Photo of Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud leading a press conference announcing the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud leading a press conference announcing the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs

Photo: Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy


Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud On The Global Expansion Of The Latin GRAMMYs: "It Is Our Responsibility To Support Our Artists In Their Quest To Go Global"

Broadcasting from Spain, the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs mark the award show's first-ever international telecast. Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud explains how it all came together and outlines its impact on the global Latin music industry.

Recording Academy/May 4, 2023 - 05:12 pm

Since its foundation in 1997, the Latin Recording Academy has single-handedly stood as the global authority in Latin music. Now, its mission to celebrate, honor and elevate Latin music and its creators on a worldwide scale is about to reach new international heights. 

This fall, the Latin Recording Academy will host the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, officially known as the 24th Latin GRAMMY Awards, in Sevilla, Spain; this marks the first-ever international Latin GRAMMYs telecast in the history of the awards and organization. Airing on Thursday, Nov. 16, from the Conference and Exhibition Centre (FIBES), the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs telecast will be produced by TelevisaUnivision in collaboration with Radio Televisión Española (RTVE). Nominations for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs will be announced Tuesday, Sept. 19.

For the Latin Recording Academy, this international expansion is the next step in the organization's growing global vision, which has evolved across its membership and awards process throughout the years. In March, the Latin Recording Academy announced the addition of several new fields and categories to the Latin GRAMMY Awards process to be introduced at the upcoming 2023 Latin GRAMMY Awards; this includes the addition of the Best Portuguese-Language Urban Performance category, a move that will bolster and celebrate the groundbreaking music being created in countries like Brazil and Portugal.

"International growth is consistent with our mission. The Latin Academy, our membership, and the music we honor have always been global," Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud said in an exclusive interview by phone from Sevilla, Spain. "We have members from more than 40 countries, and we've always celebrated music in the Spanish language and the Portuguese language. Now, the only thing that is changing is that we're taking the celebration to another place, which will ultimately expand our global reach even further."

The news of the international expansion of the Latin GRAMMYs comes during an era when Latin music continues to dominate the music industry worldwide. Major artists like Bad Bunny and Karol G are making GRAMMY history and topping charts with Spanish-language music, while Latin music revenue exceeded $1 billion for the first time ever in 2022.

"We are at a time in which Latin music is really living a great moment," Abud said. "It's a global phenomenon, and as such, it is our responsibility as an Academy to really support our artists and our creators in their quest to go global. That's why we're going international, and that's why we're doing it now."

In an exclusive interview, Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud discussed the international growth of the Latin GRAMMYs, the future of the awards show, and the organization's "essential role" in the ongoing evolution of the global Latin music industry.

This interview has been edited for clarity. 

2023 marks the first year that the Latin GRAMMYs will broadcast from an international location. Why is now the perfect time for this change?

There's never a perfect time. We've been trying to go international for quite a few years now. We've explored different avenues in the past with different cities, so this is not the first time we've tried to host an international show.

In this case, the planets aligned. We got this proposal from the Junta de Andalucía, which offered a great city that had all the right infrastructure and support that was available to us.

Also, we are at a time in which Latin music is really living a great moment. It's a global phenomenon, and as such, it is our responsibility as an Academy to really support our artists and our creators in their quest to go global. That's why we're going international, and that's why we're doing it now.

How did you decide on Spain as the host country for this momentous event?

To be able to do something as big as the Latin GRAMMY Awards and Latin GRAMMY Week outside of the U.S., you really need a few factors to come together. First, our broadcast partners: TelevisaUnivision and Radio Televisión Española. They're a very important part of our ecosystem, and as such, they needed to be fully on board. We also need the right city with the right infrastructure and the availability of the different venues. We had all of this available in Sevilla, Spain. Our partners at TelevisaUnivision were also looking forward to bringing new elements to the show. So we took this great opportunity.

How do you plan to integrate local music and the sounds of Spain into the upcoming 24th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards and the coinciding Latin GRAMMY Week?

The host city of Sevilla needs to be a major character in this story that we're going to be telling. I truly believe that now that we're moving outside of Las Vegas, where we've hosted the Latin GRAMMYs for several years, we shouldn't just move from one box to another. We should have our Latin GRAMMY Awards and Latin GRAMMY Week fully reflect the energy and the spirit and the culture of Sevilla.

Now, the show will have the same essential elements as always: At the end of the day, you have to be nominated to be on the show, and we have to give awards. So that remains the same. Still, I truly believe that Sevilla is so rich in heritage, in culture, in the energy of its people, the change in the host city presents a great opportunity to refresh the show and to showcase a culture that has been so welcoming to us.

The Latin Recording Academy, the organization behind the annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, is the global authority on Latin music. Now that you are going global with the show, how do you see this international growth and expansion further elevating this mission?

International growth is consistent with our mission. The Latin Academy, our membership, and the music we honor have always been global. We have members from more than 40 countries, and we've always celebrated music in the Spanish language and the Portuguese language. Now, the only thing that is changing is that we're taking the celebration to another place, which will ultimately expand our global reach even further.

This also aligns with our sister organization, the Recording Academy, and Harvey Mason jr.'s [Recording Academy CEO] vision of taking the Academy and the GRAMMY brand global.

What benefits do you think the move of the Latin GRAMMYs will bring to Sevilla and Spain?

We hope that this is going to bring great benefits to the local city — financially and culturally. The money and tourism that will result from this show will greatly support the local economy as well as the local music community.

There will also be a grand opportunity for impactful cultural exchange between many countries and artist communities. The show will bring our artists to the city of Sevilla to celebrate their music together. We're giving the city of Sevilla, and Spain to a larger degree, the opportunity to explore new music and to meet new artists that they probably wouldn't have met in a traditional way.

It's a cultural movement combined with business opportunities. That's precisely why we're doing this.

You're absolutely right. The opportunities for cultural exchange between artists and between nations will be priceless.

For us, it's the same thing. We're taking our artists and their music to other latitudes. We're making Sevilla the epicenter of Latin music during Latin GRAMMY Week, and also the gateway to Europe for Latin artists and Latin music.

Latin music continues to grow globally on a consistent basis. How do you see the Latin music industry growing over the next few years? And what role do the Latin Recording Academy and Latin GRAMMYs play in this evolution?

I see our organization as a catalyst for and a supporter of the Latin music industry. I'm very optimistic about the future of Latin music. And as such, the Latin Academy is committed to supporting that growth and playing an essential role in that evolution.

I'm sure you're hyper-focused on the first international show in Spain. But do you have any thoughts on other countries or locations where you would like to see the Latin GRAMMYs go next?

Let me take that question apart. First, we know the Latin GRAMMYs show in 2024, which will mark our 25th anniversary, is going back to the U.S. We're in final negotiations with three potential cities. I'm not going to tell you which ones they are, but I can tell you that all three cities have hosted the Latin GRAMMYs in the past.

Fair enough.

We're not going to go anywhere too new — we had a lot of innovation this year already. [Laughs.] So for our 25th anniversary next year, we want to bring the show back home. And then in 2025, we might go back to an international location; that still has not been determined.

Sounds like a lot of work to produce multiple Latin GRAMMY Award shows at once.

It is! Now, this is still not set in stone, but we want to be able to alternate. In an ideal world, we'd alternate between U.S. cities and international locations with no specific regularity. We want to stay flexible and be able to take the show around the world in alternate years. We truly believe that this is the future of the Latin Academy and Latin music as a whole. This is how we, as the Latin Academy, continue to support, celebrate, honor, and elevate Latin music and its creators on a global scale.

I know we are six months away from the show, but can you give us any teasers, previews or sneak peeks at what we can expect at the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards this November?

Yes I can! The host city of Sevilla will be a big part of the story that we're going to be telling. A lot of big announcements are coming, too, including the nominees for the upcoming Latin GRAMMYs. Soon, we'll also announce this year's Person of the Year honoree, which will give you a small taste of the show. And then when we start announcing our Special Awards honorees, you're going to start having a better idea about the show.

It's way, way too early to even think about who's going to get nominated. But I can tell you that there's going to be great music, fantastic energy, and as always, amazing talent.

Awesome. I'm excited.

I'm excited too!

2023 Latin GRAMMYs Explained: 4 Reasons To Be Excited About The New Categories & Changes

Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation

Graphic: Courtesy of the Latin Recording Academy


The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation Announces Winners Of Latin Music Research And Preservation Grant Program

Four talented researchers, musicologists, non-profit organizations and educational institutions will receive a total of $20,000 for research and preservation of Latin music.

Recording Academy/Jun 25, 2024 - 01:38 pm

The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation announced four winners of its Latin Music Research and Preservation Grant program, awarding a total of $20,000 to their projects. 

This program provides grants to educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, musicologists, and researchers around the world who are enhancing and preserving Latin music heritage. This year, an eclectic group of institutions and scholars will receive this support. With a maximum value of $5,000 each, the four grants support diverse initiatives. The Research Grants support projects that emphasize historical and anthropological research, in addition to documenting traditions and Latin folklore. Meanwhile, Preservation Grants fund the archiving and preservation of Latin music and its unique customs.

"Research and Preservation Grants play an important role in ensuring the legacy of Latin music and future creators, we are grateful to our donors for their generosity and commitment to advancing Latin music and its heritage," said Raquel "Rocky" Egusquiza, Executive Director of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation. "Together, we are able to increase our impact and support additionally deserving projects in fulfillment of our mission."

A committee of experts from Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, and the United States selected the recipients among numerous qualified candidates. Since its inception in 2015, the program has awarded more than $195,000 in grants to support projects, one of which received a Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY Award. 

Continue reading to learn more about this year's deserving recipient projects. 

Awarded Research Grants

Daniel Bustos-Echeverry, Colombia 

Cantos de la amazonía no-visible (Songs of the invisible Amazon) is a musical, ethnographic, and archival research project that seeks to highlight the value of the ceremonial songs, melodies, and verses of Siona women. 

The Siona are an indigenous Amazon community of fewer than 4,000 inhabitants that are at risk of physical and cultural disappearance. The research focuses on the analysis of the Siona’s ceremonial songs, verses, and melodies of Siona women, who have been displaced from leadership in yagé ceremonies. The results will be integrated and distributed in a macro-project within a Fulbright Amazonia research project that will promote the establishment of a path toward preservation of this knowledge. 

Dr. Katrin Lengwinat and Carmen Díaz, Venezuela 

Through the songs and narratives of Latin America’s diverse peoples, the project Nutrir el Futuro de la Música y Narraciones Latinoamericanas (Nourishing the Future of Latin American Music and Narratives) seeks to provide a future of social and emotional well-being, in which love, and a consciousness of cultural identity contribute to subjectivity and interaction. Through research, dynamic performances, recordings, and distributing a curated collection of songs for children and youth up to age 12, it seeks to nurture harmonious psychosocial development — while engaging with communities through workshops, concerts, and digital platforms — to reach a broad audience. 

Rapid technological development has brought about radical changes in all aspects of human life. In an era of rapid technological advancement, Dr. Katrin Lengwinat and Carmen Díaz see a concerning trend toward social isolation and disconnection from one’s cultural heritage. However, they view this as an opportunity to unveil a symbolic legacy that can enrich every individual's expressive and creative potential. Therefore, this project proposes to increase the visibility of artistic heritage, because it contains a cultural wealth that is not widely known among current generations. The exploration and synthesis of the musical and the literary contribute to the reconstruction of broken bonds in families, schools, and communities. Through the creation of alternatives, it is possible to promote increased closeness among people, emotional connectedness, and a unique identity. 

Awarded Preservation Grants

The Celia Cruz Foundation, United States

Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa, made a profound mark on music. Her legacy resides not only in her iconic recordings and captivating performances but also in a vast archive of more than 200 hours of behind-the-scenes footage from her early collaborations with the Fania All-Stars and other notable figures. From the 1970s to the 2000s, these recordings offer a unique glimpse into her artistic journey and the vibrant musical scene of the time. 

With the project titled "Digitization of Celia Cruz Recordings, 1970s – Early 2000s," the foundation's mission is to digitize this valuable collection, preserving it for future generations and making it accessible worldwide to fans, historians, and researchers. The project will digitize and preserve approximately 150 to 200 hours of unedited footage of Celia Cruz, comprising 200 VHS tapes from the early 1970s to the 2000s. The preservation transfers will be digitized at the highest resolution possible for archival rate, therefore honoring the legacy of Celia Cruz and preserving her impact on music history.

Javier Soriano, Cuba-France

José Mauri Esteve’s compositions hold immense significance not only for Cuba but also for the broader socio-musical history of Hispanic American societies during the 19th and 20th centuries. Over time, the musical heritage of José Mauri Esteve has faced challenges, resulting in its significant deterioration, and hindering study and performance. 

In response, the restoration project named José Mauri Esteve: Rescate y Restauración de un Patrimonio Musical Hispanoamericano (Jose Mauri Esteve: Rescue and Restoration of a Hispanic American Musical Heritage) has been created to revive and preserve his invaluable contributions to music. This restoration journey includes various steps, including critical editions of Esteve's works, the careful reconstruction of lost or damaged musical material and in-depth analysis of his best-preserved compositions. Through this restoration journey, it plans to honor the legacy of José Mauri Esteve but also reaffirm the significance of his musical contributions to Cuba and the broader Hispanic American musical history. Through preservation and dissemination, it aspires to foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of his rich cultural heritage among audiences worldwide.

The Latin Recording Academy Announces the 25th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards Return to Miami

Latin Recording Academy CEO, Manuel Abud and Best New Artist Showcase performers Kany García and Joaquina.

Photo: Daniela Mederos


Kany García And Joaquina Performed At The Latin Recording Academy's 2024 Best New Artist Showcase In San Juan, Puerto Rico: See Photos & More

The first Best New Artist Showcase of the year was held at the Museo de Arte de San Juan on June 13 and was presented by Mastercard.

Recording Academy/Jun 14, 2024 - 10:23 pm

The Latin Recording Academy presented its first Best New Artist Showcase of the year, featuring previous Best New Artist Latin GRAMMY winners Joaquina and Kany García, who is also a five-time Latin GRAMMY winner. The event took place at the Museo de Arte de San Juan in Puerto Rico on June 13.

At just 19, Joaquina has quickly become one of Latin pop’s most exciting rising stars and won the Latin GRAMMY for Best New Artist in 2023. Joaquina’s debut EP, Los Mejores Años — for which she received a second Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best Singer-Songwriter Album — demonstrated her special knack for capturing the nuances of teenage angst in a way that was equally catchy and poetic.

Winner of five Latin GRAMMYs — including one in the Best New Artist category in 2008 — Puerto Rican singer/songwriter Kany García has written and performed some of Latin pop's biggest hits, including "Hoy Ya Me Voy," "Alguien," "Duele Menos," and "Para Siempre." She often uses her voice to tell stories of women through her lyrics, and she was honored as a Leading Lady of Entertainment by The Latin Recording Academy in 2022.

"Taking the Best New Artist Showcase series to Puerto Rico for the first time, alongside Joaquina and Kany García, is an exciting opportunity to continue celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards," said Manuel Abud, CEO, The Latin Recording Academy. "The support of our Presenting Partner Mastercard, and Official Sponsor Rums of Puerto Rico, enables us to continue delivering on our mission to foster the next generation of Latin music makers."

The Best New Artist Showcase series is the centerpiece of the partnership between Mastercard and The Latin Recording Academy. The concept kicked off in November 2022 during Latin GRAMMY Week, and showcases have since been held in Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Seville.

"At Mastercard, we understand that music is more than just a sound; it's a passion that unites us all. We are excited to partner with the Latin Recording Academy to continue to connect our cardholders with their passions and create unforgettable experiences for them and their families,” said Pablo Cuarón, Country Manager for Puerto Rico at Mastercard.

The next Best New Artist Showcase will take place later this year. Stay tuned here for more details coming soon.

Rums of Puerto Rico was an official sponsor of the Best New Artist Showcase for the first time and provided rum-inspired cocktails from their portfolio for all attendees.

See photos from the event below:

Latin GRAMMY Session

Credit: Pablo Cuadra y Borja Benito/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy®


The Latin Recording Academy Presented A Latin GRAMMY Session In Málaga, Spain: Here's What To Know

The event, which took place at the Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta, was co-financed by the Programa FEDER Andalucía 2021-2027 and the Regional Government of Andalucía.

Recording Academy/May 17, 2024 - 09:20 pm

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMYs, the Latin Recording Academy presented a Latin GRAMMY Session in Málaga, Spain, on May 16. The evening featured performances by Latin GRAMMY winner Pedro Capó and Latin GRAMMY nominees Omar Montes and Morat, hosted by DJ Pedraza.

Co-financed by the Programa FEDER Andalucía 2021-2027 and the Regional Government of Andalucía, the event took place at the Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta.

As part of The Latin Recording Academy's mission to promote Latin music and build bridges between countries, musical genres, and cultures, Puerto Rican artist Pedro Capó kicked off the evening by performing some of his most beloved songs including "La Fiesta," "Tutu," "Existo," and his hit "Calma," winner of two Latin GRAMMYs, including Song Of The Year. 

Next, Spanish singer Omar Montes, previously nominated in the Best Flamenco Album category, presented a special arrangement of "Pacquiao" — an unreleased song that he will launch soon — and performed a moving and sensitive rendition accompanied onstage by a 12-piece string ensemble. He also sang his latest hit, "La Sevillana," concluding his set with a version of the song "Yo Lo Soñé."

Colombian band Morat closed out the night with a very special performance that got the audience singing along to their greatest hits, including their Latin GRAMMY-nominated songs "No Se Va," "Cómo Te Atreves," "A Dónde Vamos," "En Solo Un Día," and "Acuérdate De Mí," among others.

In attendance were institutional figures such as Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Málaga, Arturo Bernal, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports of the Regional Government of Andalucía, and José Francisco Salado Escaño, President of the Regional Government of Málaga. Prominent local figures including Javier Banderas, Chiara, Bárbara Mirjan, Fernando Ramos, Salma and Ana Vera, among others, also joined the celebration.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Paco de Lucía Scholarship, awarded by the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation.

The event was produced by Maracena Moreno and the Latin Recording Academy team led by Ayleen Figueras.

This was the second live event that the Latin Recording Academy has hosted in the Community of Andalucía this year, to continue elevating its culture around the world, with a calendar of events that will extend until 2025. This past April, the city of Cádiz ­hosted the Latin GRAMMY Celebra: Paco de Lucía event.

Keep checking, and for exciting news from the Latin Recording Academy in honor of the 25th anniversary!

Key Takeaways From The Recording Academy Roundtable At The 45th Annual Blues Music Awards: From Membership to Submissions

(L-R): María Elisa Ayerbe (Mentor), Róndine Alcalá (Mentor), Mayna Nervaez (Mentor), Valeria Peñaranda (Mentee), and Stephany Acosta (Mentee).

Photo: Courtesy of Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation Mentorship


The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation Launches Third Annual Mentorship Program & Virtual Panel In Partnership With She Is The Music

For the third year in a row, the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation in partnership with She Is The Music will host the annual Leading Ladies of Entertainment Connect TogetHER mentorship program to inspire the next generation of women leaders in music.

Recording Academy/Apr 16, 2024 - 12:06 am

The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation announced the third annual Leading Ladies of Entertainment Connect TogetHER mentorship program, in partnership with She Is The Music, a global nonprofit that works to increase the number of women in music.

The mentors of this year’s collaborative program include: Founder of the music and entertainment public relations firm RondenePR, Róndine Alcalá; recording and mixing engineer and Vice President of N.A.R.S Records/Dream Asylum Studios Marcella Araica; Latin GRAMMY winning sound engineer Maria Elisa Ayerbe; Latin GRAMMY winning artist Goyo; Latin GRAMMY winning and GRAMMY nominated singer/songwriter Mon Laferte; Mayna Nevarez, Founder & CEO of Nevarez Communications and Chapter Chair Women in Music Miami; award winning journalist Pamela Silva;GRAMMY-nominated engineer and vocal producer Simone Torres; Latin GRAMMY winning composer Mónica Vélez and SVP Marketing and Promotion at Sony Music Entertainment México Ana Villacorta López. Each mentor will provide one-on-one virtual mentoring sessions with young women who want to follow a career in the music and entertainment industries.

Paying-it-forward and forging opportunities for future generations is a core pillar of the Mentorship Program, and for the third year, the Leading Ladies of Entertainment Connect TogetHER Panel expanded access to these Leading Ladies expertise. Presented by Spotify for Artists, the panel was held on April 15 and moderated by mentees Stephanie Acosta and Valeria Peñaranda, who were in conversation with mentors Róndine Alcalá, Maria Elisa Ayerbe and Mayna Nevarez.

"Each year the mentorship program continues to evolve, we are grateful for the support of our mentors, the Leading Ladies of Entertainment who generously share their time and expertise to foster the next generation of women in Latin music," said Raquel "Rocky" Egusquiza, Executive Director of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation. "Together, alongside with She Is The Music, we work towards closing the gender gap within the Latin music industry."

"We are so proud and excited to continue to support and partner with Leading Ladies of Entertainment on our third year of the Connect TogetHER mentorship program," said Alexandra Lioutikoff, Co-Chair of She Is The Music Latin Committee, Group President of Universal Music Publishing for Latin America and U.S. Latin, and Board Member of the Latin Recording Academy. "Each year has given us the incredible opportunity to uplift more women in the industry and provide future generations with the tools to succeed."

The Leading Ladies of Entertainment initiative was created by the Latin Recording Academy in 2016 to honor and recognize professional and socially conscious women within the arts and entertainment fields who have made significant contributions and inspired the next generation of female leaders. 

The Latin Recording Academy Announces Two Major Events in Spain: A Tribute To Paco de Lucía & Latin GRAMMY Session in Málaga