“Narcissus Off Duty,” the Documentary About Caetano Veloso’s Life as a Political Prisoner, to Premiere at the Venice Film Festival

Caetano Veloso’s life as a political prisoner will be headed to the big screen…

The documentary about the 78-year-old Brazilian composer, singer, guitarist, writer, and political activist, Narcissus Off Duty, will premiere on Monday, September 7 at the Venice Film Festival.

Caetano Veloso

In the film, directed by Renato Terra and Ricardo Calil, the multiple Grammy winner recounts his incarceration as a political prisoner in great detail and performs songs that sprung forth from this painful experience.

In 1968, during Brazil’s military dictatorship, Veloso – who the preceding year had been among the founders of the revolutionary Tropicalia artistic movement – was arrested on trumped up charges.

Veloso was taken from his Sao Paulo home to Rio de Janeiro, where he was placed in solitary confinement for one week and held behind bars for 54 days.

“I have a very clear memory of all things that happened that day, and in those months,” says Veloso of the time. “In fact I had written about it in my book Tropical Truth. There is a chapter in the book that tells the whole story. My manager, who is also my wife (Paula Lavigne), thought we should now do that on film. She invited a couple of directors who had done a wonderful work about a music festival…We were all going to do a complete documentary with many interviews and set locations, and things. But they started by interviewing me. When the interview – that we did in two sessions – ended, they decided that that would be enough.

The doc is co-produced by Veloso’s wife and manager Lavigne’s Uns Producoes with Walter Salles’ VideoFilmes. Globoplay has acquired rights for streaming in Brazil.

Caetano Veloso Pens New York Times Op-Ed on the Possible Breakdown of Democracy in Brazil

Caetano Veloso is speaking out about the political turmoil in his beloved Brazil…

The 76-year-old Brazilian musician and political activist has published an op-ed in the New York Times about the possible breakdown of democracy his home country is facing.

Caetano Veloso

A two-time Grammy winner, Veloso gaimed acclaim through participating in the Tropicalismo artistic movement at the beginning of the military dictatorship that Brazil (the fourth-largest democracy in the world) operated under in the 1960s.

In the editorial, titled “Dark Times Are Coming for My Country,” Caetano writes about the populist right-wing conservatism influencing Brazilian politics, and claims that Brazilians “can expect a wave of fear and hatred” if projected election winner Jair Bolsonaro becomes president. The election is scheduled for Sunday, October 28.

“Like other countries around the world, Brazil is facing a threat from the far right, a storm of populist conservatism,” Caetano says. “Our new political phenomenon, Jair Bolsonaro…is a former army captain who admires Donald Trump but seems more like Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ strongman. Mr. Bolsonaro champions the unrestricted sale of firearms, proposes a presumption of self-defense if a policeman kills a “suspect” and declares that a dead son is preferable to a gay one.”

Caetano goes on to provide background information about the decline of Brazilian political life in recent years, the impact of the news media on Bolsonaro’s success, and his history of artistic activism. Caetano spent time in prison for his political beliefs, along with other artists, students, and intellectuals.

Caetano ends the piece by expressing that he was forced into exile before, but won’t see that happen a second time, saying “I want my music, my presence, to be a permanent resistance to whatever anti-democratic feature may come out of a probable Bolsonaro government.”

Read the op-ed in full here.

Iberia Airlines Sponsors Paco de Lucia Scholarship at Berklee College of Music

Paco de Lucia’s legacy will live on…

Iberia Airlines is sponsoring a new scholarship in the name of the late Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer and producer at Berklee College of Music, open to guitarists from Spain or Latin America.

Paco de Lucia

According to Berklee, Juan Cabezon Oppici of Madrid is the winner of the 2016 scholarship, which covers tuition, travel and board for a five-week summer program.

The Spanish airline will fund the scholarship in 2017 and “would like to establish this scholarship as a long-term offer for young talented guitarists.”

The new scholarship was announced at the same time as the first screening, in Madrid, of a new Iberia-funded documentary that features the last guitar owned by De Lucia in the starring role. In La Guitarra Vuela, the Spanish guitar master’s instrument, known as La Maestro, literally flies as a passenger on flights to nine countries — courtesy of Iberia.

 

The guitar reached the hands of over a dozen musicians, including Brazilian great Caetano Veloso, flamenco guitarist Tomatito and Portuguese fado singer Mariza.

 

The documentary was directed by Javier Limón and Jorge Martinez.

Iberia will screen La Guitarra Vuela on its flights starting July 1.

Juanes to Perform at the Inaugural Universal Music Festival in Madrid

It’s about to get (Teatro) Real for Juanes

The 42-year-old Colombian rockero will perform at Universal Music Spain’s inaugural Universal Music Festival in Madrid.

Juanes

The label, in tandem with Spanish management/entertainment companies LaRock Entertainment and Concert Tour, will host the festival from July 20-27.

In addition to Juanes, the Universal Music Festival will include performances by Elton JohnCaetano Veloso and Gilberto GilRaphaelMiguel Poveda and flamenco act El Barrio.

The fest will take place in Madrid’s Teatro Real, a 1,700 seat venue usually used for opera, ballet or classical music.

In this case, the music leans toward more thoughtful pop, with Elton John opening with his “Solo Piano Show” July 20.

On July 21, Veloso and Gil will share the stage accompanied only by their respective guitars in an evening dubbed “Two Friends, One Century of Music.”  On July 22, it’s flamboyant Spanish singer Raphael with his new project, “Simphonico,” where he performs his greatest hits backed by the RTVE Symphony Orchestra.

Flamenco singer Miguel Poveda will perform his versions of poetry by the likes of Quevedo, Rafael de León, García Lorca, Borges, Miguel Hernández and Pablo Neruda, and on July 24, Juanes will perform as part of his Loco de Amor tour. The fest ends July 27 with a performance by flamenco act El Barrio.

While Universal Music Festival in Madrid is organized by Universal Music Spain, it falls under Universal Music Latin America/Iberian Penninsula’s larger attempt to broaden its scope of action. The company already has a management/booking arm, GTS — whose roster includes David Bisbal and Bustamante, among other Universal acts — which has been booking shows throughout Latin America, Spain and the U.S.

Carlos Named the Latin Recording Academy’s 2015 Person of the Year

Roberto Carlos is a person of major interest this year…

The 74-year-old Brazilian singer and composer will be honored as the 2015 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Roberto Carlos

Carlos, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in April and is celebrating five decades of recording in Spanish, is the top-selling Brazilian and Latin American act of all time.

He’ll be honored the eve of the Latin Grammys at a star-studded tribute concert Wednesday, November18, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.

Born in in the Southern municipality of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim to a watchmaker and a seamstress, Carlos began singing and taking music lessons at an early age. At 17, he moved to Rio de Janeiro and began singing nightly in clubs, devoting himself to the rock n’ roll of the day. By the early 1960s, signed to Columbia and aided by the TV show and musical movement Jovem Guarda (Young Guard), Carlos became a teen idol and began writing with his childhood friend and former bandmate Erasmo Carlos, still his main writing partner to this day. Instead of opting for bossa nova, the sophisticated Brazilian export for which his smooth, entreating voice is particularly well-suited for, they went for romantic pop, penning some of the most enduring compositions in the Latin American songbook. Translated to Spanish and married to the subtle beauty of Carlos’ voice, they became anthems for generations of listeners to this day.

Calos recently recorded his latest album — Roberto Carlos – Primera Fila — at London’s Abbey Road Studios. The set will be released later this year.

Previous recipients of the  Recording Academy Person of the Year honor include Miguel Bosé, Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Vicente Fernández, Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Santana, Joan Manuel Serrat, Shakira, Julio Iglesias and Caetano Veloso, among others.

Bosé to Pay Tribute to This year’s Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Joan Manuel Serrat

Miguel Bosé is heading back to this year’s Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute event.

The 58-year-old Spanish musician/actor, last year’s honoree, is among the performers set to pay tribute to this year’s Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Joan Manuel Serrat.

Miguel Bose

Bosé joins a roster of performers that includes Panamanian salsa singer Rubén Blades and Puerto Rico’s Calle 13.

The Barcelona-born Serrat will also be in the company of other fellow artists including Peruvian songstress Tania Libertad and singer/songwriter/poet Joaquín Sabina who will gather during a gala and tribute dinner on November 19 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

The tribute dinner and concert is being executive produced by Jose Tillan, with Greg Fera serving as the event’s producer. Dan Warner will be the night’s musical director and Gustavo Borner is the audio/mix supervisor.

Last year Bosé was the person of the year and was given musical tributes by Laura Pausini, Ricky Martin, Carlos Vives, Carlos Santana, Juanes and Alejandro Sanz, among others.

Other previous honorees include Shakira, Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Santana, and Caetano Veloso.

Serrat Named the 2014 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year

Joan Manuel Serrat is preparing to receive an honor befitting a music legend…

The 70-year-old Spanish singer/songwriter has been declared the 2014 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Joan Manuel Serrat

He’ll be feted during a special gala event on November 19 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The Barcelona-born star started playing music as a teenager as he learned the craft both as a songwriter and performer. In 1965, he landed a record deal after singing on the Spanish radio show Radioscope.

Serrat then released two EPs and a full-length debut album and went on to perform live on stage at the Palau de la Música Catalana. That showcase propelled him to become one of the pioneers of the Nova Cançó movement in Spain’s Catalonian region.

Known as a politically outspoken performer, Serrat once refused to follow dictator Francisco Franco‘s orders to perform a song in Spanish instead of Catalan during the Eurovision song contest in the late ’60s. He was banned from performing in Spanish media for five years. In the ’70s, he went into a self-imposed exile in Mexico after speaking out against the Franco dictatorship. He did not return to Spain until after Franco’s death in 1975.

“As a profound and brilliant songwriter, a true poet in Spanish and Catalan and a sensational performer, Joan Manuel Serrat’s lyrical style and magnificent talent make him a treasured and timeless musical figure,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., president/CEO of the Latin Recording Academy. “Through his talent, artistry, passion, and dedication to his craft, his work has spoken to music fans all over. It is a privilege to recognize a man with such an illustrious and socially conscious career, and we look forward to celebrating his creativity and legacy.”

Serrat released Dedicado A Antonio Machado, Poeta in 1969 in honor of the Spanish poet, and the album received critical acclaim throughout Spain and Latin America. For the last two decades, the singer has had a prolific songwriting, recording and touring career.

In 2006 he released , his first album recorded completely in Catalan after nearly a decade. In 2008 he collaborated with Spanish singer/songwriter Joaquín Sabina and released Dos Pájaros De Un Tiro, followed by 2012’s La Orquesta Del Titanic. The 2013 documentary El Símbolo Y El Cuate chronicled their tour.

“Joan Manuel has become a true symbol for freedom, coherence, quality, and perfect use of our language, and a reference that we all have in reaching our goals,” said Latin Grammy and Grammy winner Shakira, who was the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year in 2011.

In addition to Shakira, Serrat joins an impressive group of artists who have received the Person of the Year honor that includes Miguel Bosé, Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Santana, and Caetano Veloso.

The Latin Grammys will be held a day after the Person of the Year festivities on November 20 and will broadcast live on the Univision at 8:00 pm ET.

Vives Leads The Pack of Latin Grammy Nominees

Carlos Vives is one of this year’s Latin Grammy darlings…

The 52-year-old Colombian singer, composer and actor leads the pack of Latin Grammy nominees with five nods.

Carlos Vives

Among his nominations, Vives’ latest album Corazon Profundo is up for Album of the Year, while his hit single “Volví a Nacer” is nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Illya Kuryaki & the Valderramas, a duo who take their name from the fictional television spy and former Colombian soccer player Carlos Valderrama tied Vives with five nominations, landing nods at Latin music’s top honors for best urban song and best alternative album.

Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz and Caetano Veloso, the 71-year-old pioneer of Brazil’s Tropicalia music genre, each earned four nominations.

Sanz’s album La Música No Se Toca was nominated for album of the year and best contemporary pop vocal album, while his song “Mi Marciana” was nominated for song of the year and record of the year.

Veloso, who earned a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement award last year, earned record of the year and song of the year nominations for the song “Um Abraçaço.”

Natalie Cole, whose first Spanish-language album debuted at No. 1 on the Latin Albums chart, and Draco Rosa, whose Vida marked a spectacular return for the artist from his battle with cancer, earned three nominations each.

Spanish singer and actor Miguel Bosé, 57, will be honored as the person of the year for lifetime achievement. His album Papitwo is also nominated for album of the year and best contemporary pop album.

The Latin Grammys will take place November 21 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The awards show will be broadcast live by Univision.

Click here for a complete look at this year’s nominees.

Guerra Leads Pack of Latin Grammy Nominees

He’s one of the most internationally renowned Latin artists in the world… And, now Juan Luis Guerra is this year’s most recognized Latin musician, at least when it comes to receiving Latin Grammy love.

During a special press conference at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles, it was announced that the 55-year-old Dominican singer, songwriter and producer has earned six nominations for this year’s Latin Grammy Awards, receiving the most nods of any of the artists nominated for the awards show’s thirteenth installment.

Guerra—a 12-time Latin Grammy winner for his distinctive blend of merengue, bolero, bachata and rock—is nominated for record and song of the year for his gospel-tinged single “En El Cielo No Hay Hospital.”

The veteran music star also scored a nod in the Producer of the Year category for his work on Juanes’ MTV Unplugged album, among other musical projects.

Meanwhile, Mexican brother-sister pop duo Jesse & Joy, winners of the best new artist Latin Grammy in 2007, earned five nods heading into Latin music’s biggest night.

The duo earned nods in the big three categories — album, record, and song of the year — for their third studio set ¿Con Quién Se Queda El Perro? and their song “Corre!

Guatemalan singer Ricardo Arjona, Colombian rocker Juanes, Cuban musician Arturo Sandoval, Brazilian singer-songwriter Ivete Sangalo and Brazilian singer-composer Caetano Veloso joined music engineer Edgar Barrera and Mexican pop singer Carla Morrison with four nominations each.

The Latin Grammy Awards will take place on November 15 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The show will be broadcast live on Univision from 8:00 – 11:00 pm ET.

Click here for a complete look at this year’s Latin Grammy nominees.

Veloso Named Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year

He’s considered one of the greatest songwriters of the century… And, now Caetano Veloso will be able to call himself the person of the year…

Following in Shakira’s footsteps, the 69-year-old award-winning Brazilian musician will be honored as the 2012 Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy .

Caetano Veloso
The academy will pay tribute to Veloso at a special event in Las Vegas on November 14. The ceremony will feature various artists performing Veloso’s songs.

Part of the funds collected that night will go to Veloso’s charity of choice, the Viva Cazuza Foundation, which is devoted to the prevention and treatment of HIV in children and youths. The rest of the money received will be invested in aid and education programs sponsored by the Latin Recording Academy.

“Caetano Veloso has become the preeminent ambassador of Brazilian music and culture,” Gabriel Abaroa Jr., the President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy, said.

“It is difficult to find a man with such immense talent, passion and dedication to his creative projects – whether in music, writing or activism,” Abaroa said. “By celebrating Caetano, we celebrate Brazil, and we look forward to honoring his amazing career and music.”

Veloso, who has won eight Latin Grammy Awards and two Grammy Awards, rose to acclaim after his participation in the Tropicalia movement, which represented a new generation of artists that openly expressed their political opinions and refashioned the face of Brazilian popular music.

During his career, Veloso has recorded more than 40 albums, published five books, directed a film and won numerous awards.