December 3, 2012 |
When the Recording Academy consolidated last year's Grammy nominations by eliminating 31 categories in R&B, American roots music, classical, Latin, jazz, country, pop and rock fields, the changes felt out of key for some musicians. There were grumblings, protests, petitions and a group of Latin jazz artists even filed a class action lawsuit to contest the restructuring, which brought the total number of categories down to 78 from 109. This year, the Recording Academy has added three new categories to previously scaled back fields with the addition of awards for classical compendium, Latin jazz album and urban contemporary album.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2012 |
Thousands of people gathered in the new Grand Park on Saturday to watch aerial dancers scale City Hall, performers splash in the fountain and other festivities marking the opening of downtown Los Angeles' major new green space. The rectangular park, which stretches from the top of Bunker Hill to the base of City Hall, has been partially open since midsummer. The opening of the lower section completes the project, which includes lawns, fountains and a cafe plaza. The project has been billed as L.A.'s Central Park, and officials hope it will blossom into a cultural hub. But for some visitors Saturday, it was enough just to have a new urban retreat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2012 |
Jose Curbelo, a Latin jazz bandleader, agent and promoter who helped popularize the cha-cha in the United States and made Tito Puente a star, has died. He was 95. A resident of North Miami Beach, Curbelo died Friday of heart failure at a hospital in Aventura, Fla. Curbelo was born Feb. 18, 1917, in Havana to a Cuban mother and a Cuban American father who played violin with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra. He began formal musical training at age 8 and by 16 was playing with the orchestras of Los Hermanos Lebartard and flutist-composer Gilberto Valdes, and he co-founded Orquesta Havana Riverside.
March 9, 2012 |
Drawn with a moody artistry, shaded by its Cuban musical roots, "Chico & Rita" is a buttery rich animated tale of love, jazz, showbiz, fame and politics in the late '40s and early '50s that is as catchy as its tunes. This is definitely animation for grown-ups — its look is voluptuous, sexy and sultry; its Latin-inflected Dizzy Gillespie sound is seductive; and its story of young lovers whose passions are tested is timeless. It all begins in Havana in the pre-Castro years when rich Americans jetted down for entertainment.
February 16, 2012 |
Among the accolades heaped on Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés is a honorary citizenship from the city of New Orleans. "The mayor gave me the title," Valdés, 71, said recently, speaking by phone in Spanish and plainly savoring the memory. It's not the first time that New Orleans has swapped gifts with Cuba, or vice versa. Culturally, as well as economically, they've been locked in a centuries-long clench that has survived shifting musical currents, to say nothing of revolutions, economic embargoes and inflammatory political rhetoric.
February 16, 2012
Latin jazz may have experienced a diminished profile this year with the controversial elimination of categories in this year's Grammys, but there will be no evidence of that at this concert presented by the L.A. Philharmonic. Multiple Grammy winner Chucho Valdes will perform a variety of hip-shaking tunes with the Afro Cuban Messengers, and the pairing of Poncho Sanchez with trumpeter Terence Blanchard will explore Afro-Cuban jazz with selections from their album-length collaboration "Chano y Dizzy!