LOS ANGELES (Recording Academy) - César Camargo Mariano, León Gieco, Graciela, Rickie Ray & Bobby
Cruz, Paloma San Basilio, Alberto Vázquez and Johnny Ventura will receive the 2006 Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, it was announced today. Rafael Escalona and Alejandro Quintero will be honored with the Trustees Award. Recipients of these awards will be acknowledged at a special ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006, at the historical Rainbow
Room in New York.
"The recipients of these awards are a diverse group of inspired creators or entrepreneurs whose outstanding accomplishments and passion for their craft have created a timeless legacy in support of Latin music," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "These profoundly inspiring figures are being honored as legendary performers, seminal musicians, and visionaries whose artistic contributions have enriched Latin culture around the world for many generations."
Lifetime Achievement Awards: This Special Award is presented by vote of The Latin Recording Academy's Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.
Throughout a career that flourished during the bossa nova explosion, pianist/songwriter/producer César Camargo Mariano worked with such legends as Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Jorge Ben Jor, Armando Manzanero and Chico Buarque. His first ensemble, the Sambalanco Trio, included world-class percussionist Airto Moreira and bassist Humberto Clayber and gave Camargo experience as an arranger/composer. His collaboration with his wife, the great Elis Regina, resulted in wide recognition of his talent as an arranger. Since then, Camargo has developed a prestigious career as a writer/producer for a variety of films, plays and soap operas.
Singer/guitarist/songwriter and icon León Gieco has released more than 30 albums throughout his musical career. A unique musician, Gieco brought his own flavor to music anchored in rock, pop and folk roots from his native Argentina. During the '70s, his imaginative lyrics were the target of government censorship and in the early '80s, Gieco embarked on a three-year tour of the Argentine countryside — an eye-opening experience that would result in a three- LP set celebrating South American folk. Today, he continues touring and recording and his credibility and integrity continue to shine in his work.
Powerhouse vocalist Graciela landed on the Cuban music scene at a very young age as part of the all-female ensemble Anacaona. She was comfortable performing both torrid boleros and upbeat Afro-Caribbean numbers. In the early '40s, Graciela moved to New York City and changed the history of Latin music. Performing with her brother Machito, her infectious voice can be heard on salsa classics like "Si Si, No No," "Freezelandia," and "Yo Soy La Rumba." Graciela is 91 years old and her voice continues to be as powerful and infectious as ever.
Inventive Afro-Caribbean duo Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz were an essential part of the salsa explosion of the 1970s. Ray's larger-than- life piano style coupled with the soaring vocals of Cruz generated great salsa anthems such as "Agúzate," "Jala Jala," "Señora," and "Juan En La Ciudad," which were hits not only in the U.S. but Latin America, Europe and Asia as well. To this day Ray and Cruz are still one of the most exciting live acts in salsa and have made a great comeback with a recent album titled Que Vuelva La Música. Talented Spanish singer Paloma San Basilio released her debut album Sombras in 1975, which started her career as a pop hitmaker. By the 1980s, San Basilio had grown into a skilled actress and stage performer. She is credited for single-handedly reviving the art of musicals in Spain through a string of hits including "Evita," "Victor/ Victoria," and "My Fair Lady." She has received critical acclaim for both her musical talents and acting skills and she is recognized as one of the most respected Latin performers worldwide.
A great voice can cover diverse genres like rock and roll, pop, corrido and ranchera, but only a magical voice remains at its pinnacle after 50 years of professional success. Singer and actor Alberto Vázquez has recorded hundreds of songs throughout his long musical career and scored with such hits as "16 Tons," "Ausente," "Olvidalo," "Pecador," and "Rogaciano." Vázquez also enjoys a parallel career as an actor with 23 films and several soap opera credits. He has worked with many great artists such as José Alfredo Jiménez, Silvia Pinal and Angelica María. Vázquez remains a legendary performer and has been one of Mexico's most beloved stars since the '60s.
Through a career that spans more than 50 years, singer Johnny Ventura developed and modernized the contemporary merengue sound and earned his place as a global tropical musician. He discovered his gift after winning a radio contest and went on to perform with a number of local bands. He later formed his own orchestra, the legendary Combo Show. Ventura trademark tracks include "La Muerte De Martin," "Patacon Pisao" and "Capullo Y Sorullo," which became genre anthems and have been enjoyed by generations of merengue music lovers. Ventura has recorded more than 100 albums throughout his career.