The world-famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, N.Y., will host a press conference by artists, presenters, celebrities and media to voice opposition to the recent announcement by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) to eliminate Latin Jazz from Grammy consideration along with many other styles of music which represent the musical diversity of the American musical landscape.
Sunday, May 22, 2011 — 1 PM
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 East 3rd Street
between Avenues B & C
New York City
There will be brief statements presented in support of the reinstatement of the eliminated fields followed by Q&A. Among the distinguished panel of presenters and others from the various
musical communities affected by this decision will be:
Eddie Palmieri – Legendary pianist, 8-time Grammy winner and former NARAS Board of
Governors member, responsible for getting Latin jazz recognized as a category;
Larry Harlow – Legendary Salsa pianist/bandleader, former NARAS Board of Governors member, responsible for getting Salsa recognized as a category, 3-time Grammy nominee;
Arturo O’Farrill – Grammy winner, pianist, bandleader, educator;
Bobby Sanabria – Drummer, percussionist, bandleader, educator, 4-time Grammy nominee,
May 22nd press-conference moderator;
René Lopez – Grammy-winning producer, Latin-music historian, advisor to Jazz at Lincoln Center;
Candido Camero – Legendary conguero, NEA Jazz Master;
Ned Sublette – N.Y. Times bestselling author of Cuba and Its Music: From The First Drums
to the Mambo and New Orleans: After The Flood; President, QBA Disc Records;
T.J. English – N.Y.Times bestselling author of The Westies, Havana Nocturne, The Savage City;
Chris Washburne – Trombonist, Professor of Ethnomusioclogy at Columbia University,
Director of Jazz Studies;
Jochem Becher – President of ZOHO Records;
Ivan Acosta – Award-winning film maker, President of Latin Jazz U.S.A.,
NARAS Committee Member Latin Music;
Randy Klein – President of Jazzheads Records, pianist, composer, 4-time EMMY winner;
Jackie Harris – Executive Director, Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp; New Orleans, Louisiana.
THIS PRESS CONFERENCE IS COMPLETELY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC,
NO RSVP NEEDED!!!
The ill-advised April 6th announcement by NARAS to cut thirty-one categories from the celebrated Grammy awards has been met with shock and loud protests nationally and internationally. Latin Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Cajun, Zydeco, Hawaiian, Polka, Traditional World, and certain gospel, Blues, R&B, and Mexican categories, among others, have all been unceremoniously erased.
At various regional chapter meetings, NARAS has defended the cuts as being fair and well thought out, although they were made behind closed doors with no input from the membership nor from the respective boards of governors of the regional chapters. This action clearly caters to the established pop and commercial styles that have always dominated the Awards and the controversial annual TV show.
As the grassroots movement from the public sector is going viral, and the unrest and distrust from within the NARAS membership has skyrocketed from coast to coast, NARAS’ stock responses have done little to quell the ground spring of questions about their motives.
The May 22nd press conference follows one on May 9th at Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA, where considerable opposition to this unprecedented decision, as culturally insensitive and non-supportive of musical diversity, was made by leading musicians including 5X Grammy nominee, John Santos; Grammy-nominated vocalist, Sandy Cressman; members of the Carlos Santana band; Grammy-nominated trombonist, Wayne Wallace; Randall Kline, Head of the SF Jazz Fest; Peter Williams of Yoshi’s and more.
For related background info, articles, letters to and from NARAS,
growing petition with more than 2500 signatures, etc., please visit