One of my favorite sources of information regarding Latin music, especially when it comes to Latin Alternative music and Rock en Espanol, is Alt.Latino, a very refreshing program from NPR hosted by Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras. This radio show has just come up with a list featuring the best music of this year. The selection includes a nice combination of tracks from popular artists such as Mala Rodriguez, La Santa Cecilia and La Vida Boheme as well as rising stars like Irene Diaz, Aparato and Juan Cirerol. The following are Alt.Latino's favorite songs, albums and artists of 2013:
- "Torn Maps" - Bosnian Rainbows
- "Guacha" - Frikstailers
- "33" - Mala Rodriguez
- "La Bestia" - La Vida Boheme
- "Cachanilla Y Flor De Azar " - Juan Cirerol
- "ICE El Hielo" - La Santa Cecilia
- "Weigh You Down" - David Garza featuring Nina Diaz
- "Afrika Is The Mother Of The Beat" - Palenke Soultribe
- "I Love You Madly" - Irene Diaz
- "Estrellas" - Aparato
- "No Me Importas" - Raquel Sofia
Several top Latin music artists are already working on their projects and professional schedules for next year. In fact, the legendary Mexican singer Alejandra Guzman has just announced the dates of her upcoming US tour entitled La Guzman 1F Tour, which will kick off next January 30 at The Fillmore in San Francisco. The upcoming series of concerts will take the Mexican diva to different venues in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Florida. The following are the dates, cities and venues included in the upcoming tour of the legendary Rock and Latin Pop artist.
Alejandra Guzman 2014 Tour Dates:
- Jan. 30 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore.
- Feb. 1 - Inglewood, CA - The Forum.
- Feb. 6 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues Las Vegas.
- Feb. 7 - Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Thatre.
- Feb. 13 - El Paso, TX - El Paso County Coliseum.
- Feb. 14 - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center.
- Feb. 21 - Miami Beach, FL - The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater.
Mike Coppola / Getty Images
Throughout this year, the famous Salsa music band El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico has been celebrating its 50th anniversary in different ways. Their latest album 50 Aniversario - Volume 1 is the latest expression of this special anniversary. Apart from the colorful track "El Gran Combo Ahi," the only original song in the album, this work features a compilation that is quite interesting.
If you are expecting a track list with the 'usual' titles, you are wrong. In fact, 50 Aniversario - Volume 1 offers a selection of 'secondary' hits that is quite remarkable and includes songs from legendary albums such as Aqui No Se Sienta Nadie ("Asi Son") and Happy Days ("A La Reina"). Apart from the unique track list, the album offers an amazing sound that will help you to understand why this band is known as The University of Salsa. No wonder why 50 Aniversario - Volume 1 has been on the top five of the Billboard Tropical Songs chart since the moment it hit the market.
El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico - '50 Aniversario - Volume 1' album review
El Gran Combo - Best songs
Profile of the University of Salsa
Top Salsa music albums of all time
Billboard Latin music charts - December 7, 2013
Photo Courtesy EGC Records
Following in the footsteps of his celebrated autobiography Me, Latin music superstar Ricky Martin has recently released Santiago The Dreamer in Land Among the Stars, his first ever book for children, which was simultaneously published in English and Spanish last Tuesday, November 12.
According to Bookscan, the Spanish-language edition of Ricky Martin's new book is the #1 selling children's book in that language in the country. Santiago The Dreamer in Land Among the Stars is a 32-page book based on Ricky Martin's own childhood, which is centered around the idea of following your dreams and being inspired by the people who love you the most. Definitely, a nice surprise from one of the most inspiring figures in the Latin music world.
Photo Courtesy Celebra Children's Books
Marc Anthony Enjoys A Perfect Week and Moves Closer to Become This Year's Most Influential Latin Music Artist
Last Thursday, at the 2013 Latin Grammy Awards, Marc Anthony took home the Record of the Year award. Last night, the popular Salsa and Latin Pop superstar was honored at the American Music Awards with the Favorite Artist - Latin trophy.
In just a matter of four days, Marc Anthony collected two of the most important awards any Latin music artist can received during the year. Considering these honors and his amazing Salsa comeback with the single "Vivir Mi Vida" and his album 3.0, Marc Anthony is already one of my favorite stars to become this year's most influential Latin music artist. We will see how it goes.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Confirming his favoritism as this year's top finalist, Latin music superstar Carlos Vives ended up wrapping up his solid comeback in the international scene with the three trophies he took home yesterday at the 14th annual edition of the Latin Grammy Awards. Thanks to his latest album Corazon Profundo, the popular Colombian singer was honored with the following awards: Song of the Year ("Volvi A Nacer"), Best Tropical Fusion Album (Corazon Profundo) and Best Tropical Song ("Volvi A Nacer").
Besides Carlos Vives, top Latin music starts such as Draco Rosa, Marc Anthony, Bajofondo, Sergio George, Natalia Lafourcade and Juan Luis Guerra were also honored with different important awards. The following list gives you an overview of some of the top trophies of the 2013 Latin Grammy Awards:
- Record of the Year - "Vivir Mi Vida" - Marc Athony
- Album of the Year - Vida - Draco Rosa
- Song of the Year - "Volvi A Nacer" - Carlos Vives
- Best New Artist - Gaby Moreno
- Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album - La Musica No Se Toca - Alejandro Sanz
- Best Urban Music Album - Bruja - Mala Rodriguez
- Best Rock Album - Sera - La Vida Boheme
- Best Pop/Rock Album - Transformacion - Beto Cuevas
- Best Alternative Music Album - Mujer Divina: Homenaje A Agustin Lara - Natalia Lafourcade
- Best Salsa Album - Sergio George Presents Salsa Giants - Various Artists
- Best Contemporary Tropical Album - Asondeguerra Tour - Juan Luis Guerra
- Best Singer-Sonwriter Album - Abracaco - Caetano Veloso
- Best Banda Album - El Free - Banda Los Recoditos & La Original Y Sus Boleros De Amor - La Original Banda El Limon de Salvador Lizarraga
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Yesterday, at a Latin Grammy Awards press conference the legendary guitarist Carlos Santana unveiled "La Flaca," the first single to be released from his upcoming album Corazon. The new song, which is a cover from Jarabe de Palo's classic hit, features Latin music superstar Juanes and the always groovy notes from Carlos Santana's guitar.
While "La Flaca" will be available on November 25, Corazon will hit the market early next year. The upcoming album is one of the most anticipated Latin music releases of 2014 and includes collaborations with top artists such as Chocquibtown, Lila Downs, Gloria Estefan, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Diego Torres and Romeo Santos, just to mention a few. Stay tuned for more news regrading this exciting production.
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
I have to say, I hate to criticize any kind of tribute. However, I also have to say I could not resist to share a very provocative tweet I read today from the Rock en las Americas blog. Their tweet was simple yet powerful: "¿Cual es la contribución de Don Francisco a la música para que los de los @LatinGrammys le den un premio?" (What is Don Francisco's contribution to music for the @LatinGrammys to give him an award?)
First thing first. For those who are not familiar with Don Francisco, he is the host of Univision's legendary show Sabado Gigante, perhaps the most popular Latin show in the US. Along those lines, the Latin Recording Academy has justified Don Francisco's award saying that the beloved host has supported hundreds of artists throughout his show and career.
Whether that reason is good enough for you or not, I really like the words that Don Francisco said when receiving this award: "This award belongs to me in a very small piece," said Don Francisco in a very humble, classy way. As far as I am concerned, I have to say I love the words of Don Francisco. However, I also agree with the Rock en las Americas blog. There is not any point for these kinds of awards. While I celebrate Don Francisco's career and inspirational figure, I do not celebrate this award. The Latin Grammy Awards celebration should be about music, period. What is your take on this one?
Valerie Macon / Getty Images
As a duo, Wisin y Yandel became one of the most popular names of the Reggaeton and Latin Urban fields. For over a decade, they produced memorable hits such as "Rakata," "Estoy Enamorado" and "Algo Me Gusta De Ti." This week, the duo is back to the top of the Billboard Latin music charts. However, this time there is a significant difference about their popularity: They are back as a solo artists.
In fact, Yandel's newly released album De Lider A Leyenda has made its debut at number one the Top Latin Albums chart becoming this week's hottest Latin album in the country. Along those lines, Wisin's single "Que Viva La Vida" has gained positions across the board including a number five spot on the Hot Latin Songs chart. Both artists have argued they are only taking some time off to work on their projects. However, this solid beginning may be very tempting to go back to the recording studio together. Is this the end of the duo? We will see how it goes.
Photo Courtesy Sony Music Latin
Latin music superstar Alejandro Fernandez is about to kick off his highly anticipated US tour this coming Saturday, November 16 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. The new series of concerts, which offers an amazing opportunity to further embrace the notes of Alejandro Fernandez's celebrated Latin Pop album Confidencias, will take the popular Mexican artist to venues in Florida, Georgia, New York, Illinois, Texas and California. The following are the dates, cities and venues included in one of the most promising Latin music tours of 2013.
Alejandro Fernandez 'Confidencias' Tour Dates:
- Nov. 16 - Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena.
- Nov. 17 - Atlanta, GA - Gwinnett Center.
- Nov. 21 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center.
- Nov. 24 - Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena.
- Nov. 27 - Hidalgo, TX - State Farm Arena.
- Nov. 29 - Grand Prairie, TX - Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie.
- Nov. 30 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center.
- Dec. 1 - Laredo, TX - Laredo Energy Arena.
- Dec. 4 - El Paso, TX - El Paso County Coliseum.
- Dec. 6 - San Jose, CA - Event Center at San Jose State University.
- Dec. 7 - Los Angeles, CA - Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.
Photo Courtesy Universal Music Latino