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L.a. Song Fest To Offer $300,000 For New Tunes

May 13, 1987

The first Los Angeles International Song Festival will take place Sept. 25-27 at the Hollywood Bowl, with songwriters from around the world competing for $300,000 in prizes.

Festival creator Jorge Almendares said the event, the first of this scope in this country, is patterned after such longstanding song competitions as Europe's Eurovision and Chile's Vina Del Mar Song Festival.

"I always had in mind to develop a song festival in America," said Almendares. "There was nothing here, and yet this is the entertainment capital of the world."

Almendares, who worked on the Vina Del Mar festival in his native Chile before moving to the United States 18 years ago, hopes to make this the top song festival in the world, with funding coming from various corporate sponsors.

In August, a committee will select 13 songs (three from the United States, 10 from other countries) that will be presented during the festival with full orchestral backing. Judges will select the three best songs plus the best vocal performance and orchestral arrangement. A grand prize of $100,000--which Almendares claims is the largest award of any such festival--will be given for the best song.

Besides the competition, the festival will feature performances by such artists as Gladys Knight and Emmanuel. Diahann Carroll and Tony Orlando are scheduled to serve as emcees.

The deadline for song entries is Aug. 1. Information: (800) 334-3030.

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