Claudia Russell crussell at sdccd.edu
Mon Apr 11 17:34:36 EDT 2011

Our host of Latin Grooves received this message from Bobby Matos.  Thought I
would pass it along to the group.

Much peace to all as we continue to fight the wind and rain and KEEP THE



> Dear familia, friends, fans, and fanaticos,
> Please read these very important messages, and take action by  
> responding to the email addresses provided and forwarding this  
> email to others. This affects all of us that love Latin Jazz and  
> REAL music of all kinds.
> NARAS which is the governing organization for the Grammy's has  
> announced
> today that they have eliminated the Latin Jazz category.   Over the
> years, I have had thoughts that NARAS wouldn't recognize a musical  
> note
> if it hit them in their face.  I have, up until now, given NARAS the
> benefit of the doubt, but, now they have proved to me and the rest of
> the global musical world that they don't know what music is or  
> where it
> comes from.  Latin Jazz is a genre deeply rooted in the history of  
> Jazz
> and our country.  By eliminating it is like telling Tito Puente and
> Dizzy Gillespie that their musical contributions were worth zilch or
> less.  Excuse me NARAS, but it is due to your lack of knowledge of  
> music
> that has caused the music business to be in the shape it is today.
> Please stop telling us that NARAS is giving back by conducting music
> education programs for the youth of America.  What could NARAS  
> possibly
> be teaching?  For sure it isn't Latin Jazz.  This is simply  
> insulting to
> our intelligence and worse it is a prevarication.  By eliminated Latin
> Jazz from the Grammy's proves that you, NARAS are the cause of the
> demise.   Sincerely, Randy Klein, President Jazzheads -- A NEW YORK  
> We must respond to NARAS with some kind of petition and group  
> statement. We certainly need everyone's support in this matter.  
> Latin Jazz is over 70 years old, if you start counting from when  
> Mario Bauza created the Machito & his Afro Cubans Orchestra. Older  
> still, if you start counting from when Juan Tizol created CARAVAN.  
> Please let's get organized and send our efforts to Neil Portnow at  
> We should send our efforts out on facebook, twitter, and we should  
> send press releases as well. All of us , artists,radio hosts and  
> programmers, journalists, labels, arrangers, composers, fans, todo  
> el mundo. This is the most important issue we have ever addressed  
> (way more urgent than the usual bochinche) and so far there have  
> been few responses and no calls for action. What ever we think  
> about NARAS, this decision just marginalizes, denigrates, and  
> denies our music. How do you think this decision will affect the  
> shrinking radio play we are already seeing?
>  Lets get started. This is a direct attack on our music, and in  
> many cases, our livelihood. This NOT a time to be passive. Can we  
> get started? We need the vocal support of all of us, Fans, players,  
> writers, programmers, and more. STAND UP NOW. I suggest that we  
> send a message something like the following to: joannac at grammy.com  
> (executive officer at NARAS) and neil at grammy.com (Neil Portnow,  
> director of NARAS) :
> This decision just marginalizes, denigrates, and denies our  
> music.How do you think this decision will affect the shrinking  
> radio play we are already seeing? Latin Jazz is a music born in the  
> USA, a true American art form, with an almost 70 year history of  
> valued contributions. Mario Bauza, Machito, Dizzy Gillespie, Chico  
> O'Farrill, Paquito D'Rivera, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Cal  
> Tjader, Charlie Parker, Billy Taylor, Mongo Santamaria ,Herbie  
> Mann, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Dorham, Art Blakey, Sonny  
> Stitt, Sonny Rollins, Chucho Valdes, Jerry Gonzalez, Gato Barbieri,  
> and so many others have given us so much true art in the name of  
> Latin jazz.
> I agree entirely with the statements made by my colleague Mr.  
> Sanabria.
> Bobby Matos
> What strikes me as strange is that it (the decision to drop the  
> Latin Jazz category, B.M.) comes at a time when there are more  
> Latinos in this country than ever before being represented  
> musically in wondrous ways. Besides that, it further marginalizes  
> jazz by having Latin oriented jazz (in all of its manifestations),  
> which is completely different genre than straight ahead jazz,  
> compete against more traditional forms of jazz. It's apples and  
> oranges. Latin jazz is a category unto itself, has a lengthy  
> history and tradition, and is an established genre. I hate to say  
> it, but it's like the old divide and conquer scenario. Except here  
> it's, eliminate and conquer.
> Ache',
> Bobby Sanabria
> Please feel free to either copy this wording or put it in your own  
> words. And please read the words of  another important contributor  
> to our genre, posted below. Thank you,
> Bobby Matos
>   While I would agree with eliminating the gender-based categories,  
> I also find it ill-advised and extremely short-sighted to relegate  
> World Music to one sole category, and downright insulting to  
> eliminate the Latin Jazz category. Who makes these decisions?  How  
> does this serve the field?
> John Santos
> Five time Grammy nominee in various categories including Latin Jazz  
> and Traditional World that are both now eliminated.

If we cannot count on NARAS to to uphold and be leaders in terms of  
the artistic integrity of our music, well what does that say about  
them and their commitment to our music.
Oscar Hernández

Best Regards,
Oscar Hernández

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