The late Ibrahim Ferrer’s music is going global…
Sony Music Entertainment and the Havana-based EGREM (Empresa de Grabaciones y Ediciones Musicales) have reached a global licensing agreement to release more than 20,000 recorded tracks by the likes of Ferrer, the Afro-Cuban singer, musician and former member of the Buena Vista Social Club who passed away in 2005, Irakere, Los Van Van, Bola de Nieve and Omara Portuondo, among many others.
Egrem’s catalog, the most extensive catalog of Cuban music in the world, encompasses audio and audiovisual recordings produced since the 1960s.
Although some portions of the catalog have been licensed before by various labels throughout the world, this is the first time a multinational label has access to the entire stock of recordings for the entire world as part of a multi-year agreement.
“We are delighted to be partnering with EGREM to share for the first time one of the largest and most acclaimed catalogs of Cuban music with fans across the globe,” Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris said in a statement. “This landmark agreement will help expand international awareness and appreciation of Cuban culture, Cuba’s rich musical heritage and its many wonderful artists.”
Although the deal between EGREM and Sony had been in the works for more than two years, it was only signed September 15 in Havana by Afo Verde, Sony’s chairman and CEO for Latin America, Spain and Portugal, and EGREM managing director Mario Angel Escalona Serrano. Edgar Berger, Sony’s chairman and CEO, International, was on hand for the signing, which took place at Areíto Studio 101, the historic Havana studio where legendary Cuban and international artists have recorded since the 1940s.
“We see these agreements as an opportunity for the joint management of our catalog over the coming years,” said Escalona Serrano.
“We are working on the release of this treasure of Cuban music so it will be available on all possible music and video platforms for music lovers to enjoy as soon as possible,” said Verde.
“Sony Music is honored to bring this iconic music — representing over five decades of Cuban culture — to all corners of the world,” said Berger. “We are thrilled to introduce these extremely talented artists to the global audience they so richly deserve.”