Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame
Star-studded ceremony to take place at New World Center
“I believe that the founding of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame is of extreme cultural importance,” said Grammy Award winning songwriter Rudy Perez from his North Beach studio. He and fellow songwriter, Desmond Child, will make history on April 23 when they bring some of the biggest names in music to the New World Center for the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame’s first induction gala.
“In the 500 years that Latin songwriting has been going on,” he continued, “we have never had a Hall of Fame to preserve, honor and celebrate the legacies of the body of work that paved the way for songwriters like me.”
The inaugural class includes Manuel Alejandro (España), Jose Angel Espinosa “Ferrusquilla” (Mexico), Jose Feliciano (Puerto Rico), Julio Iglesias (España), Armando Manzanero (Mexico), and Concha Valdez Miranda (Cuba). A posthumous recognition award will be made to Roberto Cantoral (Mexico). Each iconic songwriter will receive the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame’s La Musa Award.
For Perez, the Hall of Fame is a long-term endeavor with a goal of having a physical museum in Miami and then to expand to Buenos Aires, Mexico and Spain.
“Part of the tourism experience to Miami will be to visit the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame,” he said. “It’ll be an interactive museum where families and kids can learn about the craft of songwriting, as well as the concept of intellectual property and the laws surrounding it.”
The inaugural event is also highly personal for Perez as he will induct his mentor Jose Feliciano. Perez credits Feliciano as the first person to give him a break. The two won a Grammy together on their first album out.
“It took a blind guy to see my talent,” he said. “I am very proud that this year Jose will be one of the first six inductees.”
Influenced by classical music, Cuban music and jazz, Perez grew up in a musical household wanting to be a musician. Cuban born, Perez spent most of his childhood in Liberty City and attended Miami Jackson Senior High.
“I loved growing up in that neighborhood,” he said. “I joined Baptist churches and learned how to play every instrument. It was my great university.”
As he was inspired in his youth, Perez hopes the Hall of Fame will inspire future generations, especially girls.
“It’s always been a guy thing,” he said, “but we want to inspire female Latin songwriters. We’re going to provide scholarships.”
The Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame is poised to become a significant annual arts event adding yet another notable happening to the Magic City’s impressive portfolio.
Tickets to the black-tie event are available to fans and the industry at: http://www.latinsonghall.com/access/
Photos by Manny Hernandez