Latin Music Awards Kentucky Celebrates Latin American Culture and Art – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville
Fourth Street Live will be transformed into an awards room for the Kentucky Latin Music Awards Friday night.
The awards ceremony is free and open to the public, with a paid after-party at the Sports & Social Club on Fourth Street.
There are 15 award categories, including Best Latin Artist, Best Latin Song, Best Mariachi Band, and Best Tropical Artist.
The first Kentucky Latin Music Awards took place in 2019, but organizers conceptualized the ceremony the year before.
Latin Music Awards Kentucky President Israel Cuenca said the goal was “to create an event, a program that can recognize Latin artists from the community, from Kentucky, from this area.”
In addition to announcing the winners, the show will feature performances by artists A-Corde Band, El Dominante and Asly Toro, who have won awards in the past.
Although COVID-19 resulted in a virtual ceremony in 2020, the event has grown steadily since its inception.
“We started with nine categories, then 11, then 15, and now 15,” Cuenca said.
As the categories have expanded, he said the number of artists the organization is able to name has grown to almost 70 different artists.
As a result, the larger ceremony now more accurately reflects the diversity of the Latin American community.
“We try to be as inclusive as possible,” Cuenca said. “That’s why we’re expanding each time with more categories, identifying categories that we don’t have so that next year we can have that category or that category that can show those minorities within the community. Latin American.”
Showcasing diversity is an important aspect of the ceremony.
This is why Cuenca and the other organizers have chosen to organize the event during Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. From September 15 to October 15, the month celebrates the history, culture and contributions of the peoples and countries of Latin America.
This year’s nominees, although all residents of Kentucky, represent several Latin American countries.
The organization names some of the artists for consideration. Additionally, artists can nominate themselves, but must be approved to participate.
The winners are determined by a combination of public votes and the opinions of local music experts.
Cuenca said they take into account the number of releases, performances and the impact an artist has had in addition to the overall quality of the music.
“It’s a very holistic approach. It’s not only OK, he has more votes so he wins,” Cuenca said.
This approach and input from those involved in the Latin American music community is helpful when competing artists are close to votes.
The Latin Music Awards Kentucky organization, in addition to awarding artists, provides partial scholarships to students attending colleges and universities in Kentucky.
This year, 12 students — who attend Bellarmine University, Jefferson County Technical and Community College and the University of Louisville — will receive funds.
“We give to them because it’s a way to give back to our community,” Cuenca said. “These are partial scholarships, but we are happy to do so.”
The organization works with the diversity directors of these institutions to identify students who would be good beneficiaries.
Disclosure: Louisville Public Media is a media sponsor of the Latin Music Awards.