“She was the cherry on top,” says Ady Harley of Lupita Infante, who in July rounded out an impressive bill of Regional Mexican musicians featuring El Fantasma and Los Dos Carnales at Mexico’s City’s Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral. “She bridges the gap between generations and across genders,” continues Harley, Head of Music Label Partnerships for Meta in Latin America and U.S. Latin. “Regional Mexican has often been a misunderstood genre, so I am very proud of this concert and that the [Latin Grammys] is able to use its platform to embrace new genres, particularly those popular with younger generations.”
Mission accomplished, and then some. The three acts are part of a performance initiative helmed by the Latin Grammys called The Acoustic Sessions which began six years ago and this year was supersized with its partnership with Meta, Facebook’s parent company.
After the performances, the Latin Grammys Facebook page hosts video of the performances for 48 hours before it moves over to the artist pages. The artists and their teams are thrilled at the opportunity to reach a massive global audience with top-tier production, the ability to choose renditions of songs, never-before-heard collaborations, duets and storytelling.
“It is an honor for me to get the chance to perform in this first-ever acoustic session focused on Regional Mexican music, and to bring my culture and my country’s musical traditions to a global audience,” El Fantasma (a.k.a. Alexander García) said in a statement. “The Latin Academy represents so much — respect, excellence and the preservation and continued advancement of Latin music — and this is an experience I will never forget.”
Neither will its global digital audience. Subsequent performances include one in Sao Paulo in mid-October featuring a next generation of Brazilian artists with Latin Grammy nominees Giulia Be and Luísa Sonza, as well as Manu Gavassi and Agnes Nunes, all of whom interpreted classic songs by the legendary Rita Lee. Formerly of Os Mutantes, the beloved psych-rock band who came up during the influential Tropicalia movement, Lee will be honored at this year’s Latin Grammy Awards on Nov. 17 with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Acoustic Sessions moved to Madrid’s Las Ventas, an historic bull ring, on Oct. 27 with Best New Artist nominee Pol Granch along with performances by Becky G and Daviles de Novelda, which has yet to post.
“Through our Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions,” Manuel Abud, CEO of The Latin Recording Academy, said “we aim to foster inclusive spaces where music creators can feature their craft, inspiring cultural appreciation, promotion and preservation of their respective genres.”
While those goals have been reached, anyone anywhere can watch these performances on Facebook. Meta’s Harley says has an interesting way he likes to take in the Acoustic Sessions. “My favorite way is to watch them on Meta Quest 2,” he says. “Any music video can be watched via the Meta Quest TV app. It’s a 2D video experience but it is quite immersive since you can’t be distracted by phones or messages!”
As for what’s ahead, Harley is enthusiastic about the future partnership. “The myriad genres and rhythms of music in Spanish and Portuguese are infinite in number and will continue to reinvent themselves in interesting and unexpected ways for decades to come. As a company focused on building community and connecting the world, I look forward to future collaborations with the Latin Recording Academy to celebrate music.