Marcelo D2 Releases Anti-Violence Album and Short Film

Marcelo D2 is speaking out about the violence in Rio de Janeiro through new music…

The 50-year-old Brazilian rapper has released a new album accompanied by a short film. Amar é para os Fortes premiered Friday exclusively on Apple Music.

Marcelo D2

The album was produced by Mario Caldaro Jr. of Beastie Boys fame, while the film was produced, written and directed by Marcelo D2.

The project is described as “a musical chronicle of Rio de Janeiro’s reality: violence, drugs, friends and enemies, family, art, hope, love.”

The nearly-wordless half-hour movie features eight of the record’s ten tracks. Stephan Peixoto, Marcelo D2’s son, plays Sinistro, who discovers a world away from the gangs and guns in the favela when he finds work in an art gallery and is embraced by artists and musicians.

Described by the artist as “an album to watch,” the story, based on his own, is a stylish street opera that illustrates arts role in social change.

The film includes the information that there were 300,000 violent deaths in Brazil in the last ten years, and 71 percent of the victims were young and black.

Gilberto Gil and Seu Jorge are among the real-life Brazilian artists who make cameos in the film, which counted on Nike, Pernod Ricard and Casio as sponsors.

Click here for the video on Apple Music.

 

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.

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.

Baca Receives La Mar de Musicas Award

Susana Baca is being heralded for “bringing to light the musical riches that Afro-Peruvians have contributed”…

The 69-year-old Peruvian singer, Peru’s former Minister of Culture, received the La Mar de Musicas Award in Cartagena, Spain for her tireless work promoting traditional Afro-Peruvian music.

Susana Baca

“I feel honored and proud to receive this award, which I dedicate to all Peruvians, who are about to celebrate our Independence,” she told the audience upon receiving the award.

Prior to receiving the prize, Baca told the media that she’s been working for 30 years “for the sole purpose of bringing to light the musical riches that Afro-Peruvians have contributed to Peru’s musical heritage” so that young people don’t have a “disparaging” attitude toward their roots.

After accepting the award, Baca took to the stage to perform alongside Brazilian Gilberto Gil, Colombian Andrea Echevarrio and Spanish flamenco dancer Juan de Juan.

Baca’s music is a mixture of traditional and contemporary. She typically performs with the back of indigenous Peruvian instruments such as the cajon (wooden box), udu (clay pot), quijada (jawbone of a burro), checko (dried gourd), along with an acoustic guitar and electric upright baby bas.

In 2002 Baca won the Latin Grammy for Best Folk Album for her CD “Lamento Negro.” In 2011 she won the second Latin Grammy for her collaboration with Calle 13, in the song “Latinoamerica.”

Baca, who was born in Chorrillos district in Lima, also earned a spot in President Humala Ollanta’s cabinet in 2011, when she was sworn in as Minister of Culture. She became the second Afro-Peruvian cabinet minister in the history of independent Peru, though she would resign six months later.