MUSICIANS ANNOUNCE BOYCOTT OF CBS AND LAWSUIT AGAINST NARAS
(Published: July 04, 2011)
MUSICIANS ANNOUNCE BOYCOTT OF CBS AND LAWSUIT AGAINST THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF RECORDING ARTS AND SCIENCES
(OWNERS AND PRODUCERS OF THE GRAMMY AWARDS)
FOR ELIMINATION OF THEIR CATEGORIES
NEW YORK, NY -- June 30, 2011 - Bobby Sanabria, world-renowned Latin music and Jazz artist, percussionist, educator and four-time Grammy nominee, stated today at the law offices of Balber, Pickard, Maldonado & Van Der Tuin PC in Manhattan that, on behalf of more than 3000 musicians worldwide, a boycott will be organized against CBS, the network that broadcasts the Grammys to millions of viewers globally, and a class action lawsuit will be filed against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), owners and producers of the Grammy Awards, for the elimination of Latin Jazz, and 30 additional music categories.
Sanabria has retained Roger Maldonado, Esq. of the aforementioned law office and attorney Juan Saavedra Castro, to file the class action lawsuit against NARAS.
In his opening remarks, Sanabria said, "On April 6, 2011 the Grammys, without warning to or consultation with its 20,000 members or Board of Governors in each of the Grammys 12 Chapter cities, announce the elimination of Latin Jazz as well as 30 other categories. Over 70 percent of the cut categories are comprised of ethnic minorities.
NARAS members comprising these categories were unfairly led to believe that their released recordings of this past year would be eligible for submission in the now eliminated categories. The cuts were done by a secret sub-committee of 12, which NARAS refuses to reveal, in direct violation of the NARAS bylaws. To date, NARAS refuses to offer a valid explanation as to why it has made these culturally-insensitive and economically-damaging cuts."
Roger Maldonado, the lead attorney on the case, said, "Bobby Sanabria has asked Juan Saavedra Castro and my firm to bring a complaint on his behalf, as well as on behalf of other Latin Jazz musicians, challenging the Academy's arbitrary elimination of Latin Jazz as a category for consideration for the Grammy Award. We hope to work with others to help restore all 31 categories of music for consideration for the Grammy Award."
Speaking about the human toll of the NARAS decision, Sanabria said, "The real inherent damage is not only the racist actions of NARAS, given that more than 70 percent of the categories are ethnically - and racially-based, but the adverse affect the decision will have on more than 155 recording artists every year. Those artists will never be able to say and advertise that they are Grammy nominees. This will adversely impact their ability to get better-paying gigs, and will severely diminish all of the prestige that goes along with winning the most coveted award in the music industry. That incalculable cost is heartbreaking for the artists and the recording industry."
Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy, the organization that is working closely with Sanabria and the Grammy Watch coalition to bring about the boycott added, "The Grammys' decision to eliminate so many categories not only flies in the face of its mission to educate the public about all forms of music, but will
also negatively impact on the careers of so many Latino and other musicians. The organization is clearly at a crossroads at this moment, and the battle today is over preserving its soul."
Grammy Watch Group is a coalition comprised of renowned musicians and supporters of the arts. Some of these individuals include: Eddie Palmieri, Larry Harlow, David Amram, Mercedes Ellington, Cándido Camero, Arturo O'Farrill, Wilson "Chembo" Corniel, Ibrahim Gonzalez, René López, John Santos, Clay Leander, Ricky Gordon, Paquito D'Rivera, Brenda Feliciano, Iván Acosta, Ben Lapidus, Brian Lynch, Jimmy Sturr, Rachel Z, Jackie Harris, Ned Sublette, Elvira Franco, T. J. English, Jochem Becher, Ramón Ponce, Wayne Wallace, Oscar Hernandez, Dr. Chris Washburne, Sandy Cressman, Randy Klein and Bobby Matos.
These artists and other concerned citizens have led protests and organized press conferences in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to voice their opposition against the ill-advised decision by NARAS.
For additional information, including letters and statements of support from Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Bill Cosby, Edward James Olmos, Ruben Blades, Herbie Hancock and other major artists, and to sign a growing petition, please visit www.grammywatch.org
More Information: http://grammywatch.org