When I heard that the Grammy's cut 31 ethnic musical categories from the music industry's top awards, I was appalled! I don't know how many people are aware, but last year The Grammy Awards made decisions to consolidate and cut categories without consulting its rank and file members. The Recording Academy slashed categories from 109 to 78, and eliminated individual awards for genres like Latin jazz, American Indian music, Hawaiian music, Zydeco, Gospel and Blues.
It's bad enough that the Latino & Native Americans artists barely have a presence on TV & films, now the Recording Academy is taking away our presence in the music industry! Seriously?!? It feels like some people are trying to push the few ounces of Latinism and other ethnic cultures that exists in the entertainment industry out! It's up to us to speak up and not allow that to happen!
As the Founder of WO+MEN 4 A CAUSE, the activist side of me feels compelled to speak out against the Grammy Awards decision. I am also an Actress, Artist, Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist who happens to be Latina. My third album "FRAME OF MIND" was recognized for a Nomination by the Recording Academy & I have supported & promoted the Recording Academy over the years. I am outraged by this decision, like many other musicians! Paul Simon, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt ... to name a few, have also spoken out against the decision.
Over 20,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the Recording Academy reverse their decision & reinstate the cut categories.
On Sunday from 3:30pm to 5:00 pm artists, music fans, community leaders, and more will come together outside the Staples Center at the corner of Figueroa Street & Pico Blvd to Protest the Grammy's.
Later that evening, there will be a protest concert "Not Those Awards All-Star Latin Jazz Jam" at "Mama Juana's nightclub in Studio City starting at 4:00pm. Performing artists include my friend Bobby Matos, Ray Carrion and his Latin Jazz All Stars, Oscar Hernandez, John Santos, Susie Hansen, Dr. Bobby Rodriguez & many other Grammy winners & nominees!
The protestors are demanding the reinstatement of their genres & have vowed not to give up protesting until NARAS makes the changes.
Denise Vasquez is an artist who creates because it is a part of her being! Her talents range from being a singer/songwriter/guitarist, activist, to being an actress, artist, co-author of "Sketch Card Mania" and more! Author's website