Guitarist Yomo Toro Dead at 78
Yomo Toro, a master of the cuatro, a guitar with five pairs of strings often referred to as the national instrument of Puerto Rico, died June 30 in New York. Bringing traditional acoustic rhythms to mainstream Latin music, Toro, 78, was a member of famed salsa act Fania All-Stars, and played on Willie Colon’s 1972 Christmas album Asalto Navideño. Toro also played with Paul Simon and David Byrne, among others.
Wisin & Yandel Depart Iglesias/Lopez Tour
Latin urban duo Wisin & Yandel dropped out of their North American concert tour with Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez due to “unresolvable issues,” according to the act’s representatives. Randy Phillips, president/CEO of promoter AEG Live, says the duo’s departure was mutually agreed among all involved parties and that the decision was based on several factors, including timing issues. The tour, scheduled to start July 14, will feature a new opening act to be named shortly, Phillips says.
Latin Grammys Extend Univision Deal
The Latin Recording Academy and Univision signed a six-year deal to keep the Latin Grammy Awards on the Spanish-language network until 2018. Slated to air Nov. 15, the show will again be televised from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, with the new agreement also including the development of new tie-in specials to be announced at a later date. In 2005, the Latin Grammy telecast moved from CBS to Univision after struggling with poor ratings on the English-language network. The academy will announce its next group of nominees on Sept. 25 at Los Angeles’ Belasco Theater, with voters’ first ballot due Aug. 28 and their final ballot due Oct. 23.