I was at … the Latin Grammys 2021

María Catalina Prieto Vásquez holding the gramophone, while Paula Ríos read the speech during the 2021 Latin Grammy Awards ceremony, in Las Vegas.

Photo: Courtesy: Filarmed

I was at the 22nd Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas when we received the Grammy for best Latin music album for children with Tu rockcito philharmonic.

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The night before I was at the dinner dedicated to the character of the year, Rubén Blades. I was moved by the flavors inspired by Panamanian history and culture: the dessert was totally edible maracas, with the colors of the flag of their country of origin.

During dinner, which was actually a concert, great artists such as Carlos Vives, Marc Anthony, Oscar D’León, Christina Aguilera, among others, sang versions of the greatest hits of this salsa monster. The dinner ended with Rubén Blades singing the classic Pedro Navaja, after having received the award from another great exponent of music in our Spanish language, Joaquín Sabina.

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November 18, 2021 was the big day. The premiere, as they call the ceremony where most of the awards are given, began at one in the afternoon in Las Vegas. Few people know about this ceremony, as it takes place several hours before the televised event where the most recognized categories are delivered.

It is at the premiere where you can see all the diversity of categories that commission the musical production of an entire continent. There are more than 40 categories and there we were, the Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra and Tu rockcito nominated for best Latin album for children.

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This ceremony does not have assigned chairs. Each one sits as he arrives. We, as members of the Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra (Filarmed), for those questions of destiny, stayed at the first table in front of the stage, almost as an omen of what would happen a few minutes later.

We were the third category to be submitted and the excitement of seeing us on screen during the nominations already had our hearts racing. When at last the famous phrase is heard: “… And the Latin Grammy is for … YOUR ROCKCITO FILARMÓNICO” I gave the biggest leap that I have made in all the years that I have been in my adult life. We had won the Latin Grammy and I was there to receive it!

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I had the privilege of holding the gramophone while Paula Ríos, our fellow adventurer, said the most emotional words she had ever heard in these types of ceremonies. I held the gramophone while Paula dedicated this record to children whose world and their stories are endless. While I had that award in my hands, I could not but take a mental journey of what these two years have been for the world of music, and particularly of symphonic music.

I remembered how, in March 2020, the doors of theaters began to close and musicians around the world began to lay off musicians, while in this orchestra we did everything humanly possible to enter together, and come out of this pandemic together and complete. I remembered the dedication and passion of all the 68 musicians and 20 administrators of the Medellín Philharmonic during these 22 months.

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I also remembered how they, with the resilience that characterizes Antioqueños, instead of being daunted by the situation, put their talents and wonderful ideas at their disposal so that this orchestra would emerge. I remembered the compositions, the music of squares, the concerts in three dimensions, the virtual classes, the social projects, the conversations with music and the countless products that we invented to accompany people in their homes.

It came to my memory the day I sent a message to Paula Ríos saying: “Pauli, would you like to do your little philharmonic rock?”, And all the triumphs and gifts that that question has brought us. It brought us a beautiful society where we met the wonderful people who make up the Tu Rockcito band and whose pedagogical project we fell in love with, it brought us new communities and the possibility of teaching children from an early age the inexhaustible world of symphonic music; it brought us new stories, new possibilities, new games and new ideas, and that day it brought us a Latin Grammy … and I was there, in Las Vegas, holding the gramophone on behalf of all those men and women that I am fortunate to be. lead, and I could only think of them and the fortune of making a living being at the head of an organization that constantly transforms the lives of those who are part of it and the hundreds of thousands of people it benefits year after year.

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I was in the 22nd installment of the Latin Grammy Awards … but the greatest privilege of my life has been to be in front of the great Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra.

* Executive Director of Filarmed.

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I was at … the Latin Grammys 2021