Carlos Santana Producing Sony Music Latin & Tiger Turn Productions’ Border-Blurring Music Documentary “Fandango at the Wall”

Carlos Santana is folking up things at the U.S.-Mexico border…

Sony Music Latin has partnered with Tiger Turn Productions for the feature music documentary Fandango at the Wall, executive produced by the legendary 72-year-old Mexican guitarist.

Carlos Santana

The feature, directed by Varda Bar-Kar, follows Grammy-winning musician and Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra founder Arturo O’Farrill and Grammy-winning producer Kabir Sehgal as they prepare to record a live album at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

In addition to Santana, the documentary is executive produced by Quincy Jones and Andrew Young.

Fandango at the Wall

 “When I first learned about this film, I knew we had to be part of it. We’re excited to partner with the production team and to share this powerful story with the world,” said Ruben Levya, Senior Vice President at Sony Music Latin, leading artist services and premium content.

“The film explores the roots of Latin music and, in particular, Afro-Mexican music known as son jarocho.It is both timely and timeless, as it looks at the issue of immigration between the United States and Mexico,” said Sehgal, who’s also a producer on the film. “We’re thrilled to partner with Sony Music Latin, which has long been the vanguard of creative content throughout the Americas.”

Combining art and advocacy, the film is inspired by the “Fandango Fronterizo” annual music festival which unites people in son jarocho‘s song and dance on both sides of the Tijuana-San Diego border. 

Fandango at the Wall

Before recording, “Fandango Fronterizo” organizer, Jorge Francisco Castillo, took O’Farrill and Sehgal on an inspiring journey of Veracruz, Mexico, where son jarocho, the 300-hundred-year-old folk music called combining indigenous, Spanish, and African traditions originated. As they travel to the far regions of the Veracruz coast, they meet legendary son jarochomusicians and artisans and recruit them for the upcoming festival. Their travels culminate at the annual border celebration, promoting peace, and celebrating unity.

“I’ve been captivated by the spirit of Mexico’s vibrant son jarochomusic community throughout the magical journey of making Fandango at the Wall,” said Bar-Kar. “I love making and watching music films, and I’ve long admired and appreciated the works that Sony Music Latin has brought to life.”

Fandango at the Wall features son jarocho legends Patricio HidalgoRamón GutiérrezWendy Cao RomeroTacho UtreraFernando GuadarramaAndrés Vega and Martha Vega.

It also includes special appearances by Regina Carter, multi-Grammy nominee and MacArthur Foundation FellowDouglas BrinkleyCNN Historian; Mandy Gonzalez, who performs in Broadway’s Hamilton; The Villalobos BrothersRahim AlHaj, Grammy nominee; and Sahba Motallebi.

The film was produced in partnership with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. Sony Music will also represent the film to third party distributors, platforms, and services.

Jesús López to Receive Desi Arnaz Pioneer Award at the La Musa Awards

Jesús López has a pioneering spirit…

The chairman and CEO of Universal Music Latin America and Iberian Peninsula will receive the Desi Arnaz PioneerAward at the seventh annual La Musa Awards from the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.

López, who is responsible for Universal Music Groupoperations in all Spanish and Portuguese-speaking territories of the world, will receive the recognition for his many contributions throughout his professional career. 

The Desi Arnaz Pioneer Award was created by the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame in honor of the early television visionary, songwriter and entertainer, who developed the iconic comedy show I Love Lucy, which he produced and starred in with his wife, Lucille Ball.

For more than four decades, López has worked with some of the greatest artists in Latin music, including Juan Luis GuerraJuanesJosé Luis PeralesJoan Manuel SerratMecano and Juan Gabriel. Most recently, he has launched the careers of Karol Gand Sebastian Yatra, among many of a new generation of acts. Lopez was also behind the global hits “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee and J Balvin’s “Mi Gente,” which were pivotal in the current explosion of Latin music.

Lopez’s roster of international hits also includes Los del Rio’s “Macarena,” “La Camisa Negra” by Juanes, and “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias featuring Descemer Buenoand Gente de Zona.

Previous recipients of the award include Quincy JonesNat King Coleand Raul Pablo Alarcon Sr

The La Musa Awards ceremony will take place on October 24 at the James L. Knight Centerin Miami. This year’s class of inductees includes Ivy QueenWillie ColónMichael SullivanChico Novarroand Armando Larrinaga.

Fox Renews Bratt’s Drama Series “Star” for a Second Season

Benjamin Bratt’s star is still shining bright…

Fox has renewed its freshman drama series Star, starring the 53-year-old half-Peruvian American, for a second season.

Benjamin Bratt

The music-centric series was co-created by Lee Daniels, the co-creator of Fox’s hit series Empire, as well as Tom Donaghy.

It follows three talented singers – running from their pasts and desperate for a new start – with ambitions of stardom, as they navigate the cutthroat music business. The Season 1 finale airs March 15 before Empire returns to the Wednesday 9 PM time period. Guest stars set to appear on Star over the next four weeks include Naomi Campbell, Big Boi, Rickey Smiley, Missy Elliott and Paris Jackson.

“Lee Daniels is a true visionary, and he and Tom Donaghy have delivered a series with a unique and meaningful point of view,” Fox Entertainment president David Madden said.

Launching behind the fall finale of Empire, Star hasn’t been a breakout hit like the soapy hip-hop family drama. But it has had a stable audience, averaging a Live+Same Day rating between 1.2 and 1.3 in adults 18-49 for the past five weeks, rising to about 1.9 in Live+7. Its L7 average of 2.1 demo rating is below Lethal Weapon (2.5) and above Lucifer (1.9), both of which were recently renewed, along with Fox flagship Empire.

Star, whose cast includes Bratt, who plays talent manager Jahil Rivera, Queen Latifah, Jude Demorest, Brittany O’Grady, Ryan Destiny, Amiyah Scott and Quincy Brown, averages 7.5 million multi-platform audience, according to Fox.

Star is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Lee Daniels Entertainment.

Estefan to Serve as Honorary Co-Chair of Univision & Fusion Media Group’s “Rise Up as One” Event

Gloria Estefan is ready to rise up…

The 59-year-old Cuban singer-songwriter and her husband, Emilio Estefan, have been named as honorary co-chairs of Univision and Fusion Media Group‘s “Rise Up as One” event — a two-day celebration of music, diversity and unity, taking place on October 14 and 15.

Gloria Estefan

The Estefans will serve as co-chairs alongside Calle 13‘s René Pérez aka Residente.

Also attached to the project are Junot Díaz, Ava DuVernayAmerica Ferrera, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. JacksonQuincy Jones, Mía Maestro, Jonathan OlingerRobert Rodriguez and Forest Whitaker, among other artists, thought leaders and influencers.

“We’re honored to have such a diverse group of inspiring and talented individuals joining us to celebrate who we are and the way we live through this unprecedented event. Their passion and commitment will help us put a spotlight on the power of inclusivity in a changing America,” said Camila Jimenez Villa, Fusion Media Group Co-President and COO.

The two-day event will wrap up with a free ticketed concert headlined by artists and musicians that are yet to be announced.

The concert will broadcast live on October 15 on Univision and Fusion at 7 p.m. ET.

Leto to Serve as a Presenter at This Year’s Academy Awards

Jared Leto has a date with Oscar

The 44-year-old part-Spanish actor/singer and Oscar-winner is the latest entertainer to be added to the list of presenters for the 88th Academy Awards this month.

Jared Leto

He joins a roster that includes Steve Carell, Priyanka Chopra, Quincy Jones, Byung-hun Lee, Julianne Moore, Olivia Munn, Margot Robbie, Jason Segel, Andy Serkis, J.K. Simmons, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

Two years ago, Leto picked up the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his critically acclaimed performance as male-to-female transgender character Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club.

Café Tacvba to Receive Icon Award at This Year’s La Musa Awards

There’s no doubt Café Tacvba is one of the Latin music world’s most iconic bands. And, now they have the award to prove it.

The trailblazing Mexican alt-rockers will be honored with the Icon Award at the La Musa Awards, which will take place on October 15 at The Fillmore Miami Beach Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami Beach.

Café Tacvba

The icon designation is fitting for a band that, over the last 25 years, helped elevate rock by fusing it with hip-hop, electronic music, and folkloric sounds.

Recently, the act – consisting of Rubén Albarrán, Emmanuel “Meme” del Real, José Alfredo “Joselo” Rangel, and Enrique “Quique” Rangel – celebrated the 20th anniversary of its seminal album Re, which revolutionized rock en español.

Their most recent album, El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco, was deemed the Best Latin Album of 2012 by iTunes.

Café Tacvba will also perform during the awards show, produced by the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame (LSHOF). The non-profit was founded by renowned songwriters/composers Desmond Child and Rudy Perez in 2012 to honor their peers who have impacted music on a global scale.

Cuban music mogul Emilio Estefan, Chilean singer/songwriter Myriam Hernandez, Argentine composer/performer Gustavo Santaolalla, Argentine singer/songwriter Diego Torres, Colombian songwriter Hector Ochoa Cardenas and Salvadoran singer/songwriter Alvaro Torres are the six music luminaries being inducted into the LSHOF during this year’s ceremony. Quincy Jones will receive the Desi Arnaz Pioneer Award while Chilean rock icon Beto Cuevas will be recognized with a special La Musa Conquistador Award.

Tickets for this year’s gala, hosted by actor/singer Carlos Ponce, are on sale via latinsonghall.com.

Billboard Launches First Spanish-Language Title, Billboard Argentina

Billboard is now en español…

The international music magazine has debuted its first-ever Spanish-language edition with Billboard Argentina, which launched this week.

Billboard Argentina

The monthly, glossy publication will be Billboard’s 5th international property joining Brazil, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

Billboard Argentina, published by Sociedad de Editores ABC 1, will feature original content from Argentina as well as select Billboard charts and content from Billboard Magazine.

Jorge Arias and Hernán Simó, partners in Sociedad de Editores, will preside over the publication as CEO and Editor In Chief, respectively.

Unlike other music titles in Argentina like Rolling Stone, Billboard Argentina is dedicated 100% to music and geared toward the music fan, but it will also feature industry-leaning news.

The cover of the inaugural, 82-page edition is iconic Argentine rocker Charly Garcia, who sat down for an in-depth interview for the cover story, and the pages of the first issue include other artist features and reviews as well as industry analysis, including stories on Quincy Jones and Leo Fender and an interview with the president of Sony Argentina. The Billboard charts that run in the magazine include the Billboard 200, the Billboard Hot 100 and the Social 50.

Billboard Argentina printed 20,000 copies of its first issue, but Simó said plans call for double that number within the year.

Pitbull to Perform on “The Real Change Project: Artists for Education” Special

Pitbull will be singing for real change…

The 32-year-old Cuban American rap superstar will appear in the upcoming one-hour television charity special, The Real Change Project: Artists for Education, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Pitbull

 

The special is set to air at 7:00 pm on April 23 on CBS and other syndicated networks, two weeks before National Teacher Appreciation Week.

Miley Cyrus, Lady Antebellum, LMFAO‘s Redfoo and SkyBlu, Jason Mraz, Quincy Jones and Glee‘s Matthew Morrison will also take the stage.

The Real Change, produced in association with Adopt a Classroom, combines celebrities with philanthropy and includes musical performances, interviews and more.

The special will see the musicians — who will sponsor classrooms — go back to their hometown schools, introduce the teachers who inspired them and surprise deserving students and organizations.

“Teachers are often the unsung heroes, while actors, musicians and pro athletes get all the praise. I’m willing to bet, though, that each one of us has had at least one teacher who changed our lives forever,” said Liam Murphy, founder and CEO of Real Change Productions. “The goal of our show is to not only honor these teachers but to also inspire Americans to adopt a classroom and support those who are shaping the minds of tomorrow by providing the supplies that enable them to keep making a difference today.”

Adopt a Classroom is a group that empowers teachers with the resources they need for their classes and increases their students’ chances for success. Teachers can participate by registering on the LiveRealChange.com website. Once they are selected, teachers can use the funds to improve their classrooms.

Lopez to Emcee This Year’s Playboy Jazz Festival

George Lopez is the next jazz master… of sorts.

The 51-year-old Mexican American comedian/actor has been named the new master of ceremonies for the Playboy Jazz Festival, which will be taking place at the Hollywood Bowl on June 15-16.

george-lopez-to-appear-at-straz-in-november

This year’s lineup includes India.Arie, Sheila E., Trombone Shorty, Bob James/David Sanborn, George Duke with Jeffrey Osborne, Angelique Kidjo with Hugh Masekela and Taj Mahal.

The two-day fest, celebrating its 35th anniversary, will also present three world premieres. These include Naturally 7 with special guest Herbie Hancock; an 80th birthday salute to Quincy Jones by the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with special guests Patti Austin and Hubert Laws; and jazz pianist Elew who, like India.Arie and Mahal, is making his first appearance at the festival. In addition, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet will perform a special tribute to the late Dave Brubeck.

Lopez takes over the emcee duties from Bill Cosby, who helmed the fest for more than 30 years. Described as the “perfect choice” to host by Playboy Jazz Festival’s president emeritus Richard Rosenzweig, Lopez called it a “most tremendous honor” to get the call from Cosby to be emcee.

He also noted that Cosby was giving him pointers like “don’t let the musicians in your dressing room because they will eat up all your food.”

Lopez later told Billboard.biz that he’s a longtime jazz fan. “To attend the show in this capacity is beyond whatever I could have imagined.” A guitar enthusiast, he noted that he’d also “love to play one song” with an act during the show. “That’s my goal.”