Poncho Lizárraga Mentors Las Vegas High Schoolers as Part of Latin Grammy in the Schools Program

Poncho Lizárraga

Poncho Lizárraga of Banda el Recodo helps present a donation from the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation and Ford Motor Company Fund to Rancho High School in Las Vegas on Nov. 20, 2015.

While many were nursing a hangover the morning after the 2015 Latin Grammy Awards, clarinetist Poncho Lizárraga of Banda El Recodo made a stop at Rancho High School in Las Vegas to mentor aspiring musicians. 

Lizárraga's visit was part of the Latin Grammy in the Schools program -- an educational initiative from the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation that offers music students the opportunity to learn about the world that surrounds the Latin music business from A-list musicians and music professionals -- and included anecdotes and advice from the esteemed Banda el Recodo member.

During the same visit, Lizárraga helped present a donation from the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation with the assistance of Ford Motor Company of $20,000 that will go towards procuring instruments for the school's music program. 

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The night before (Nov. 19), Lizárraga spoke about the importance of giving back, “We’ve always looked at music as something that’s meant to be shared,” he told reporters from the press room at the MGM Grand Garden Arena after Banda el Recodo’s double win at Latin Grammys for best banda album (Mi Vicio Más Grande) and best regional Mexican song (“Todo Tuyo”).

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Gabriel Abaroa, president and CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, told Billboard earlier this year that launching the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation in 2014 was the fulfillment of a longtime dream. Since its launch, the foundation has distributed more than $1 million in scholarships, fellowships and grants, with the support of stars like Lizárraga and Enrique Iglesias, who endowed a $200,000 ­scholarship at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. "We want to invest in young musicians that love Latin music," said Abaroa.


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