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Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation® Bestows Its First Grants For Research And Preservation Of Latin Music

Scholars and Researchers from Colombia, the Dominican Republic and the United States Awarded $5,000 Each Towards Projects


The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation® announced that after a long and thorough evaluation process, which began in April, the Foundation’s Grant Committee will award its first-ever Research Grants and Preservation Grants to scholars from Colombia, the Dominican Republic and the United States. Each grant consists of two awards with a value of $5,000 each, which is to be applied toward projects related to the research and preservation of Latin music genres.

“We are absolutely pleased to be able to award our first grants to some incredibly important Latin music heritage projects,” said Manolo Diaz, Vice President of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation. “We are grateful to be able to contribute to the analysis and conservation of these diverse programs for generations to come.”

The Research Grant was created to support projects of Latin music genres presented by institutions and individuals internationally. Project topics include historical music research, anthropology, documentation of music traditions, and music folklore. The Preservation Grant was created to support projects presented by institutions and individuals around the world for efforts that advancing the archiving and heritage preservation of Latin music genres.

Research Grant Recipients:

The New Sounds Of Marimba: Transition Between Traditional And Popular Music In Southwestern Colombia.
The project analyzes changes that have occurred in marimba music over the past 20 years in the Pacific region of Colombia. The marimba is a percussion instrument that consists of sets of wooden bars that are struck with mallets to produce a definite pitch. The state of its popularity has grown in the music industry, yet remains a strong musical tradition among Afro-Colombian peasant communities. The goal of the project is to understand the potential of Latin American traditional music not only as a cultural referent but as a source for popular music. Presented by Dr. Manuel Sevilla, director of the humanities department at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, the project consists of an academic paper in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and an audio documentary.

Bullerengue Universal (An Afro-Colombian Tradition In The Atlantic Coast)
The project intends to finish producing and publish a series of teaching materials to promote the Latino community and general music knowledge of the Afro-Colombian tradition based on original recordings of artist Petrona Martínez. Presented in New York by composer, researcher and music producer Manuel Garcia-Orozco, the project consists of three academic papers, three Internet tutorial videos, and a digital application.

Preservation Grant Recipients:

Aumbata: All Voices (The Status Of Raiz Music In The Dominican Republic)
The project portrays the journey of the current status of Raiz music or folk music in the Dominican Republic. Presented in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, by two-time Latin GRAMMY®-winning engineer Bolívar Gómez, the transmedia project is structured in three phases, two of which are currently under development. The first phase is a documentary film about the traditions, decline and transformation of Raiz music. The second phase comprises of the development of a virtual platform including an educational application and Raiz music library, which will be available via the Web and a mobile application. The third and final stage will include new audiovisual materials such as Web short documentaries, interviews and tutorials along with exposure to more than 40 native rhythms not covered in the documentary.

Preserving The Puerto Rican Hellfighters Musical Legacy
The Puerto Rican Hellfighters archived music scores honor and preserve the Puerto Rican contribution to early jazz during World War I. They also shed light on the development of Latin music following the war in New York and tells the untold stories of 18 Afro-Puerto Rican musicians who, based on their African-American ancestry and musical training, were recruited to join the influential army marching band the Harlem Hellfighters. Presented in New York by folklorist and producer Elena Martínez, the project consists of the restoration and digitalization of 638 Latin jazz historical scores. The restored music scores will be available at the 369th Regiment Historical Society and will be featured in a documentary on the war produced by PBS.

The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation® was established by The Latin Recording Academy® to promote international awareness and appreciation of the significant contributions of Latin music and its makers to the world’s culture, and to protect its rich musical legacy and heritage. The Foundation’s primary charitable focus is to provide scholarships to students of Latin music with financial needs, as well as grants to scholars and organizations worldwide for research and preservation of diverse Latin music genres. For more information about the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow us on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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