People at this conference get straight to the action.  Beginning at 9:00, back-to-back conferences were programmed to keep people informed and interested in the event.  The topics covered included: methods to adapt to a transitioning music industry, considerations for writing and promoting commercial music, legal aspects of songwriting and copyright protection, and one-on-one chats with famous and successful music producers.  KC Porter was among the people in the chat, along with Victor Manuel (writer of Celia Cruz’s hit single, “La vida es un carnaval”), and Marco Flores (producer for Thalia, Gloria Estefan, and Carlos Ponce).

Filling up a space between meetings was a showcase with regional artists.  Local, emerging artists were invited to perform in front of news and TV media:

At night, we were invited to a dinner with the conference’s special guest speakers.  We enjoyed delicious traditional Nicaraguan food, consisting mainly of yams or sweet potato mixed with meat, pork rind, and vegetables.  This could all be eaten with a tortilla resembling pita bread.

The atmosphere was quite cordial, and Pablo and I worked to establish links between Berklee, our association, and these heavyweights of the Latin music scene.  Among them, we could find Bruno del Granado (record executive currently working with Ricky Martin), Aldo González (A&R for Latin Urban label Machete Records), Joe Granda (successful event promoter and CEO of his own company), Irma Martínez (stylist for the famous), among others equally successful.  Dinner closed with a performance of traditional Nicaraguan music with a band including Lya Barrioz, one of the events organizers and promoters, and a very talented singer.

The night closed with a concert at the exclusive Club Chamán, where a concert was held in honor of the conference.  We talked and had a good time with the people present at dinner, and famous Nicaraguan singer/songwriter Sacasa performed to close the night.  The club, shaped like a mayan pyramid and with an outdoor section where the concert was held, was packed full.

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Nicols Marielarena
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