“Smaller Names Make the Biggest Noise”

Los Angeles Times – July 12th 2001

The 2nd Latin Grammy Nominations

Smaller Names Make the Biggest Noise.

By Agustin Gurza

The controversy that plagued the first Latin Grammy awards show also appears to have faded. The recording academy held the inagural ceremony in Los Angeles because a local Miami ordinance barred the county from doingbusiness with those who have dealings with Cuba, which would have barred Cuban musicians from participating. The move to Miami this year came after the ordinance was declared invalid.

Prominant Cuban Americans, such as producer Emilio Estefan Jr., reiterated Tuesday assurances that anti-Castro polotics would not interfere with production of this year’s Latin Grammy show, which will be held at the 19,800-seat American Airlines Arena.

A few widely respected Cuban contenders emerged as nominees from among approximately three dozen entries submitted from the embargoed island. Singer Issac Delgado, who formerly fronted the seminal Cuban salsa group NG La Banda, was nominated for best salsa album. Delgado, who has recorded and performed extensively in the U.S., is considered a likely candidate to perform at this year’s show.

Delgado shares the salsa category with regular Grammy favorites Eddie Palmieri and the late Tito Puente, for their duet album “Obra Maestra.” Salsa stars Oscar D’Leon, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Tito Rojas and Groupo Niche fill out the category.

“I didn’t think Issac Delgado would get nominated, considering the competition from so many mainstream names,” Jimmy Maslon, owner of Ahi-Nama Records, a tiny Cuban specialty label based in Studio City, said Tuesday. “It seems too good to be true.”

“What the academy has attempted to do with the Grammy’s is uplift, celebrate and promote the best music from Latin America, not just the music that is known and available in the United States,” said Rogelio Macin, western regional vice president of Universal Music Latino, “The Grammy has now reached the furthest points of our continent.”

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