Latin Grammys tune out pols’ Cuban dissonance

Miami to host awards show, concert series

MIAMI — Miami commissioners last week approved a resolution asking Latin Grammy organizers to shun the participation of Cuba-based artists — a move kudofest organizers maintain won’t disrupt their planning for the September event.

The ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 3 at Miami’s American Airlines Arena. CBS will air the live show, which will be broadcast to some 100 other countries.

Miami commissioners voted 4-0 last Thursday to ask the Latin Grammys organizers to “refuse to recognize or invite any Cuban artists,” citing Cuban President Fidel Castro’s recent crackdown on dissidents.

Carrying on

Meanwhile, over at the Latin Recording Academy, which formally made Miami its permanent headquarters only last month, it was business as usual, said veep of Latin corporate and external affairs Marya Meyer.

“We have a membership of 4,000 who will vote for individual pieces of music and individual artists,” she said. “We will honor musicians and music of whichever artists are nominated by our membership, regardless of what country they are from.”

Noting that the business community has been very welcoming of the kudofest, she said the organizers do not anticipate problems with getting financial support for the kudofest and surrounding activities, which will include a concert series dubbed Latin Grammys in the Streets.

Pol support

Meyer added that other local politicians have been extremely supportive of the Latin Grammys.

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz was among those who courted the Recording Academy to bring the event back to Miami, which serves as headquarters for many Latin music labels. He could not be reached for comment.

A Latin Grammys kudofest was originally to have been held in Miami in 2001, but Recording Academy topper Michael Greene moved the show back to Los Angeles after clashing with local politicians. Organizers were not able to come to terms with then-Mayor Joe Carrollo over the location of protesters who objected to participation of Cuba-based artists.

The Latin Grammys ceremony ultimately was not held that year, due to skedding problems in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001.

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