Kickin' It In NYC: The Latin Alternative Music Conference At 15

(From left) Vive Latino founder Jordi Puig, Felix Contreras, Tomas Cookman (founder of Nacional Records and the Latin Alternative Music Conference), Jasmine Garsd, Dante Spinetta (from Argentine band Illya Kuryaki And The Valderramas) and Gabriel Abaroa (president of the Latin Recording Academy).

(From left) Vive Latino founder Jordi Puig, Felix Contreras, Tomas Cookman (founder of Nacional Records and the Latin Alternative Music Conference), Jasmine Garsd, Dante Spinetta (from Argentine band Illya Kuryaki And The Valderramas) and Gabriel Abaroa (president of the Latin Recording Academy). Karlo Ramos/Courtesy of LAMC hide caption

itoggle caption Karlo Ramos/Courtesy of LAMC

Once a year Felix and I head to the Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York to check out great new bands and revisit true legends. We've been doing this for four years now, and it gets better every time. But the festival also had an important anniversary this year: 15 years of bringing new Latin music to New York.

Dante Spinetta from Illya Kuryaki And The Valderramas.

Dante Spinetta from Illya Kuryaki And The Valderramas. courtesy of the artist. hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist.

This year, as always, we got to meet fantastic up-and-comers and chill with pillars of Latin music. But we also spoke to key decision-makers in the business. That's because we were asked to host a panel Thursday about how the Latin music industry and its audiences have changed over the past decade and a half.

As a result we got fascinating and very different perspectives this week from Gabriel Abaroa, president and CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; Tomas Cookman, president and owner of Cookman International, a company that specializes in Latin artists and produces the festival; Jordi Puig, director of the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City; and iconic Argentine artist Dante Spinetta, of the duo Illya Kuryaki and The Valderramas.

Join us for good conversation and songs — and please tell us in the comments section where you think the music we all love is headed.

Kickin' It In NYC: 15 Years Of Latin Alternative Music Conference In The Big Apple

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