Securing the Future
Latin music has an impact around the world
By Rocky Egusquiza
The Latino community is incredibly diverse, and the music originating from our homelands is increasingly reflected in the mainstream. It is important to acknowledge the rising influence of Latin music and the impact it’s having on communities around the world. The study of Latin music and its rhythms has also become an integral part of music education globally and Spanish language lyrics have contributed culturally to the widespread popularity of the Spanish language.
Embedded within each song is the unmistakable influence Latino culture has had on the respective artist, characterized by distinctive local sounds and rhythms created by the musicians that came before them. Latin music's deep roots, cultural richness, and adaptability have made it a force to be reckoned with in the pop culture sphere, transcending borders and uniting people from diverse backgrounds across the globe.
However, there is still a lot of work to be done to elevate Latin music all over the world and address some of the challenges its creators face, including access to music education and financial aid, gender inequality and historical music preservation. We must continue to support Latin music creators and ensure they envision a future where they can become part of the next generation of creators.
As a longstanding supporter of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout my career, I am proud to be at the helm of an organization like the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation® which champions music education and empowers communities through Latin music and culture. We provide educational opportunities through scholarships, programs, and grants—that advance Latin music and celebrate its rich cultural heritage.
Since its establishment, the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation has committed an extraordinary sum of more than $9.3 million in scholarships, grants, musical instruments, and educational programs throughout the United States and Ibero-America, with the support of The Latin Academy’s members, artists, corporate sponsors and other generous donors.
This summer, the Prodigy Scholarship, co-sponsored by Nicky Jam this year, was awarded to 19-year-old pianist Leomar Cordero, who is now pursuing a bachelor's degree at Berklee College of Music. The Foundation also announced the recipients of its annual Gifted Tuition Scholarships and Tuition Assistance Scholarships, which award 43 talented students the opportunity to pursue an education at some of the most prestigious music institutions in the world. Through these scholarships, every year we provide much needed financial resources to exceptional music students from around the world who face financial hardships and demonstrate a passion for Latin music.
But our support goes beyond that. We also create invaluable opportunities for the next generation of Latin music creators by granting them premier access to unique mentorship programs and learning experiences so they can gain knowledge and exposure to the Latin music industry beyond graduation, notably resulting in high college completion rates.
Not only do we donate instruments to music programs throughout the United States and Ibero-America with the help of our sponsors, we also bring to life several unique music education programs every year. This includes Latin GRAMMY In The Schools™ which provides an incredible opportunity for music students to connect with industry professionals through global school visits, and supports educational music departments that have financial limitations. Earlier this year, Latin GRAMMY®-nominated artist, El Fantasma joined forces with the Foundation and Ford Motor Company Fund to invest $40,000 in an educational experience for Sidney Lanier High School in San Antonio, Texas.
Our exceptional Latin GRAMMY® Master Series also offers students lectures and conferences with talented and experienced creators, music executives and financial leaders. In partnership with JPMorgan Chase, we offer live and virtual sessions to high school seniors, college students and emerging musicians about money and credit management information and resources.
I invite you to join me: not only to celebrate Latin music excellence, but also to recognize the importance of continued support and empowerment for aspiring creators. Together, we can ensure that the vibrant heritage and talent of Latino music creators thrive for generations to come. It’s time to seize the moment…and the moment is now.
To learn more about the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation® and how you can invest in the next generation of Latin music creators and empower communities through Latin music and culture visit www.latingrammyculturalfoundation.org.
Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza is the Executive Director of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation®.