Billboard 2013 Latin Music Conference & Awards Preview: Vives, Estefan, Omar and Beyond!

For almost 25 years, the Billboard Latin Music Conference has been universally acknowledged as the most important annual Latin music industry event of the year. What insiders know is that the weeklong Miami event is not just about the suits -- conference participants get an all-access pass to the artists that matter in every genre of Latin music, in conversation as well as on stage. Here’s the scoop on the stellar line-up at the 2013 Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards Presented by State Farm® in Association with Pepsi.

The Stage
170 NE 38th St?
With her tough, passionate urban ballad “Gangsta,” 21-year-old Cuban American Kat Dahlia debuted as the new artist from Miami to watch, literally: Just try taking your eyes off of herwhen she performs Monday night at a showcase presented jointly by BMI, peermusic and Sony Music. Mexican MC Niña Dioz, rhythm-shifting partyers Band of Bitches, reggaeton duo Dyland y Lenny, and pop siblings Rio Roma join Dahlia on the bill, and Miami percussionist Edwin Bonilla and his band play a tribute to Tito Puente. Expect Bonilla’s concentrated facial accompaniments to rival the tongue twisting of the late El Rey himself.

Musical Rhythms Promotions Presents "MAS Y MAS MÚSICA" Showcase
6:00pm – 8:00pm
19th Floor, Poolside, JW Marriott Hotel
?Monday evening starts with some poolside music discovery at a showcase with a line-up of a dozen urban, tropical and pop acts presented by Musical Rhythms Promotions. The bill includes a special appearance by Puerto Rican singer Angel Lopez, formerly of Billboard Latin Music Awards winners Son by Four.
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.

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.

5-5:30 p.m.
Marriott Marquis, 19th Floor
Venezuelan duo Chino y Nacho take time out of their highly packed schedule to highlight their work in the Latin space. The evolution of tropical music is moving in new and exciting directions. The artists will be joined by UMLE's Karlos Rose and Venevision's Henry Santos.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Yuca, 501 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
Four of the freshest voices in music will take to the stage and show how it’s done with pop ballads and other genres. This promises to be a special showcase featuring some of the industry’s most talked about singer/songwriters.

8:30 p.m.
CAMEO Nightclub
1445 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Mun2's Crash, Guad, Emeraude, Yarl and La Bronca are hosting one of the week’s most popular parties. Opening acts includes Almas Band, Banda La Leyenda, Banda Yurirense, Sophi and Viajero. Capping off the night will be electrifying performances by América Sierra, Grupo Treo, Plan B and Akwid.


The Billboard Latin Music Awards, presented by State Farm in association with Pepsi, will feature some of the biggest names in music such as singer/songwriter Marc Anthony, reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee and Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra.

The awards show will take place at the BankUnited Center, 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables. Tickets/credentials are required for entry and tickets or conference badges are also required for the awards show after party. (Schedule is subject to change and showcases and cocktail parties are 21-and-over).