TUESDAY, APRIL 23
THE ESSENTIAL PARTNERSHIP: ARTISTS & THEIR INSTRUMENTS
It’ll be early in the morning on rock star time when Mexican guitar god Sergio Vallín gamely straps on his Fender and heads to the Billboard Conference. The guitarist for super group Maná, who hold the sold-out concert record at L.A.’s Staples Center, will make a rare appearance in front of a decidedly more intimate crowd when he talks to Fender SVP Sergio Villanueva and Billboard’s Leila Cobo about his ax of choice and the art of playing guitar. Expect him also to show us a sample of how it’s done.
11:15 am- 11:35
Cosmopolitan singer/songwriter Jorge Drexler’s fascination with chance, fate and the science of life and love have yielded precisely crafted yet heart-squeezing songs that have earned him an Oscar (“Al Otro Lado del Rio), Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations, and a cult following of U.S. fans eager for the rare chance to see him live. The Uruguayan artist, who lives in Madrid, comes to the Billboard Conference to talk about making songs into software. Drexler’s n, a set of three interactive songs downloadable as apps, lets users create variations of thousands of songs from his melodies and lyrics. At the conference, he’ll join with Wake App CEO Jacobo Bergareche and Spanish composers’ society SGAE’s president Anton Reixa to tell the “beautiful and exhausting story” of the app project, and treat attendees to a performance.
THE BILLBOARD SUPERSTAR Q&A WITH CARLOS VIVES
11:45am – 12:30pm
Colombia’s Carlos Vives was a pioneer in bringing regional roots rock to a massive audience. His 1993 Billboard Latin Music-awards winning album, built on vallenato, a Colombian country genre, made way for the current Latin sound that celebrates the fusion of diverse Latin rhythms with pop and rock, equally the birthright of generations of Latin Americans and U.S. Latinos alike. Vives released five more albums, with hit singles that have become classics. Then he dropped out of the international spotlight. He’ll stage a comeback at the Billboard Latin Conference, where, on the release day of his first album in eight years, Vives joins Leila Cobo for the Superstar Q&A.
LATIN SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME & AFTERPARTY
7:00pm – 10:00pm
NEW WORLD CENTER
Celebrities will be out in force to celebrate the storied Latin music songbook at the inaugural induction ceremony for the Latin songwriters hall of fame, held in association with Billboard. Generations of artists will converge on the stage of Miami Beach’s New World Center, honoring songwriters including Julio Iglesias, Armando Manzanero and Jose Feliciano, and featuring a tribute to Latin music lover Nat King Cole.
TOP STOP MUSIC SHOWCASE
Grand Central 697 N Miami Ave.
Expect a capacity crowd at the Tuesday night showcase presented by Sergio George, the Quincy Jones of tropical music, and his TopStop Music label. George’s latest Billboard Latin chart-topping protégé Leslie Grace shares a bill with salsa star Tito Nieves, romantic bachatero Toby Love, and [Jorge] Villa-Mizaro, formerly of the popular Miami-based group Bacilos, as well as new Top Stop artists Venezuelan teen idol and boy band 5 Solz. George will also screen a preview of his upcoming “Sergio George Salsa Giants Movie,.” We’re hoping for a surprise appearance by Marc Anthony, who’s featured in the film and has been working on a new salsa album with George.