BMI presented Grammy award-winning Latin Rock producer, songwriter, performer and Surco Records President Gustavo Santaolalla with a BMI Crystal on Thursday, February 1, 2001. The special award was presented to Santaolalla for his musical contributions to the Latin Alternative/Rock en Espanol genre. The cocktail reception, held at the Rumba Room in Universal City Walk at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, included such VIP guests as Argentinean rock artist Erica Garcia and songwriter/producer K.C. Porter (Carlos Santana, Fabulosos Cadillacs).
Gustavo Santaolalla with the BMI crystal award.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and living in Los Angeles, Santaolalla worked his way through the business as a performer with Argentinean folk/rock groups Arco Iris and Soluna before turning to producing with business partner Anibal Kerpel. Together, the two formed Surco Records and have been responsible for some of the most influential Latin Rock music to date, including Molotov, Cafe Tacuba, Caifanes, Maldita Vecindad, Divididos, Bersuit, La Vela Puerca, Puya, Arbol, El Otro Yo, Fiebre, Dracma and Juanes. A three-time Grammy nominee, Santaolalla took home a Grammy last year at the First Annual Latin Grammys for Best Alternative Rock Album with Cafe Tacuba's CD Reves/Yo Soy. He just recently finished production on Erica Garcia's forthcoming record.
Surco records' Anibal Kerpel, Gustavo Santaolalla and BMI's Diane J. Almodovar.
LA Weekly called him "an icon in Latin Rock, a producer of the caliber of a Phil Spector, perhaps a Daniel Lanois"
Diane J. Almodovar, VP, Latin Music, BMI; Gustavo Santaolalla; Erica Garcia, Surco records recording artist; and Delia Orjuela, Director, Latin Music, BMI.
The Los Angeles Times called he and Kerpel "the production team that single-handedly brought Rock en Espanol to a new level of respectability"
Rolling Stone described him as "capable of uniting Latin American folk with the latest rock and transforming old utopias into bold realities"