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.
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.
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
Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy
The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation Announces Winners Of Its Research And Preservation Grant Program
This program provides grants to music institutions, nonprofit organizations, musicologists, and researchers around the world who are enhancing and preserving Latin music heritage.
The Latin Recording Academy may be most visible during the Latin GRAMMYs, but what they do during the other 364 days of the year is just as crucial — including this precious grant.
The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation has announced the winners of its Research and Preservation Grant program. This program provides grants to music institutions, nonprofit organizations, musicologists, and researchers around the world who are enhancing and preserving Latin music heritage.
In 2023, an eclectic group of institutions and scholars will receive this support. The four grants, with a maximum value of $5,000 each, support diverse initiatives: The Preservation Grants fund the archiving and preservation of Latin music and its attendant customs, while the Research Grants support projects that emphasize historical and anthropological research, in addition to documenting traditions and Latin folklore.
"For the eighth consecutive year, we have the pleasure and privilege of awarding Research and Preservation Grants to deserving Latin music creators," said Raquel "Rocky" Egusquiza, the Executive Director of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation. "We are pleased to celebrate this year's honorees and their respective projects which seek to uphold the legacy of Latin music through their creative and innovative endeavors inspiring and educating future generations of creators."
Awarded Presentation Grants:
Andrew Skinner, Clayton, GA, United States, and Daniel Zanessi, Mendoza, Argentina – Through the project "Preservation and Distribution of the Studio Zanessi Collection" (Rescate y Difusión de la Colección del Estudio Zanessi), the goal is to digitalize, promote, and distribute unpublished recordings of invaluable cultural and historical significance to Argentina's interior, archived in quarter-inch tape in Mendoza's historic music studio, Zanessi Studios. This collection has been declared of national interest by the Province of Mendoza, and as its tape nears 50 years old, it is in urgent need of being preserved. The musicians who recorded at Zanessi, from around western Argentina, were foundational in shaping the sound of contemporary Argentine folk music.
Many of these musicians formed part of the Nuevo Cancionero Movement, a social artistic movement founded in Mendoza in 1963 that sought to represent the lives and experiences of everyday Argentinians, promote Pan-Americanism, and bend traditional folk music rules. The movement, with the voice of Mercedes Sosa, the poetry of Armando Tejada Gómez, the melodies of Oscar Matus, and the compositions of virtuosic guitarist, Tito Francia, inspired and linked with other "New Song" movements around Latin America. The project to digitalize the Zanessi Collection is a collaboration between Andrew Skinner, a mastering engineer and Nuevo Cancionero researcher with the University of Cuyo, and Daniel Zanessi, the owner of Zanessi Studios, who helped record many of the sessions the team is now working to digitalize. They will work with the musicians or their descendants to publish the music alongside related photos and stories.
Gustavo Ahualli, Latin American Music Center, The Catholic University of America – For many years, the Latin American Music Center (LAMC) at the Catholic University of America has suffered from a lack of resources to devote the proper time and attention towards the process of cataloging and maintaining its specialized library of Latin American sheet music, books, and recordings. The LAMC has responded to this issue by developing a multi-phase project focused on the process of cataloging and digitizing the complete collection while preserving its fragile materials.
One of the primary goals of the LAMC is to continue to create opportunities for the broad dissemination of Latin American music and culture through the resources and multifaceted activities of the Center, which include numerous institutional collaborations, cultural exchanges and world-class musical performances. The complete cataloging of this unique collection is critical for the LAMC to move forward with its plan of digitizing and preserving the materials of the Center while making this important musical treasure available to the students and faculty and the worldwide community of musicians, researchers, and performing artists. In 2021, a Preservation Grant from the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation supported the launch of Phase 1 of the LAMC's archival and preservation project.
Awarded Research Grants:
Gabriela Gómez Estévez, Louisiana State University – "Dicotomía: Contextualizing the Symphonic Works of Margarita Luna García" is a project that analyzes the life of Dominican composer and pedagogue Margarita Luna García, who was one of the most notable figures of avant-garde music in the Dominican Republic in the 20th century. Her works synthesize vernacular musical material and modernist techniques. The lack of availability of published materials restricts the performance of Luna's symphonic works. The study aims to produce performance and audiovisual materials to improve access to her music and promote its study and performance. This project is partially funded by the Dominican Studies Institute of the City University of New York through their Research Fellowship program in the amount of $10,000 which covers two thirds of the $15,000 total needed for the project.
Dr. Sang Woo Kang, Seoul, South Korea – Musical borrowing is a pervasive aspect of musical creation in all genres and periods. Musicologists use several terms to describe composers' uses of existing works, including borrowing, self-borrowing, transformative imitation, quotation, modeling, emulation, decomposition, influence and indebtedness. The goal of the project "Appropriation and Multiculturalism of Latin Influence in early American Music" will be to show Latin American influence on early American music through explanatory text and recordings while also highlighting the composer Louis M. Gottschalk, one of the founding fathers of classical music in the United States, including his influences and use of folk tunes, and the Latin composers who inspired him.
This project will provide a basis for discography and teaching resources for those interested in the study of diverse influences in early American music. Gottschalk was important to the development of American musical history during a time when many people were emigrating from Latin American countries. Scholars have discussed the importance of race and racialization especially in understanding popular music of the American south.
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 $175,000 in grants to support projects, one of which received a Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY.
Keep checking RecordingAcademy.com for more information on how the Latin Recording Academy does important work to elevate all music people worldwide!
Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation Launches The Nicky Jam Scholarship For Music Students In Need
Photo: The Latin Recording Academy/Photographer: John Parra/Getty Images
Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation Awards Sofia Carson Scholarship To Vocalist & Student Valentina García
The Prodigy Scholarship (Sofia Carson Scholarship) holds a maximum value of $200,000 and allows García to pursue a bachelor's degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, starting this fall.
The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation awarded the Sofia Carson Scholarship to 19-year-old vocalist and student Valentina García during a special presentation with the artist in Miami.
The Prodigy Scholarship (Sofia Carson Scholarship) — created eight years ago to support music education and the Latin music genres — holds a maximum value of $200,000 and allows García to pursue a bachelor's degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, starting this fall.
The Venezuelan native was selected by the Foundation's Scholarship Committee from a highly competitive group of hundreds of applicants worldwide. Since its establishment, the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation has committed an extraordinary sum of more than $7.6 million in scholarships, grants, musical instruments, and educational events throughout the United States and Ibero-America.
"Year after year, we are humbled and inspired by the sheer volume and quality of scholarship entries from future Latin music creators committed to pursuing their dreams," said Manuel Abud, CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. "Since its inception and against adversities, our Foundation has been focused on awarding nearly $1 million in scholarships each year, thanks to the generosity of artists such as Sofia Carson, who continues to solidify the legacy of Latin music and preserve this program for future generations."
"It has been my privilege to witness the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation's transformational mission, changing lives through the power of music education," said Sofia Carson, Global Ambassador of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation. "It is my honor to partner with my Foundation family to present Valentina with the Prodigy Scholarship. She is an ever-deserving, brilliant young woman whose voice and talent awed us. Together, may we continue to amplify and lift powerful Latin voices, in every corner of our world."
"Together, Sofia Carson and the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation have changed my life for the better. I am forever grateful for their generosity and the doors they have opened," said García. "My journey is only beginning, as I bare witness to the impact the Foundation has made on the lives of Latin musicians around the world, I am determined to pay it forward and be a voice for those who are most in need."
The Foundation also announced the recipients of its annual Gifted Tuition Scholarships and Tuition Assistance Scholarships, that will allow 43 talented students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue an education at some of the most prestigious musical institutions in the world.
Gifted Tuition Scholarship Recipients:
The following three students will each receive the Gifted Tuition Scholarship, with a maximum value of $100,000, which will support the tuition costs of four years of study at the university or college of their choice are:
Ferran Rico, electric bassist from Spain
Juan Camilo Doria, tenor saxophonist from Colombia
Alejo Villareal, electric bassist from Argentina
Juan Camilo Doria's gift of $100,000 was sponsored by international art collector, gallery owner and philanthropist Gary Nader, Nader Art Museum Scholarship.
Tuition Assistance Scholarship Recipients:
In addition, the following 40 students will each receive the Tuition Assistance Scholarship, a one-time scholarship with a maximum value of $10,000 toward the tuition costs for the university or college of their choice:
|Recipient||Country of Origin||Principal Instrument||College/University|
|Stephanie Acosta||Colombia||Voice||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Cintia Aguilar||Venezuela||Voice||Longy School of Music of Bard College, Boston|
|Luis Anselmi||Venezuela||Cuatro Venezolano||Humber College, Canada|
|Cobe Isai||Mexico||Guitar||Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico|
|Rafael Beck||Brazil||Flute||Faculdade e Conservatório Souza Lima, Brazil|
|Joaquin Bonilla||Ecuador||Flute||Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University|
|Gabriel Braga||Brazil||Trombone||Faculdade e Conservatório Souza Lima, Brazil|
|Sebastian Castillo||Panama||Piano||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Nicolas Castro Granados||Colombia||Saxophone||Conservatorio Superior de Música de Castilla y León, Salamanca, Spain|
|Lorenzo Curik||Argentina||Drum Set||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Arthur de Souza||Brazil||Guitar||Faculdade e Conservatório Souza Lima, Brazil|
|Abner Felipe Dos Santos Martins||Brazil||Guitar||Faculdade e Conservatório Souza Lima, Brazil|
|Marien Femerling Garcia||Mexico||Piano||Manhattan School of Music, New York|
|Jhoely Garay||Mexico||Guitar||Manhattan School of Music, New York|
|Francisco Garrido||Venezuela||Guitar||Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Andres Guerra||Venezuela||Guitar||The New School, New York|
|Maximiliano Jaime||Colombia||Drum Set||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Damian Kompel||Argentina||Clarinet||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Marina Marchi Silveira||Brazil||Voice||Faculdade e Conservatório Souza Lima, Brazil|
|Sebastián Mariño||Puerto Rico||Saxophone||Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico|
|Simon Martinez||Ecuador||Piano||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Octavio Mujica||United States||Cello||San Francisco Conservatory of Music|
|Marcelo Murillo||United States||Drum Set||University of Oregon|
|Andrés Nali||Venezuela||Percussion||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Gabriel Nieves||Mexico||Flute||Conservatorio de las Rosas, Mexico|
|Rafael Nocedo Gonzalez||Cuba||Piano||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Daniel Olivero||Venezuela||Voice||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Andrés Felipe Palacios Rodas||Colombia||Guitar||Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University, Baltimore|
|João Vítor Aredes Martins Paulo||Brazil||Drum Set||Faculdade e Conservatório Souza Lima, Brazil|
|Kalebe Requena||Brazil||Trumpet||Faculdade e Conservatório Souza Lima, Brazil|
|Oscar Rojas||Mexico||Piano||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Isaac Romagosa||Spain||Guitar||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Orlando Salazar||Venezuela||Oboe||Longy School of Music of Bard College, Boston|
|Juan Sebastian Sanchez||Colombia||Percussion||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Joao Semedo||Portugal||Vibraphone||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Kristalis Sotomayor||Puerto Rico||Flute||Boston Conservatory, Boston|
|Gustavo Tenes||Brazil||Electric Bass||Faculdade e Conservatório Souza Lima, Brazil|
|Ángela Varo Moreno||Spain||Violin||Berklee College of Music, Boston|
|Ayin Villagra-Brown||Chile||Piano||The New School, New York|
|Marcus Vinicius de Oliveira Figueiredo da Silva||Brazil||Double Bass||Royal Northern College of Music, England|
GRAMMY Museum Adds New Outfits From 2022 GRAMMYs & 2021 Latin GRAMMYs To 'On The Red Carpet' Exhibit: Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, GIVĒON, Mon Laferte, Silk Sonic, Jon Batiste & More Featured