Category Archives: Awards

Fifty-two Relevant Musicians Decorated in Cuba

(Prensa Latina)
Havana, Cuba – Composer Marta Valdes and percussionist Federico Aristides Soto, better known as Tata Guines, led the list of 52 relevant musicians decorated December 30 with the highest cultural distinctions of the Cuban State.

In a ceremony at the José Martí Memorial Center at the Revolution Square, the honored artists received the medals Felix Varela, Alejo Carpentier and the National Culture Distinction.Leonardo Acosta, Federico Arístides Soto, Manuel Duchesne Cuzan, Vicente Feliu, Maria Antonieta Enriquez, Noel Nicola, Jesus Ortega, Maria Felicia Perez, Ñico Rojas, Marta Valdes, Jose Maria Vitier, Sergio Vitier and Lázaro Ros got the Order Felix Varela.

Carlos Alfonso, Joaquin Betancourt, Bobby Carcasses, Ela Calvo, Juan Manuel Ceruto, Santiago Feliu, Ulises Hernandez, Inocente Iznaga (El Jilguero de Cienfuegos), Hernán Lopez-Nussa and Jose Antonio Mendez were granted the medal Alejo Carpentier.

The list is completed with Teresita Junco, German Ibañez, Adriano Rodriguez and Luis Mirabal, better known as Guajiro Mirabal, Buena Vista Social Club member.

The National Culture Distinction went to the hands of Georgia Aguirre, Enrique Alvarez, Moises Valle, Giraldo Piloto, Manolito Simonet, Mayito Rivera, Cesar “Puppy” Pedroso, Maria Elena Mendiola, Rene Baños and Amadito Valdes (Buena Vista Social Club).

The list also includes Caridad Diez, Jose Reyes, Miriam Escudero, Laura Vilar, Maria del Carmen Prieto, Jesus Rodriguez, Gilberto Morales, Pablo Menendez, Amado de Deu, Teresa Garcia Caturla, Xiomara Valdes, Roberto Sanchez, Emilio Heredia and Pedrito Calvo.

Culture Vice-Minister Abel Acosta summarized the resolutions granting the different decorations with these words: “You are the stars of an admirable career in which art has been, simultaneously, shield and sword.”These medals pay tribute to the merit, devotion and defense of the national identity by the artists decorated, Acosta added.

On behalf of the musicians, composer Marta Valdes expressed how proud they were on the print they have been leaving in Cuban culture, also stated each work they have done means Cuba. While receiving the decoration, she stressed: “We are seeing the perfect tuning for the Homeland to look at us with pride.”

The ceremony was attended by Esteban Lazo, member of the Communist Party´s Politburo; Culture Minister Abel Prieto, Vice-Ministers, officials, musicians and artists, including singer and Parliament member Silvio Rodriguez.

[Photo; Lázaro Ros].


Folk Alliance – 11th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Washington, D.C., USA – The Folk Alliance has announced the 11th Annual
Lifetime Achievement Awards, which will be presented at their international
conference. This year the Folk Alliance honors Southern singer, freedom marcher,
Maritime songwriter, humanitarian,
; and the Newport Festival whose
blend traditional and contemporary folk performers shaped musical history. The
presentation will be made at the convention, during the luncheon banquet on
Thursday, February 24, 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Montreal. For information call
301-588-8185 or go to on-line registration for the conference at Newport Folk Festival is the site of some of the most important moments of
the 1960’s folk revival. From an eighteen year old Joan Baez’s appearance with
Bob Gibson in 1959 to Bob Dylan’s electric appearance in 1965, the folk revival
was largely defined on the stages of the Newport Folk Festival (and recorded for
posterity by Vanguard records). George Wean and Albert Grossman founded the
Newport Folk Festival in 1959, Newport began to find its footing as a blend of
the best of traditional and contemporary folk began to shape musical history in
that idiom. Pete Seeger and Theodore Bikel convinced George Wein to make the
festival a non-profit organization to be overseen by the Newport Folk
Foundation. . It was during this period Robert L. Jones joined the team as
musical director. Originally from the Boston area, Bob first became interested
in folk music as an artist—a balladeer who performed regularly in Cambridge
clubs and coffeehouses.

The Festival introduced audiences to both legendary traditional musicians like
Mississippi John Hurt, Dewey Balfa, and Reverend Gary Davis, as well as up and
coming popular folk entertainers including James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Joan
Baez, Janis Ian, and Peter, Paul & Mary The festival ran in its original form
until 1971, when it was cancelled by the organizers who feared growing unrest.

After a fifteen-year hiatus, there was a Symphony Hall reunion concert featuring
many alumni from past Newport Folk Festivals, followed soon after by a revival
of the festival itself. In recent years the festival has presented many emerging
artists including Alison Krauss, Nanci Griffith, and Patty Larkin and continues
to be one of the most influential festivals in North America.

The Lifetime Achievement awards are given to those that have achieved definitive
leadership in their field, have contributed to the advancement of folk music
and/or dance and who have inspired us through their presence. Each year two
performers, one living and one deceased, and a person or institution involved in
the business or academic side of the folk world are honored. Each recipient will
receive an original colored wood-block print, commissioned by the Folk Alliance
for the Lifetime Achievement Award by artist Paul Ritscher.


Deadlines for three awards offered by the Society for American Music

USA – Applications for the Irving Lowens Award for Best Book (2004), Irving
Lowens Award for Best Article (2004),<br>
and Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award (2004) are all due by 15 February 2005.
For information, application forms, and guidelines, see the links below.<a href="">Irving Lowens
Award for Best Book (2004)</a><br>
<a href="">Irving
Lowens Award for Best Article (2004)</a><br>
Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award (2004)<br>


Idrissa Soumaoro Wins the 2004 Radio France International World Music Award

Paris, France – Malian musician Idrissa Soumaoro has won the
2004 Radio France International (RFI) World Music Award.

The musical credentials
of Idrissa Soumaoro are impeccable. Having learned his trade with Les
Ambassadeurs with Salif Keita in Bamako, he has been a force within Malian music
for a number of years, receiving the Knight of the National order of Mali in
recognition of his contribution to Malian culture and music. This came to the
notice of famed African producer, Ibrahim Sylla (Salif Keita, Baaba Maal, Ismael
Lo), who has taken Idrissa and created the album Köte, which came out this year. Over the past thirty years and more, Idrissa has taught music to the blind and
former pupils of his include the famous Malian duo Amadou & Mariam. Idrissa, a
former member of Les Ambassadeurs (where he shared the limelight with Salif
Keita), now has his own group, Les Compagnons. Idrissa may be renowned for his
rectitude and honesty, but this does not stop him wielding his own powerful
brand of satire in his work. His album, Köte, on Wrasse Records,
distributed by Caroline in the US, features an interesting mix of blues and
traditional Malian sounds.

Idrissa is an amazing person, by day he teaches music to visually handicapped
children and teaches them to read through the use of braille; in the evenings he
then plays his music rooted in the blues.

France’s annual RFI World Music Award has unearthed up-and-coming talents from
Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean region. The majority of past winners
– who include Rokia Traoré, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Didier Awadi and blind Malian duo
Amadou & Mariam – have gone on to enjoy successful international careers.

The finalists along with Idrissa were Senegalese fusion maestro Abdou Guité
Seck and the Guinean group Ba Cissoko. A jury, chaired by last year’s winner
Rokia Traoré, announced their verdict this week after a live show at the French
Cultural Centre in Bamako on Thursday, 2 December.


Lucas Cuban Music Video Awards: Diversify and Grow


(Prensa Latina)Havana, Cuba – The Lucas Awards (Cuban Music Video) have become a boost for original, creative ideas. The Award ceremony held at the National Theater
led the organizers to confirm something that makes us all happy: diversity has enriched the Cuban music video.

From the first 27 works produced in 1997, the Cuban video has grown to close the 2004 contest with 140 productions. Actor Jorge Perugorria (Strawberry and Chocolate) handed the award to Best Video of the Year Julio Cesar Leal and Ismar Rodriguez for “Ay, Hay Amor,” by Cuban ‘timba’ band Charanga Habanera.

They also got the Best Direction, Best Popular Dance Song, Best band and Most Popular Song Award.Alfredo Ureta won for Best New Artist, with “Para No Sentir la Sed,” by the
duet Karma.

Polito Ibanez´s “Como a Mujeres,” by Santana, got the Best Rock Video award, while Pop category was majored by Wena Onda´s “Ay, Juana”, by Rudy Mora and Orlando Cruzata, the latter founder of the television show sparking the idea off and main organizer of the ceremony.

In a segment surprisingly presented by Grammy Award winners Orishas,
X Alfonso went home with Best Male Artist and Best Rap Video for “Habana 8 pm.”
Filmmaker Lisset Vila was granted a special award, while the Best Female Artist award went to Rochy´s “Sabor Salao”, by Leonardo Perez.


Cesar Portillo and Silvio Rodriguez: Cuban Music Awards

(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – Cuba´s National Music Award was granted in Havana to Cuban singer-songwriters Cesar Portillo de la Luz and Silvio Rodriguez, famous for their works of great international repercussion. Both shared the award with pianist Jorge Luis Prats, poet and improviser Adolfo (Alfonso) Fernández, and composer and conductor Alfredo Diez Nieto. While making the announcement, the jury’s president, musicologist Harold Gramatges (Tomas Luis de Victoria Award laureate in 1996) stated the list
included 10 nominees this year, although he did not mention names.
The award, granted for fourth time, acknowledge a wide range of Cuban music
heritage, from Nueva Trova (New Song) up to Cuban country and classical
music, including Feeling and an eternal genre: bolero.

Musicians such as
, Leo Brouwer, Juan Formell, Richard Egues,
Esther Borja, Luis Carbonell, Celina González and Lázaro Ross, including
other prestigious artists, have previously received it.


Cuba and Spain to Contest for Latin Jazz \"Jackpot\" Award

(Prensa Latina) Madrid, Spain – Cuba, Spain, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela compete with seven
works, at the 4th SGAE Award of Latin Jazz, the most sought-after in Latin
The winner, chosen from the many composers applying for the top award will
be granted 10,000 dollars, sources of the General Society of Authors and
Publishers (SGAE) told Prensa Latina.

The call for the SGAE Award of Latin Jazz, also sponsored by the Fundacion
Autor, is made every two years and its juries have been formed by legends of
jazz such as Cuban pianist Jesus

Chucho Valdés
, Argentinean saxophonist Gato
Barbieri and Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez.According to the organizers, the award is aimed to “boost and acknowledge
jazz creation by the composers of the Ibero-American community
Cuba has been the most benefited in this first selection, including three
candidates for the final stage of the award, to be announced on December,
inserted amongst the activities programmed for the Havana Jazz Plaza

The rest of the nations contributed with three works each one. The selection
of the compositions to the final was carried out by a jury presided by Cuban
pianist Chucho Valdes. Brazilian saxophonist Carlos Malta and Spanish
singer Soledad Giménez were also members of the jury.

The identity of the finalists will not be disclosed until December to
preserve the integrity of the award. It was known, though, that some of the
compositions in contest are “A pesar de todo,” “Guárdame el rio,”
“Nostalgia,” “Pa´ Elegguá (El Tiempo),” “El Gorgojo,” “Latino soy” and

The winners will be awarded by places in this order: $9,520 dollars for the
winner; 6,000 dollars for the second position; 3,000 dollars for the third,
and 2,760 dollars shared by three special mentions.

[Photo: Chucho Valdés]


Sri Ragam Fine Arts (Chennai)

On November 5th, 2004, Sri Ragam Fine Arts(Chennai), in association with Delhi Tamil sangam, honored musicians Vasantha Sundram (vocal) with the M.L.V. award, and noted top ranking percussionist Kumbakonam N. Padmanabhan(mridangam) the Tanjavur Vaidyanatha Iyer Award, Vallivalam Rajendram(nadaswaram) T.N.R. award, and Padma Sampathkumaran (Bala Saraswathi award).


The Indie Acoustic Project Awards Now Accepting Submission

Boulder, Colorado, USA – The Indie Acoustic Project is now accepting
submissions for its “Best CDs of 2004” Awards.
What qualifies: any full-length (25 minutes or longer) CD that: (1) is mostly
acoustic, and (2) has been (or will have been) released for sale to the public
during 2004 by any entity other than a major US label. Recordings released by a
non-major but distributed by a major label qualify for consideration, as do
recordings that feature electric or electronic instrumentation in addition to
acoustic instrumentation. If you have any questions, contact  at releases announcing the names of the finalists and winners will be sent to
over 100 print, broadcast, and web media outlets around the world, including
most of the major US and Canadian newspapers, NPR, PRI, CBC, as well as many
music and alternative press outlets. Contact and product ordering information
for the finalists and winners in each of the award categories (and their
respective record companies) will be posted on the IAP website.

Address submissions to:

Indie Acoustic Project
570 Union Avenue
Boulder, Colorado 80304

Every submission will be given consideration for inclusion in the “Best Of” List
and for the Best CD Award. Participants must submit one CD copy per title that
you wish to have considered for the awards. No other material is necessary,
although a brief bio sheet may be included. Also enclose an email contact for
each submission, as contact information for winners and finalists will be posted
on the IAP website. Twelve awards will be given—one per category. The categories
are as follows: Acoustic Ensemble, Alternative Rock, Americana, Celtic,
Instrumental, Multi-Genre, Rock, Roots, Singer-Songwriter (Male), Female
Singer-Songwriter (Female), and World Music. The Indie Acoustic Project will
determine which category best fits the recording. Consideration for, and
inclusion in the “Best Of” list and awards is a public service of the Indie
Acoustic Project, and as such, there is no charge of any kind for any aspect of
these awards. All decisions regarding any aspect of the “Best Of” List and
Awards will be made solely at the discretion of the Indie Acoustic Project and
will be final. All submissions must be postmarked no later than December 31,
2004. Notification of finalists and winners will be made electronically. Award
certificates will be sent via mail to all winners, provided a physical address
is provided to us.

The Indie Acoustic Project is dedicated to giving recognition to outstanding
works of innovative acoustic (or mainly acoustic) music that have never gotten
the acclaim that they deserve. The IAP website at also features
the finalists and winners of the Best CDs of 2001-2003 Awards, and information
about the 50 Best Indie Acoustic CDs of the 1990s.

[Photo: Moh Alileche, winner of the 2003 world music award. Courtesy of Flag of Freedom Productions].


Paco de Lucía wins the Prince of Asturias Award

Paco de Lucía
Paco de Lucía
Madrid, Spain – One of the greatest guitarists alive, Flamenco guitar innovator Paco de Lucía  has won the 2004 Prince of Asturias award of the Arts. This is the most important and prestigious award of its kind given in Spain. The other contenders were American rock musician Bruce Springsteen, French dancer Maurice Béjart and British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Paco de Lucía [Francisco Sánchez Gómez], was born in Algeciras, Spain. He incorporated new elements to flamenco guitar and led the way to a new generation of Flamenco guitars wizards. Some of his most important recordings include Entre dos aguas (1981), Solo quiero caminar (1981), Paco de Lucía Sextet Live on One Summer Night (1985) and Siroco (1986). He has received numerous awards in Spain, such as two Premios de la Música and the Premio de Honor (in 2002), the top prize given annually by the Academia de la Música to exceptional musicians.