The Latin Recording Academy Board of Trustees has promoted Gabriel Abaroa Jr. to President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy, it was announced today by Latin Academy Chair of the Board Luis Cobos. Abaroa has been President of the nonprofit music membership organization since March 2003.
"Gabriel has graciously served The Latin Recording Academy for the past seven years as President, making immense strides to reach an international audience and establishing the Latin GRAMMY Awards as a brand recognized worldwide," said Cobos. "He continues to demonstrate great leadership and is determined to create and support new initiatives and programs that will further increase the visibility of Latin music and culture. He has successfully led the Latin GRAMMYs through its milestone 10th celebration with vision and purpose, and we look forward to his continued success and accomplishments as The Latin Recording Academy enters its next decade."
Throughout his tenure as President, Abaroa has provided overall direction and re-positioned the goals of the organization while maintaining its financial health. In 2005 the annual Latin GRAMMY Awards telecast moved from CBS to Univision, giving the show and its new home record-breaking ratings every year since, along with numerous memorable musical moments. Additionally, the Latin GRAMMYs have been held in different cities bringing the excitement of Latin music to such places as Los Angeles (Staples Center, Shrine Auditorium and Kodak Theatre); Miami (American Airlines Arena); New York (Madison Square Garden); Houston (Toyota Center); and Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay Events Center). He has led the way in making the Latin GRAMMY Awards a point of reference within the music community both domestically and worldwide.
Additionally, Abaroa has been actively involved in expanding the Latin GRAMMY brand internationally with special educational programs, panels and musical showcases produced in various cities and countries including Bogotá, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Madrid; Mexico City; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, among many others. He also has implemented a number of programs domestically that bring awareness to Latin music and its creators including the Latin GRAMMY Showcases at the GRAMMY Museum, which launched in 2009 and has featured artists such as César Franco, Marta Gómez, Alih Jey, Kevin Johansen, Eduardo Osorio, and Alberto Plaza. Since expanding to Miami, these showcases have featured performances by Yamandú Costa, Hamilton de Holanda, Debi Nova, and Aleks Syntek. Abaroa also activated the Latin GRAMMY In The Schools program, which unites musicians and music professionals with high school students to educate them on the various facets of the music industry. The program has taken place in schools across the United States and recently expanded to include schools in Mexico.
Under Abaroa's watch, The Latin Recording Academy has increased its membership significantly. In 2009 a new comprehensive website at www.latingrammy.com — presented in English, Spanish and Portuguese — was created allowing members and the general public access to regularly updated information about the various events, programs and initiatives The Latin Recording Academy produces throughout the year. Additionally, he launched a biweekly newsletter aimed at keeping members informed of upcoming events, recaps and accomplishments. In conjunction with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, The Latin Recording Academy introduced a new and successful social media plan including the creation of official pages on Facebook and Twitter. This allowed members and fans, as well as artists themselves, opportunities to interact and discuss nominees, performances and winners.
Successful events that continue to thrive under Abaroa's leadership include the annual tribute gala honoring The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year (Gloria Estefan, Juan Gabriel, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, José José, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana have been honored during Abaroa's tenure), and the Special Awards Ceremony (recognizing Lifetime Achievement Award and Trustee Awards recipients), which was institutionalized as a way to recognize and honor the work of legends in Latin music.
Before becoming President in 2003, Abaroa served as the Vice Chairman of The Latin Recording Academy Board of Trustees. Prior to that, he also held the position of CEO at both Wireless Latin Entertainment and IFPI Latin America, the international recording industry association. He is a proud member of the National Council of La Raza, a trustee of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and a member of Enlace México. Abaroa comes from a family of talented musicians and entertainment business professionals.
Abaroa reports to the Board of Trustees of The Latin Recording Academy and leads a staff that works in Los Angeles and Miami.