Yalil Guerra, a Havana-born contemporary composer who now makes his home in Los Angeles, won this year's trophy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for his work “Seducción.” The piece, which is performed by pianist Elizabeth Rebozo, is from his album “Live in L.A.”
In recent years, a number of Latin and non-Latin artists, including Carlos Santana and Paul Simon, have raised objections to the consolidation of certain Latin-music categories by the Grammy Awards. The outcry was so fierce that last summer the Recording Academy reinstated the Grammy Award category for Latin Jazz.
Arturo Sandoval, the Latin jazz lion who won awards Thursday for Best Latin Jazz Album and Best Tango Album, said backstage he didn’t know whether the current Grammy categories are sufficient to cover Latin music. However, he said he believed that “everyone who makes a record with good intentions” and “professionalism” can be recognized, whether in an old or a new category.
One of the evening’s most quietly moving moments occurred when Fonseca won for Best Tropical Fusion Album. In accepting, he gave a shout-out in Spanish to his war-ravaged Colombian homeland which, he said “never lost the illusion of peace.”
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