Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony: Alejandra Guzman, Myriam Hernandez, Café Tacuba, Rita Moreno & More Perform
The third annual Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony -- or La Musa Awards -- was an eclectic affair, honoring all styles and origins of Latin music. Moved to the Fillmore Miami Beach to accommodate bigger attendance (and also to accommodate ticket holders, as the public could buy seats), the event featured performances by Hall of Fame inductees like Myriam Hernandez, Alvaro Torres and Diego Torres as well as by special honorees Fonseca, Alejandra Guzmán, Beto Cuevas and Café Tacuba, among others -- as well as the indefatigable Rita Moreno, who sang a Spanish version of “There’s a Place for Us.”
The Oct. 15 gala was lengthy but well-run under the direction of Broadway producer Richard Jay Alexander, with performances accompanied by the Miami Symphony Orchestra. It was the kind of big-picture touch that unified a very broad range of honorees and performers under similar sensibility.
“To be inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, I never dreamt this,” said Chilean Myriam Hernandez, who has crafted a career as one of Latin music’s biggest divas but who is better known as a singer than a composer despite the fact that she writes. This sort of acknowledgement makes the LSHOF event especially significant.
“It’s important to me to be recognized by fellow composers,” said Gustavo Santaolalla, another inductee who received his award from ASCAP president Paul Williams (with whom he’s collaborating in the Broadway adaptation of Pan’s Labyrinth.)
Indeed, the evening wasn’t limited to Latin names, but -- as has been the case from the onset -- included many in the mainstream who have deep connections with Latin music and its makers. Quincy Jones, for example, received the Desi Arnaz Pioneer Award, John LoFrumento received the Founders Award, and Emilio Estefan was inducted into the Hall of Fame -- and serenaded by wife Gloria, who sang “Con los años que me quedan.”
In a finishing flourish, the “Towering Song” award went to “Guantanamera,” written by Joseíto Fernandez, allowing for a vibrant performance that brought together new and established artists on stage.
Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization founded by renowned songwriter/producers Desmond Child and Rudy Pérez in 2012 to honor and celebrate Latin music creators. Created under the auspices of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, its nominating committee is comprised by songwriters, performers, musicians, producers, engineers, music critics, and industry executives. The La Musa (The Muse) award was inspired by Child’s mother, poet and songwriter Elena Casals.