Welcome to part 2 of our Artists of the Year Awards, today’s awards are from Patrick O’Heffernan of Music Friday Live! and co-host of Musica Fusion LA and they focus on the ALM Community. The Latino music scene in LA is huge with around 3-4 million people and covers an amazing variety of artists, radio stations and nightclubs.
Best ALM singer, male: Mitre
Singer/songwriter/producer Mitre blends the color and form of Mexico with modern instrumentation and sensibilities, moving effortlessly from traditional to current. Mitre brings these traditions together through his astonishing voice, generous collaborations with other singers and bands and his own prodigious talent. The result are songs whose whole is far greater than the sum of their parts . He launched his career in Italy where he was a producer and eventually recorded his own music which charted in that country. He is now in the USA, recording and performing for both Latino and gringo audiences. Mitre’s genius is his ability to use his commanding voice to convey powerful emotions that transcend the lyrics in a musical reality he creates from tango, pop, Mexican, rock, rap and even recorded street sounds. A native of Mexico City, Mitre has moved easily in music communities worldwide, establishing fan clubs in Columbia, Peru, Italy, Venezuela , Mexico, and the USA.
Best ALM singer, female Nancy Sanchez
Nancy Sanchez is a singer-songwriter with a gifted voice, distinct lyrics and an uncanny ability to draw you in regardless of the genre she is singing. Good thing – she is a jazz singer who has appeared at the Baked Potato, the Blue Whale and other Jazz clubs, a Mariachi band leader who delivers traditional and mashup song in English and Spanish, and a genre-crossing pop singer with songs about her American boyfriend as well as jazz standards . She won three Orange County Music Awards, taking home honors for Best Latin and Best Jazz singer. Born in Toluca, Mexico, Sanchez immigrated to the United States with her family as a young girl. Music was part of her childhood, and it wasn’t long before she was writing music Growing up, Sanchez spent her formative years in Anaheim’s exploding Latin community, playing with a local Mariachi academy. Later, she discovered the world of jazz, a genre she would fall in love with…in addition to rock, pop, and mariachi.
Best ALM rock band Los Hollywood
I love the way this band effortlessly blends Spanish and English into solid rock and roll music that crosses boundaries and makes people dance. I have seen them live many times and each time the audience went nuts. Bass player and band leader Heidi Flores and “the boys” know how to lay down and old fashioned 4/4 rock beat, or mix it up with polyrhythms, or hit you in the gut with guitar solos. Excitement is what they do.
Best ALM dance band Buyepongo
Buyepongo is a regular on the dance floors of Los Angeles because of its dizzyingly energetic, rhythms that combine hip-hop, punk, funk, and jazz with styles from across the Latin American diaspora like salsa and cumbia. The band is part hybrid which reflects their early punk rock and hip-hop influences from growing up in L.A and the music they found in their travels in Latin America. Buyepongo has shared the stage with acts such as Quantic, Ondatropica, Ozomatli, Booker T, Celso Piña, Os Mutantes, Sister Nancy, Dead Prez, Cut Chemist, Beatnuts, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Antibalas, and Punta Cartel to name a few. They’ve performed on countless stages, including Grand Park, Levitt Pavillion’s Summer Music Series, Hollywood Forever’s Dia De Los Muertos, The Los Angeles Music Center’s Los Angeles County Holiday Concert, the Skirball Cultural Center’s Family Amphitheater Performances, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Check back tomorrow for the final part of our awards from Patrick O’Heffernan host of Music Friday Live! and Co-host of Musica Fusion LA