OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Once again, world-renowned Cuban maestro Leo Brouwer is nominated for the Best Classical Album Award. Photo: Ismael Batista

ALBUMS produced by Cuban record labels Egrem and Producciones Colibrí feature on the list of 2018 Latin Grammy Awards nominations, announced September 20.

The albums Omara siempre, by Omara Portuondo; and A mí qué: tributo a los clásicos cubanos, by Dominican José Alberto el Canario alongside Cuba’s Septeto Santiaguero, both produced by Egrem, were nominated in the Best Traditional Tropical Album category. Under the same label and in the Best Tropical Fusion Album category is Palante el mambo, by Diego Gutiérrez. Another Cuban artist also features among nominees in this category – Aymée Nuviola, with Como anillo al dedo, under U.S.-based label Top Stop Music.

Producciones Colibrí album Fuerza Arará, by Telmary, features among the quintet nominated for the Best Alternative Music Album Award.

Distributed internationally by Barcelona-based label Páfata Productions, and licensed in Cuba by Abdala, Cantor del pueblo, by Alexander Abreu and Havana D’Primer, is up for the Best Salsa Album Award.

Omara siempre, by Omara Portuondo, produced by Egrem, is among the nominations in the Best Traditional Tropical Album category. Photo: Yander Zamora

Also among the nominees are albums featuring Cuban music and musicians produced by labels from other countries. Maestro Leo Brouwer, one of Cuba’s global stars, is in the race for the Best Classical Album, with Brouwer: The Book of Signs; Bellinati: Concerto Caboclo, featuring his double concert for guitar and orchestra led by Brasil Guitar Duo (Joao Luiz and Douglas Lora) and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and Brazilian Paulo Bellinati’s “Concerto Caboclo.”

In the Best Classical Contemporary Composition category, nominated is Yalil Guerra’s “String Quartet No.3”(Rycy Productions), featuring on the album Alma con brio, performed by the La Catrina String Quartet, which includes instrumentalists from Chile, Mexico and Venezuela.

Shortlisted for the Best Latin Jazz Album Award is Back to the Sunset, by the big band led by Cuban composer and percussionist Dafnis Prieto.

As a sign of the times in the entertainment industry, the greatest number of nominations, eight in total, went to J. Balvin (real name José Álvaro Osorio), a Colombian reggaeton star. He is followed by five nominations for Spanish singer Rosalía, with an interesting fusion of flamenco and so-called urban sounds; and four nominations each for Puerto Rico’s Kany García, Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler, and Mexicans Natalia Lafourcade and El David Aguilar.

The awards will be announced on November 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas.