The dull and boring flamenco Grammy
I think it’s very important that there is a Latin Grammy recognizing the best flamenco album of the year, even if it’s not the most jondo of them all. The latter is the reason why thousands of Spanish flamenco aficionados barely pay any attention to these awards. Every year, excellent albums are left behind, without any hope of ever achieving
I think it’s very important that there is a Latin Grammy recognizing the best flamenco album of the year, even if it’s not the most jondo of them all. The latter is the reason why thousands of Spanish flamenco aficionados barely pay any attention to these awards. Every year, excellent albums are left behind, without any hope of ever achieving any recognition, because they are produced by independent record labels that lack a strong financial backing. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that things won’t change in this respect, regardless of all complaints, although there hasn’t been lots of complaints anyway. Let’s just say that the majority of aficionados steer well away from an awards show which is only accessible to high-profile, media-savvy artist backed by multinational companies, who have the means to travel to these events (there is no way to win without showing up, especially when it comes to lesser-known artists). There have been exceptions, such as in the case of Antonio el Chocolate, a low-key artist awarded a Grammy in 2002 (although he had recorded under a powerful label that submitted his work with certain guarantees that it would receive an award, having the support of the Grupo Prisas media conglomerate). In addition, one of this year’s nominees is a young guitarist from Seville, Joselito Acedo, author of the CD “Andando”, which is a very “flamenco” work. He’s not a high-profile guitarist, although that might change if he were awarded a Grammy. That would be hard, though, as there is fierce competition: Estrella Morente, Argentina, Miguel Poveda, Blas Córdoba, Chano Domínguez, María Toledo and Paco de Lucía. Personally, I recognize how important it is for flamenco to be featured in an awards event with such international repercussion. Flamenco music, having almost two centuries of history, took perhaps too long to be recognized as an important musical genre. It has now achieved such recognition, and that should be a matter of pride for both the artists and the aficionados. It would be desirable if less commercial works also had access to these awards, although it’s unlikely that this would ever happen. Yet, unless it does, it would be impossible to properly recognize those cantaores or guitarist recorded by small label companies, even if their work is truly amazing. That is the case, to name just one example, of the CD “Sonido de mi Libertad“ by the guitarist from Morón, Daniel Méndez, recorded by the modest label company “La Voz del Flamenco”, owned by another guitarist, Pedro Sierra. He didn’t present that album to the Grammys as he was certainly aware of the remote chances it would have when competing against multinational labels. However, Argentina will be present with “Sinergia”, having also presented her previous album “Un viaje en el cante” in 2012, which was also nominated, although that year she came back empty-handed. Hopefully she’ll have better luck this year, because she has made a big investment. First, by presenting her work, which in itself is a major expense and a headache, and then paying for her trip, as the nominees are required to attend the event, and Miami is a long way from Madrid. Thus, these are awards for powerful companies and artists who are able to afford them. Ideally, there would not be a requirement for the artists to attend in person, and a jury of flamenco experts would award the best and most flamenco artists and albums of every year, but business is business. Regardless, good luck to all artists, high-profile and low-key alike.