and technical recording professionals who price and determine which artists obtain nominations throughout the dozens of various classes, and finally who wins a Latin Grammy.

“I’ve zero weight and affect in something, as a result of that isn’t inside my function or my job: It’s the job of the members of the Latin Recording Academy,” says Abaroa, who can be president of the Latin Grammy Cultural Basis.
Together with producing the Latin Grammy Awards, the Academy has developed an array of academic and outreach packages both immediately or via the Cultural Basis.

“We do different occasions, like our Latin Grammys within the Colleges, the place artists speak to college students on the significance of studying, learning, being disciplined and pursuing music as a profession, or occasions the place an artist is interviewed,” Abaroa says. “With tickets at $1,000 per particular person, we gather funds for scholarships that our group provides out yearly.”
The Latin Recording Academy has 200 students, and it has donated greater than $5 million whereas paying for 4 educational years of tuition and housing for among the college students enrolled in music packages at Berklee School of Music, Boston College, Manhattan Faculty of Music and New York Faculty of Jazz.

“We even have [initiatives] the place producers or recording engineers journey to satisfy younger college students and speak about technical issues like how one can deal with frequencies and microphones,” provides Abaroa.

Different packages the group is concerned with embody the Latin Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Circle, the Main Women of Leisure, the Particular Awards Presentation and the Individual of the 12 months Ceremony, the place a musician is acknowledged and awarded for his or her creative achievement and assist of up-and-coming artists in addition to their philanthropy.

The highway to the 20th anniversary was at instances “exhausting,” says Emilio Estefan. “I hope that the entire issues we did initially have opened the door for brand spanking new expertise and the second era of Latinos, many who’re born within the States now.”

Producing the Present

“When nominations come out, we sit down and say, ‘That’s cool, we haven’t completed that earlier than,’ after which we’ve a crew of artistic individuals work on it,” says the Latin Grammys’ government producer Jose Tillan. The principle aim is to carry out the “wow” issue to each present.

“Conversations should do with who’s going to carry out and what music, and the nominations. If you’re producing a present of this magnitude, it’s virtually like a domino impact. You possibly can’t do sure issues till you’ve gotten sure issues completed beforehand.”Discussions about key components of infrastructure and stage design happen about six months upfront. Concepts and choices on the design of the set made up a four-month course of and development started in September.

Two weeks main as much as the present, some 14,000 man hours of native labor are clocked to construct the set, which incorporates three efficiency levels that may logistically serve 17 to 20 performances all through the night.

“The lighting, the screens, the audio and staging has a timing and it must be in the appropriate circulate and the appropriate rhythm,” Tillan says. “When you ever go backstage to one in every of this stuff it’s like being in struggle.” No surprise: the staging crew solely has about 4 minutes between performances to arrange the following act and remodel the stage’s look.

In any case that, it takes lower than 24 hours to interrupt the whole lot down on Nov. 15. However the echo of the Latin Grammys present rings for a lot longer.



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Diana Cruz
Diana Cruz is an Entertainment and Comic expert. She loves to cover clebs and news around the comic worlds. She is currently our Entertainment and dc comics expert at Trevino.

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