August 8, 2003

MACUILXOCHITL: Five Flower”, the Aztec god of music and dance

The Latin Alternative Music Conference – Bigger and Better

Thomas Cookman and Associates will once again be presenting The Latin Alternative Music Conference. Taking place in Los Angeles, this year, the conference continues to grow and impress. It not only features the biggest names in the continually growing business, but more importantly it provides lesser-established artists a forum for presenting their art.

While the main events of this installment of the Latin Alternative Music Conference is being held in Los Angeles this year, organizers have made efforts to include interested east coast folks. For the third year in a row, LAMC will present impressive talent to the Celebrate Brooklyn Festival stage in Brooklyn’s famed Prospect Park. Sharing the bill at this year’s festival will be Grammy-winning Mexican avant-rockers Cafe Tacuba, Colombia-via-UK Latin groove act Sidestepper, and New York’s acclaimed Afro-Latino-Hip Hop combo Yerba Buena for a free show. There is also a set of events planned for Ontario, Canada on this year’s agenda.

Julieta Venegas at a previous conference

The main conference activities will begin in Los Angeles at the Knitting Factory with its Indie Show-Down featuring up and coming artists from the US and elsewhere. Past participants have gone on to much success - Kinky from Mexico (who debuted to US audiences during the LAMC), went on to sign a major record deal, as well as win a Grammy, Latin Grammy, and 4 MTV VMA Latin America awards. This year’s Showdown features Los Abandoned and Go Betty Go from Los Angeles, Orixa from San Francisco, Panda from Mexico and more acts to be announced shortly. This event is open to LAMC participants and the general public.

Also as part of the LAMC, mainstay Latin Music scene magazine, La Banda Elastica will host its annual awards ceremony to honor artists contributing to the Latin Alternative genre on Friday, August 15. Past performers include Aterciopelados, El Gran Silencio, Los Pericos, Titan and others.

On that evening, LAMC will present a first with its Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier For the first year, we are pleased to present an evening of cutting-edge music by the sea, including acid jazz-funk party mongers Los Amigos Invisibles, Colombian electronica act Sidestepper and Argentina’s Acida. This event is free and open to the public.

One of the most interesting events of the conference is the Acoustic Writers Showcase featuring unplugged sets by some of the biggest names in Latin music including Monterrey, Mexico’s Plastilina Mosh & Jumbo, Latin GRAMMY nominee Erica Garcia, Venezuala’s Los Amigos Invisibles, LA’s own Moxi, and PostData featuring Ivan Benavides of Sidestepper and formerly of Bloque, as well as a special surprise guest to be announced soon.

Also on the 15th, the LAMC will be presenting for the first of two evenings of open-air concerts in conjunction with Grand Performances at the California Plaza Water Court in Downtown Los Angeles. Outdoor evening performances will be provided by Mexican electronic act Nortec Collective and the critically acclaimed avant—classical Kronos Quartet.

This event is free and open to the public.

Lastly on the 15th, the LAMC Showcase features performances by established Latin artists, as well as up and coming talent from the US, Mexico, and Latin America. This year’s performances will include pioneers of the Latin-lingo rap movement, Delinquent Habits and the urban-regional duo Akwid, Spain’s hottest new Hip Hop group SFDK, as well as other artists to be announced shortly. This is a semi-private event, open to LAMC participants and the general public.

Saturday, August 15, the conference shows no sign of slowing down with the presentation of Avenue 50 Studio have teamed up to present a celebration of visual art and music with the quirky comic-inspired work of emerging visual artists Aaron Martinez, Ronald J. Llanos, Brendan Monroe, and Robert Bellm. Also featuring a free concert from East LA Sabor Factory and Domingo Siete. Concert from 3:00 - 6:00 pm, reception following from 6:00 - 9:00 pm.

The LAMC is a wonderful event and is the embodiment of the spirit and magnitude of the Latin music scene especially in this country. The organizers continue to impress with the breadth and quantity of artists, sub-genres represented illustrate the variety within the scene and its growing acceptance by mainstream media worldwide.

For further information visit the conference’s site at

Francisco Ciriza

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