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The Week Ahead

Deuces are wild at Latin Grammys

August 30, 2004|Agustin Gurza

Wednesday's fifth annual Latin Grammy Awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium is shaping up to be La Noche de los Duetos -- Night of the Duets -- and several of the pairings are fairly exotic.

Guitarist Carlos Santana, who will be honored tonight as the Latin Recording Academy's person of the year at a star-studded gala at the Century Plaza, will be joined on Wednesday's awards telecast by Los Lonely Boys, the Tex-Mex/rock/country trio whose debut album has become a surprise pop hit.

Famed alt-Latino quartet Cafe Tacuba, named for a historic Mexico City restaurant, will team with Incubus, the eclectic alt-metal quintet named for an evil medieval spirit that has sex with women while they sleep. That's almost as intriguing as the planned teaming of sexy, raven-haired singer Roselyn Sanchez from Puerto Rico with L.A.'s raunchy homeboys, Akwid, the breakthrough banda/rap act.

One duet you won't see: Menudo veteran Robbi Draco Rosa (coauthor of "Livin' la Vida Loca") with bubbly pop star Jessica Simpson. Producers reportedly pitched the idea, but Draco didn't think it clicked musically. Instead, Draco will perform with his band while Simpson will appear with Spain's bright-eyed, golden-haired boy, David Bisbal, last year's best new artist.

Finally, the ceremony -- to be broadcast on CBS with comedian George Lopez as host -- will offer the U.S. television debut of pianist Bebo Valdes and Spain's Diego El Cigala, the only true duo of the evening, whose Cuban/flamenco fusion CD, "Lagrimas Negras," is a favorite to win album of the year.

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-- Agustin Gurza

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