The Latin Grammy Award for Producer of the Year is an honor presented annually to a given producer whose recordings released during the eligibility period and represent paramount creativity in the area of record production, mixing and mastering.
The engineering of sound and instrumentation plays a considerable role in the trajectory of a record’s success, especially when one considers the several hats producers tend to wear — including songwriter, composer and overall artistic visionary. This year’s nominees vary in age, background and genre, with eargasmic sounds steeped in blues, folk, jazz, Latin pop, hip-hop, indie rock and romance.
Ahead of the 18th annual Latin Grammy Awards held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, get better acquainted with the production wizards behind some of your favorite music and this year’s award-nominated records.
Eduardo Bergallo, who’s been recording, mixing and mastering since 1991, leads in the category of Producer of the Year, namely for his work with Juana Molina’s Halo, Sig Ragga’s La Promesa de Thamar and Él Mató A Un Policía Motorizado’s El Tesoro.
Having created the first-ever professional mastering studio in Argentina circa 1994, the veteran engineer has work on over 2,800 albums under his belt, including award-winning records with Soda Stereo, Gustavo Cerati, Juana Molina, Lucybell and Natalia Lafourcade, among many others.
While Bergallo is credited for mastering most of Argentine rock and pop of the 1990s, his producer chops today extend to Latin pop and indie rock.
Eduardo “Visitante” Cabra competes in the same list for his production wizardry behind Vicente García’s A La Mar, La Vida Bohéme’s La Lucha and Silvina Moreno’s Sofá, among others.
The Latin Grammy-winning producer and composer, formerly of world-renowned hip-hop group Calle 13, credits salsa master Rubén Blades, singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez and writer Tite Curet Alonso as some of his greatest musical influences.
Cabra’s latest passion project “La Casa del Sombrero” is one based on cultural exchange; it will be used as a producing platform for artists and bands from all around the world, and as a cultural center to exchange global ideas.
Moogie Canazio is being recognized for his work with Brazilian singer-songwriter Zanna, who initially sought the expertise of the established record producer and engineer.
Former Latin Recording Academy Vice President, Canazio is an esteemed Brazilian music producer currently based in California. His participation as both mixer and producer of the album João Voz e Violão by João Gilberto garnered him his first Grammy in the category of Best World Music Album.
His credits can be found on a slew of albums, including Selena’s Enamorada de Ti, Luis Miguel’s Edicion de Lujo, Maria Bethânia’s Brasileirinho, Nathan East’s Reverence and Heitor Pereira’s Minions: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, among many others.
Hamilton De Holanda, Marcos Portinari, Daniel Santiago
A noted master of the Brazilian version of mandolin, Hamilton de Holanda (alongside Marcos Portinari and Daniel Santiago) garner a Latin Grammys nomination in the category of Producer of the Year for their collective work as Hamilton de Holanda Quintet and their 2017 jazz album, Casa De Bituca.
Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto, formed by exponents of Brazilian instrumental music, have gained international acclaim with Hamilton de Holanda on the bandolim strings, Gabriel Grossi on the harmonica, Marcio Bahia on the drums, Daniel Santiago on the guitar and André Vasconcellos on the contrabass.
Considered the premier Mexican romantic composer of the postwar era and one of the most successful composers of Latin America, Armando Manzanero nabs a Producer of the Year nomination for his work in Armando Manzanero Presenta A Alvera Aquí, which properly introduces Mexican Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Alvera de Leon.
Manzanero is a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Some of his most famous songs include “Voy a Apagar la Luz,” “Contigo Aprendí,” “Adoro,” No Sé Tú,” “Por Debajo de la Mesa,” “Esta Tarde Vi Llover,” “Somos Novios” and “Nada Personal,” to name a few.