Digging Through The Latin Grammys: Nominees You Should Hear

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Brazilian singer Mart'nália is nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album. i i

Brazilian singer Mart'nália is nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
Brazilian singer Mart'nália is nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album.

Brazilian singer Mart'nália is nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album.

courtesy of the artist

I've always thought of the Latin Grammy Awards as thrift stores: It's all about patiently sifting through piles of nondescript and ludicrous junk until you find something that fits.

The Latin Grammys can be infuriating: They tend to regurgitate the same artists over and over again, year after year, and often award bland mediocrity. With so much exciting music in the Latin world, that's a real shame. Yes, Calle 13's massive win last year was an exciting shift, but I'm still sore about the Grammy for Best Rock Album taken by the Mexican band Mana: It was painful to watch, because the group was up against the innovative and amazing likes of Venezuela's La Vida Boheme.

But enough about past wounds. This year, Felix Contreras and I sift through the nominations and play the records we're most excited to see on the ballots. Mexican crooner Carla Morrison is up for several awards, including Album of the Year, which is a huge step for her — and which makes us tip our hats to the Academy. We review some of the exciting salsa and Latin jazz legends in the running, and fall in love with Colombian Vallenato music. Also, NPR classical-music expert Tom Huizenga stops by to talk about some of his favorite nominees.

The Latin Grammys have 34 categories, but you don't have to sift through them all: We've done that for you by handpicking the top of the crop.

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Los Grammys Latinos son para mí como una tienda de ropa de segunda mano: uno tiene que buscar con mucha paciencia hasta encontrar algo que a uno le guste.


Como se podrán dar cuenta a partir de esta descripción, los Grammys no son nuestra ceremonia preferida aquí en Alt.Latino: los organizadores insisten en reciclar los mismos artistas una y otra vez, año tras año, y tienden a premiar la mediocridad. Con tanta música buena que llega a nuestros oídos todos los días, a veces llega a dar verguenza la lista de ganadores. Y aunque la arrasadora victoria de Calle 13 fue emocionante, todavía me enfurece que la banda de rock mexicana Maná haya ganado un Grammy al major álbum de rock; fue particularmente ridículo en vista de todas las bandas increíbles contra las cuales competía, entre ellas los venezolanos de La Vida Boheme, uno de los grupos más creativos de rock de los últimos años.

¡Pero ya dejemos de lamernos las heridas! Este año, Felix y yo revisamos la lista de postulantes al Grammy y escuchamos la música que más nos gustó. La maravillosa cantante mexicana Carla Morrison está nominada para varios premios, incluyendo para el mejor álbum del año- lo cual es un gran paso para ella y en nuestra opinión para la academia. También repasamos algunas de las leyendas de la salsa y el jazz latino que se encuentran entre los nominados, y nos enamoramos del carismático vallenato colombiano. Como si todo esto fuese poco, Tom Huizenga, nuestro consultor y experto en música clásica, pasa a visitarnos y hablarnos sobre sus nominados favoritos del género.
Los Grammys latinos tienen 34 categorías, pero a no desesperarse: nosotros seleccionamos lo major y hoy te lo ofrecemos en bandeja de plata!

Digging Through The Latin Grammys: Nominees You Should Hear

Mambo Legends Orchestra

  • Album: Watch Out! [¡Ten Cuidao!]
  • Song: Watch Out!

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Watch Out!
Album
Watch Out! [¡Ten Cuidao!]
Artist
Mambo Legends Orchestra
Released
2010

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

YouTube
Cover for Desde Rusia Con Amor

Molotov

  • Album: Desde Rusia Con Amor
  • Song: Chinga Tu Madre
YouTube
Cover for Dejenme Llorar

Carla Morrison

  • Album: Dejenme Llorar
  • Song: Dejenme Llorar

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Dejenme Llorar
Album
Dejenme Llorar
Artist
Carla Morrison
Label
Carla Morrison Musica/Cosmica Records
Released
2012

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

YouTube

Mart'nalia

  • Album: Não Tente Compreender
  • Song:
YouTube

Mambo Legends Orchestra

  • Album: Watch Out! [¡Ten Cuidao!]
  • Song: Birdland

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Birdland
Album
Watch Out! [¡Ten Cuidao!]
Artist
Mambo Legends Orchestra
Released
2010

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Cover for Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook

Miguel Zenón

  • Album: Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook
  • Song: Tiemblas

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Tiemblas
Album
Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook
Artist
Miguel Zenón
Label
Marsalis
Released
2011

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Cover for Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard = Chano & Dizzy!

Poncho Sanchez/Terence Blanchard

  • Album: Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard = Chano & Dizzy!
  • Song:

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard = Chano & Dizzy!
Album
Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard = Chano & Dizzy!
Artist
Poncho Sanchez/Terence Blanchard
Label
Concord Jazz
Released
2011

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Cover for Blue Cha Cha

Manuel Galbán

  • Album: Blue Cha Cha
  • Song: Rumba del Ángel

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Rumba del Ángel
Album
Blue Cha Cha
Artist
Manuel Galbán
Label
Concord
Released
2012

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Cover for Le Canta a San Jacinto

Juan Piña, Rodrigo Rodriguez

  • Album: Le Canta a San Jacinto
  • Song: Sueño Con Maria
Cover for Jerry Gonzalez Y El Comando De La Clave

Jerry Gonzalez Y El Comando De La Clave

  • Album: Jerry Gonzalez Y El Comando De La Clave
  • Song: Obsesion

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