Gustavo Santaolalla to be Honored as BMI Icon at 15th Annual Latin Awards Ceremony

Posted in News on March 24, 2008

Black-Tie Gala to be Held June 12 in Los Angeles

En Español

Grammy and Oscar award-winning composer and producer Gustavo Santaolalla will become an Icon Thursday, June 12, at BMI’s 15th annual Latin Awards. Staged at the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles and hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and BMI Assistant Vice President, Latin Music, Delia Orjuela, the black-tie, invitation-only gala will also recognize the songwriters and publishers of the past year’s top BMI Latin songs played on American radio and television.

The BMI Icon award is bestowed on creators who have had a “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” An all-star musical tribute will pay homage to the achievements of Gustavo Santaolalla, who joins an elite list of past honorees that includes Latin music titans Los Tigres Del Norte, Juan Luis Guerra and Carlos Santana, along with legends Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Isaac Hayes, Paul Simon, Dolly Parton and the late James Brown.

Artist, talent scout, producer, documentarian and composer, Gustavo Santaolalla’s genius spills over into numerous disciplines. The Argentina-native helped define the nascent Latin rock movement of the 1970’s with his innovative Latino folk/rock band, Arco Iris, and later as a solo artist. Santaolalla has mastered Andean string instrument the ronroco and filmed Pan-American, indigenous folk musicians. His transformation to producer was inevitable; the subsequent cultural unification was historic. Along with partner Anibal Kerpel, he united the traditionally separate Mexican and Argentine rock spheres, gaining recognition for production work on numerous platinum and gold-selling projects. The duo achieved a new level of visibility with band Café Tacuba, whose collaborations with Santaolalla/Kerpel garnered multiple Grammy nominations and a Latin Grammy win. Santaolalla triumphantly entered the world of cinema, where he has composed numerous BMI, Golden Globe and Oscar award-winning original scores for films including Brokeback Mountain and Babel. His work on Babel and the critically-acclaimed Motorcycle Diaries also earned BAFTA honors. Through the creation of his label Surco, Santaolalla has also launched and sustained marquee artists, including international star Juanes.

In addition to the Icon tribute, the ceremony will also recognize the Latin Song, Songwriter and Publisher of the Year. Previous honorees include Latin superstars Juanes, Shakira, Estéfano, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Wisin & Yandel, Luis Miguel and Cristian Castro.