Nathy Peluso to Perform at This Year’s Montreux Jazz Festival

Nathy Peluso is jazzed about her next gig…

The 26-year-old Argentine singer, songwriter and producer will perform at the 2021 edition of Montreux Jazz Festival, slated to roll out across 16 days next month in Switzerland.

Nathy Peluso

Set to take place from July 2-17, Montreux Jazz Festival this year debuts a new stage, Scene Du Lac, on the banks of Lake Geneva.

In addition to Peluso, the lineup includes Woodkid, Inhaler, the Paradox project of Jeff Mills and Tony Allen, and many more.

Rag’n’Bone Man and Arlo Parks, and Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills are among the headliners booked for the event.

The festival, one of Europe’s best-known and longest-running live music events, was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

In April of this year, organizers announced plans for the festival’s return, with a limited capacity and its new stage.

Montreux Jazz Festival was established in 1967 by the late jazz connoisseur Claude Nobs. Over time, the event has hosted performances by many of the greats of contemporary music, from Prince to David Bowie, Nina Simone, Quincy Jones, Marvin Gaye, Elton John and others.

Tickets for this year’s fest go on sale from June 8 via the Montreux Jazz Festival website.

PBS to Air Sergio Mendes’ Documentary “Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration”

Sergio Mendes is celebrating with friends on the small screen…

PBS will air the documentary Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration, about the 80-year-old acclaimed Brazilian musician.

Sergio Mendes

The film, which will premiere as part of special programming on PBS stations this June, is derived from the feature documentary Sergio Mendes: In The Key Of Joy by filmmaker John Scheinfeld.

Mendes, who exploded onto the scene in the 1960s with his group, Brasil ’66, played a big role in popularizing Brazilian music around the world, and at the same time created his own genre by fusing Brazilian music with American pop.

The three-time Grammy winner has made 35 albums, including Timeless, produced by will.i.am. Hit singles include “Mas Que Nada”, “The Look of Love”, “Scarborough Fair”, “Night and Day”, “Never Gonna Let You Go” and his famous rendition of “Fool on the Hill”.

In 2012, his “Real in Rio” from the animated film Rio was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Original Song.

In Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration, he is joined onscreen by friends and collaborators including Herb Alpert, Common, Lani Hall (lead singer of Brasil ’66), Quincy Jones, John Legend, Gracinha Mendes (Sergio’s lead singer since 1971 and his wife of 46 years), Jerry Moss, Carlos Saldhana and will.i.am.

“I am really looking forward to sharing my life and musical journey through the decades from Brasil ’66 through present day with PBS viewers across the nation,” said Mendes. “I hope viewers will have a joyful and uplifting experience.”

“Sergio’s warmth, humor and appreciation of life through all the senses made me feel a strong connection with him and I want others to feel the same way,” added director Scheinfeld. “His life is an exceptional blend of encounters, spontaneity and serendipity and makes him an irresistible subject for a film.”

The deal was negotiated by WNED PBS and the film’s distributor Brainstorm Media.

Mariah Carey to Receive Innovator Award from African American Film Critics Association

Mariah Carey is being recognized for her storytelling…

The African American Film Critics Association has announced that the 51-year-old half-Venezuelan American singer/actress will receive an AAFCA Special Achievement Award at the 12th annual AAFCA Awards, taking place April 7.

 

Carey will be honored with the Innovator Award.

Other honorees include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom director George C. Wolfe, streaming giant Netflix, and voter suppression documentary, All In: The Fight for Democracy.

Wolfe, whose remarkable career in theatre spans over 40 years, is the 2021 AAFCA Special Achievement Salute To Excellence honoree.

“Even with the challenges of the pandemic, we look forward to providing audiences with a memorable virtual experience. As with every year, this year’s honorees represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields,” said AAFCA CEO and President Gil Robertson. “Mariah Carey is often recognized as a global icon for her musical gifts, but rarely is she celebrated for the visual storytelling in her music videos and specials. As an artist who is all-hands-on-deck in not just crafting her songs, but also in curating and creating the imagery surrounding them, Carey is especially deserving of the 2021 AAFCA Special Achievement Innovator Award.”

Netflix is “the Cinema Vanguard recipient for fostering a global tribe rooted in bringing all people together across various languages and continents through the power of cinema,” said Robertson.

All In: The Fight for Democracy, directed by Lisa Cortes and Liz Garbus, who also co-produced with political titan Stacey Abrams, has been selected for this year’s Stanley Kramer Award.

Said Robertson, “In addition, we, at AAFCA, are doubly pleased that Mrs. Karen Kramer and her team chose to present this year’s AAFCA Stanley Kramer Award for Social Justice to All In: The Fight For Democracy highlighting Stacey Abrams’ personal mission to combat voter suppression.”

Past recipients of the AAFCA Special Achievement Awards include Channing Dungey, Quincy Jones, Jason Blum, Edward James Olmos, George Lucas, Sidney Poitier, Jon Chu, and Cicely Tyson.Mariah Carey

HBO to Premiere the Carlos Santana-Executive-Produced Music Documentary “Fandango at the Wall” This Month

Carlos Santana is bringing the fandango to the U.S./Mexico border wall, and HBO, this month…

HBO will premiere the heartfelt music documentary Fandango at the Wall, executive produced by the 73-year-old Mexican Grammy-winning musician/guitarist, at the end of the month.

Fandango-at-the-Wall

Directed by Varda Bar-Kar and executive produced by Santana, Quincy Jones, Andrew Young and Kabir Sehgal, Fandango at the Wall follows the journey of Grammy-winning musician Arturo O’Farrill and Grammy-winning producer Sehgal in Veracruz, Mexico, where they recruit musicians for a live album recording at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The project, which also includes a live album and a book, was inspired by the annual Fandango Fronterizo Festival, founded by Jorge Francisco Castillo and held at the Tijuana-San Diego border featuring the 300-year-old folk music tradition, son jarocho that fuses indigenous, Spanish and African traditions.

For Leslie Cohen, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisitions at HBO and HBO Max, “the film’s meaningful story and magical music will resonate deeply with our audience.”

Producer Doug Davis said in an official statement, “HBO has long demonstrated a commitment to documentarians like us who make socially-conscious films that explore important issues like immigration and identity.”

Celebrating friendship and unity, the film introduces the region’s son jarocho music, blended with big band arrangements, through interviews and concert footage including son jarocho artists Andrés Vega, Martha Vega, Ramón Gutiérrez, Wendy Cao Romero, Tacho Utrera, Fernando Guadarrama and Patricio Hidalgo.

Sehgal elaborated: “Paradoxically, our film shows how the border can become a place of friendship and amity by harnessing the power of Afro-Mexican music known as son jarocho. I’ve been making music for decades, and I’ve never experienced a more enveloping and transformative art form.”

Director Varda Bar-Kar also expressed appreciation for HBO’s commitment to “provide a platform for diverse filmmakers who tell compelling stories with authenticity, artistry, and layered meaning.”

Produced between Tiger Turn Productions and Sony Music Latin, in partnership with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Fandango at the Wall premieres at 8:00 pm ET on Friday, September 25 on HBO Latino with five additional HBO broadcasts scheduled in the subsequent days. HBO Max will stream in the U.S.

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.