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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg And The New York Latin Media & Entertainment Commission Announce The Creation Of The <i>nueva Estrella Awards</i>

March 24, 2005

A Bi-lingual Latin Music Talent Show to Launch in New York City.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Latin Media & Entertainment Commission (LMEC) today announced the creation of the Nueva Estrella Awards, a bi-lingual Latin music talent show aiming to discover emerging Latin music talent.  The Nueva Estrella Awards will consist of four open auditions, three semi-finalist competitions, and one final televised live-audience show in which three main winners will be discovered and awarded recording contracts with Sony BMG.  The Nueva Estrella Awards will be broadcasted in October of 2005 on WCBS-TV Channel 2.  Joining the Mayor for this announcement was Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Roman, Executive Director of the LMEC Elizabeth Caldas, LMEC member and founder of the Nueva Estrella Award Das Velez, Publisher & CEO of El Diario/La Prensa Rossana Rosado, President and General Manager of WCBS Lew Leone and Vice President and General Manager of Univision/Telefutura Channel 41 Cristina Schwarz. 

“In 2003 when the Latin Media & Entertainment Commission was established, one of its goals was to bring together leaders from the Latin and mainstream media industry to expand Latin media and entertainment productions in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The creation of the Nueva Estrella Awards represents this type collaboration and today I congratulate them and look forward to seeing the talent they find.”           

“New York City is beginning to recognize the beauty and depth of its burgeoning American Latino culture,” said LMEC member and founder of the Nueva Estrella Awards Das Velez.  “The Nueva Estrella Awards is a perfect way to showcase the best aspects of our great Latin New York heritage.”

The Nueva Estrella Awards will hold open audition registration on Sunday, April 3rd and Sunday, April 10th at the China Club, 268 West 47th Street, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Registered contestants are invited to audition for their chance to compete in the three proceeding semi-finalist competitions. Three competitions, featuring 27 finalists, will be held in April, May, and June at the China Club.  Winners will be selected from three categories: best female vocalists, best male vocalists, and best duo or group.  

“There is no better city than New York to launch the Nueva Estrella Awards,” said LMEC co-chair Mario Baeza. “New York City has one of the most sizably diverse Latino populations in the world, and with that comes a rich and dynamic pool of emerging Latino music artists. By helping to discover and expose this talent, the Nueva Estrella Awards is helping to further establish New York City as the Latin media and entertainment capital of the world.”

“WCBS-TV is honored to join the Latin Media & Entertainment Commission and Mayor Bloomberg in announcing the first ever Nueva Estrella Awards,” said President and General Manager of WCBS-TV, Lew Leone.  “We look forward to sharing the best new talent and discovering our next big star.”

The Nueva Estrella Awards are being sponsored and promoted by WCBS-TV, Univision/Telefutura 41, WKTU, Sony BMG, El Diario/La Prensa, and New York Daily News.  The musical supervisor overseeing all audition and competitions will be Carlos Alomar, the President of the NY Chapter for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (N.A.R.A.S).  Celebrity guest judges and personalities include: Frankie J (Latin R&B Singer), Anthony Santos (lead singer of the Bachata band Aventura), Jewelz Lopez a KTU 103.5 DJ (the youngest Hispanic female on the New York City airwaves), Heriberto Gonzalez, Entertainment Editor for El Diario, and Director of Rhythm/Crossover Promotion for Sony BMG Ayelet Cohen.

Since the LMEC's was created, it has been developing a strategic plan to promote the growth of Latin Media & Entertainment in New York City.  As part of this priority, the LMEC has been busy working on many projects including, the first ever Fiesta Cup, a professional soccer match between Argentina and Peru and supported the return of the 5th Annual New York International Latino Film Festival.  The Commission has also launched its official website which includes a “Latin Guide” featuring a directory of Latin media & entertainment companies, cultural arts organizations and a calendar of local events. Most recently, the LMEC was successful in recruiting the Latin Alternative Music Conference to New York City for an August 2005 production.  The LMEC is made up of 30 top community leaders and business executives, including the heads of seven city agencies.

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