The Latin Recording Academy recently held its spring Board of Trustees meeting and The Academy's Trustees voted to expand the Rock Field and the Tropical Field, restructure the Pop Field, and develop the four General categories to include 10 nominees each. This brings the total number of Latin GRAMMY categories that will be recognized at the XIII Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards on Nov. 15 to 47 (previously 46).
Additionally, Auditorio Nacional Executive Coordinator Maria Cristina García-Cepeda (Mexico), four-time Latin GRAMMY-winning composer Oscar Gómez (Cuba/Spain), producer/songwriter/composer/entrepreneur Cris Morena (Argentina), and Latin GRAMMY winner Johnny Ventura (Dominican Republic) have been elected to The Latin Recording Academy's Board of Trustees.
"Through our newly elected Trustees and with the focus directly on ensuring the Awards process is pertinent within the current musical landscape, the Board of Trustees — under the leadership of Board Chair Luis Cobos — continues to demonstrate its passionate commitment to keeping The Latin Recording Academy a relevant and responsive organization," said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. "I look forward to working closely with this diverse and talented team of professionals who join an amazing group of Trustees that has steered the organization for more than a decade."
Due to the increasing growth and musical changes in the industry, The Latin Recording Academy, for the first time, will closely evaluate a formula that now includes 10 nominees in each of the four categories in the General Field: Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist. Additionally, the three categories in the Pop Field (Best Female Pop Vocal Album, Best Male Pop Vocal Album, and Best Pop Album By A Duo Or Group With Vocal) are now combined into two categories: Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. In the Rock Field, the category Best Pop/Rock Album has been added and the Tropical Field also gains a category, Best Tropical Fusion Album. To ensure the Awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape, the Alternative Field now accepts Portuguese-language recordings, and the Best Native Brazilian Roots Album is now called Best Brazilian Roots Album, which brings the total number of Latin GRAMMY categories to 47. Additionally, for the first time, all members of The Latin Recording Academy are able to submit product for consideration for the XIII Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards through an online entry process.
The Trustees of The Latin Recording Academy, along with Latin Academy senior staff — fiduciaries of the not-for-profit organization — meet every year in the spring to discuss goals, set priorities, and implement policies designed to strategically chart the course of The Latin Recording Academy.
With more than 30 years of cultural affairs experience, García-Cepeda currently is the executive coordinator of the Auditorio Nacional. Throughout her illustrious career, she has worked for such organizations as Instituto Mexicano de Comercio Exterior, Consejo Nacional de Fomento Educativo, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, and Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.
Initially a fashion model and subsequently an actress, Morena has emerged as a successful and acclaimed international music composer, songwriter and producer. She has been in the music business for more than 22 years and is considered to be one of the most successful producers in Argentina. She is the creator of numerous youth-oriented shows such as "Jugate Conmigo," "Chiquititas," "Rebelde Way," "Floricienta," "Alma Pirata," and "Casi Ángeles."
Cuban/Spanish producer and songwriter Gómez has earned numerous accolades and awards, including a GRAMMY and four Latin GRAMMY Awards. With a career that spans more than 40 years, Gomez has sold more than 20 million albums and has worked with such talented artists as Miguel Bosé, Celia Cruz, Plácido Domingo, Julio Iglesias, Ricardo Montaner, Paloma San Basilio, Joan Manuel Serrat, and Camilo Sesto, among others.
Latin GRAMMY winner and Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ventura began his musical career at age 16 in his hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Since his debut in the program "La Voz De La Alegria," he has gone on to become the performing musician who almost singlehandedly developed and modernized the contemporary merengue sound. Throughout his career he has recorded more than 100 albums.