The ninth "Rock en Ñ" Spanish-language tour of Latin American countries starts today (Oct. 30) with a concert by Mexican singer Julieta Venegas in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

This year's annual tour to promote "rock en español," organised by Fundación Autor, the promotional arm of the Spanish authors and publishers collecting society SGAE, takes in five Latin American capital cities and will showcase 12 artists from five countries.

Rock en Ñ organiser Xavier Novaes says this year marks the first time that Fundación Autor is staging the tour at two new multi-space cultural centers in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Argentina, that were recently opened and form part of a new international SGAE-sponsored cultural initiative called ARTeria.

"Each center is similar to the Miami Performing Arts Center, which we visited as a reference, and they add permanent and flexible centers for Fundación Autor activities such as Rock en Ñ, which we organize every fall," says Novaes.

Fundación Autor's director for the exploitation and marketing of ARTeria, Raul Ramos, says ARTeria has four operating centers so far - the other two are in Madrid and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain - and will have 17 within three years. The Berklee Valencia multi-purpose center to be opened in 2011 in Valencia, Spain, by Boston's Berklee College of Music and SGAE (Billboard.biz, Oct. 17), will be part of the ARTeria network.

Ramos describes the centers where Rock en Ñ will be staged in Buenos Aires and Mexico City as "important hubs in what will be our international network of flexible multi-purpose cultural spaces for the promotion of Spanish and Latin American cultures."

Rock en Ñ, which ends Nov. 22 in Mexico City, takes in the Festival Rock al Parque in Bogota, Colombia, which usually attracts 250,000 people, and Santiago de Chile, Chile, as well the Venezuelan, Argentine and Mexican capitals.

Venegas participated in the first Rock en Ñ before she became an international Latin star with the success of the 2006 album "Limón y Sal" (Sony BMG) and its hit single, "Me Voy."

This year's other artists include La Shica, Fon Román, Tabú and El Chojin from Spain, French-Spanish band Sargento García, Peru's Pelo Madueño, Venezuela's Los Mentas, and Mexican acts Liber Teran, Yessi Bulbo, and The Cavernarios.

Since its launch in 2000, Rock en Ñ has visited more than 10 countries, including the U.S., and 25 cities with Spanish artists.

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