Is There a Latin Alternative?
A Spanish-language band can gain instant access to the growing Hispanic audience and sponsors targeting that demographic by marketing themselves as "Latin". But how limiting is being marketed as a "Latin" band — even Latin alternative? Can bands and labels eliminate the need to "crossover" by avoiding the term altogether?
Judy Cantor-Navas is the Managing Editor of Billboard en Español and a contributor to Billboard Magazine.
Winner of multiple journalism awards, she is a specialist in all styles of music in Spanish, its cultures and context, with a particular focus on Cuban music of the present and past.
In addition to a career writing for outlets including The Associated Press, The Buenos Aires Herald, The Miami New Times, The New York Times, The Miami Herald, and a mess of music publications, Judy has created digital Latin music programming for companies including MTV, Rhapsody, and Google Music, served as editorial director of two trilingual websites, and created Cuban and Latin Jazz radio stations and Latin genre playlists for various media companies. Back when Latinos were still a minority, she worked in A&R in the international division of a major label.
Bill Bragin, Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center since January 2008, oversees Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors festivals, and programs free events at the David Rubenstein Atrium. He is also a founding co-producer of globalFEST, the United States’ most influential world music showcase festival, which debuted in 2004, and programs music for the TED Conferences. Previously, was Director of Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. At the Public, he also initiated the Tony award-winning rock musical "Passing Strange" by Stew, which transferred to Broadway and then premiered as a film by Spike Lee. He was music curator at Symphony Space, programmed five seasons of Central Park SummerStage, managed the start-up of Allen Toussaint's NYNO record label and was an associate producer at George Wein's Festival Productions. Bragin began his career in 1985, programming the Alternative Concert Series at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. In 1999, he founded Acidophilus: Live & Active Cultures, an arts consulting service. As Acidophilus, Bragin also dj's internationally as part of the GlobeSonic Sound System.
Tomas Cookman is the president/owner of Cookman International, a multi-platform company that includes artist management, record label, publishing and marketing. The Nuyorican-born, Los Angeles-based entrepreneur first established himself as an artist manager, working with many notable artists such as Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Manu Chao, Tom Tom Club, Nortec Collective among others.
Cookman founded the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC), the only major conference geared toward the marketing of cutting edge Spanish-language and bilingual music. He also heads Nacional Records, a successful independent label.
On the content side, he produces "La Hora Nacional" a weekly show on MTV Tr3s and curates and hosts a three hour radio show every Saturday and Sunday on Sirius/XM called the "LAMC Mixtape". In Austin, he can often be found at Yard Dog Gallery, Tesoros Trading Company or Home Slice.
Alejandro Franco Fernandez is one of the most prominent and important music journalists in Mexico and Latin America, founder and CEO of Sentido Comun (www.sentido.com.mx), which develops the following products:
• Sesiones con Alejandro Franco, is a tv show created, produced and directed by Alejandro Franco, with live performances of the best national and international bands. It is broadcast through Sony Spin channel around all Latinamerica and Mun2 in USA. In 2012 opens the season 6 and the first 5 are available in sesionesconalejandrofranco.com .
• SesioneS Off Season (SOS), is a "pocket" version from the original (Sesiones con Alejandro Franco), a series of mini documentaries that show how the musicians do their live show in the privacy of the study. In 2012 their debut seasons 2 and 3 while the first is available in sesionesoffseason.com .
• Warp.la, the first and only Spanish-language website with news, exclusive interviews and notes updated 24 hours a day on national and international music.
• Frecuencia, is a magazine of culture and entertainment created and led by Alejandro Franco for three years was broadcast on national TV Radio W (radio and TV in Mexico), later became a successful podcast Dixo.com and now is a live-streaming Podcast which airs weekly and can be downloaded WARP.la / frequency and via iTunes.
• WARPmagazine is the leading music magazine in Mexico, with distribution in the U.S. and Latin America. Possessing edition after edition of the most important unique region with interviews, photographs and unique coverages that have positioned it for 5 years as a reference in music journalism.
• WARP TV is a tv show about music, art, technology, movies, racing cars and everything that surrounds the new alternative culture of the new generations. The tv show airs on Sony Spin channel and contains two versions, one in Spanish for the public in Latin America and Portuguese to the audience in Brazil and is led by the talented Mariana Blessmann.
• Gamebox is a tv show about video games and all the culture about this important and multi-million dollar entertainment industry. It’s broadcast to all LATAM by Sony Spin.
• For Those About To Rock. Currently, Alejandro Franco serves as director and producer with his debut film, a documentary about Mexican musicians Rodrigo y Gabriela.
• Crónicas del Léon, book edited and distributed in 2012 in Mexico, LATAM and the U.S. by the new Books and Publishing WARP brand. Written by musician Sr Flavio (Argentina), this kind of diary tells the last return of the legendary Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
Also Alejandro Franco is currently in the following projects:
Backstage 40, radio music international chain specializing in reaching Top 40 throughout Mexico by the different frequencies on AM and FM and worldwide via www.los40.com.mx. Airs every Thursday from 22 - 00hrs.
Nuevo Mexicano, newspaper with a weekly column (every Thursday) about the Mexican and international music industry. The publication becomes more important every day, is freely distributed in some areas of Mexico City.
SLKTR (Selektor), DJ set by Alejandro Franco whose musical selection includes pure good music of any kind and origin. Eclectic but always in a logical order from one track to another, the sound on the turntables of SLKTR is unmistakable.