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Venezuelan Band Wins Best Latin Album Award

The Venezuelan band Maestros del Joropo Oriental won Best Latin Album at the 9th Independent Music Awards (IMAs) for their album "Y Que Viva Venezuela."

The IMAs, announced last January 26, celebrates the talent of artists from all over the world and includes nominations for best album, best song, best video and 50 other categories judged by 80 influential artists of the music industry. Tom Waits, The Black Keys, Ricky Skaggs, Pete Wentz and Mark Hoppus were among this year's prestigious jury.

According to Martin Folkman, Director of the Independent Music Awards (IMAs), “The IMAs celebrate musicians that follow their own muse and the real fans that support them.”

Maestros del Joropo Oriental is a Venezuelan Joropo band, a traditional style of music and dance with African, Indigenous and European influences. The group is made up of musicians who represent this Venezuelan genre with guitars, maracas, mandolins, cuatros, violins and other instruments.      

In May 2008 the band’s first album was officially released by the Smithsonian Folkways Record Label. The Venezuelan Embassy, with support of the Ministry of Culture and the Center for Cultural Diversity, organized a four-week tour for the band as part of the “Venezuelan Sounds” concert series, which featured them at the Yerbabuena Gardens Festival in San Francisco, the Folks and Roots Festival in Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. and other venues.

“Venezuelan Sounds” is a concert series launched by Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Álvarez and sponsored by  Chevron Corporation to promote Venezuelan culture in the United States. It started in 2004 and has since organized more than 100 performances in 18 U.S. cities.

"Y Que Viva Venezuela" is the first album of Venezuelan music released by the Smithsonian Institute and was produced within the Venezuelan Sound Project with the support of the Venezuelan Embassy and the Center for Cultural Diversity in Caracas.

To learn more about the IMAs, please visit      

Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the U.S. Press and Communications Office / January 28, 2010

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