Colombia at the Grammy Awards

by Lina Rey (@linamrm)

The Grammy Awards are on Sunday and there is a reason to be excited: ‘ChocQuibTown’  (a band from Choco) is nominated for Best Latin Rock, Alternative Or Urban Album with their work ‘Oro’. Besides the being nominated, they will perform during the Pre-Telecast Ceremony.

ChocQuibtown already has a Latin Grammy in their hands. Last November, they won Best Alternative song with ‘De Donde Vengo Yo’.

They define themselves as a hip hop group that fuses foreign sounds like funk and Jamaican reggae with local sounds from the Colombian Pacific coast, such as currulao and bunde.

Now that we know who they are and that we hope they win, let’s not forget Colombian artists who have won Grammys and Latin Grammys over the last ten years. Maybe you don’t remember some of them, but not to worry, we’re here to help! Relax, read and listen.

Let’s start with (off course) Shakira, who in 2000 won Best Latin Pop Album with her –MTV Unplugged, an album that is rated as one of her best-ever live performances. She also performed at the Grammys that same year.  In 2005 she won her second Grammy award for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album with Fijación Oral Vol. 1. Shakira holds two Grammys and seven Latin Grammys.

In 2001, Carlos Vives won Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album with ‘Dejame Entrar’. This album was produced by Emilio Estefan, Jr. and its first song was a huge success reaching #1 in the  Billboard Hot Latin Tracks.

Vives’ career started around 1982. He was a romantic ballad singer but he was not as successful with this music as he was with vallenato, the rhythm that earned him this Grammy.

In 2002,  Bacilos won best Pop Latin Album with Carluna. Bacilos was a US based group that broke up in 2007. The group consisted of  bassist André Lopes, percussionist José Javier Freirea  and Jorge Villiamizar. Jorge, who was born in Montería Colombia, was the leader, singer and guitarist. He released his solo album in 2008.

In 2008, Juanes won Best Latin Pop Album with ‘La Vida …Es Un Ratico’. Juanes states that his album has a very Colombian sound to it. This album was co–produced by Academy and Grammy winner Gustavo Santaolalla. Its first single ‘Me Enamora’  was # 1 in 19 countries. Juanes holds seventeen Latin Grammys.


There is an important number of Colombian artists who have won Latin Grammys over the last ten years, here is the list:

In 2006 Fonseca won the Latin Grammy for Best Tropical Song with ‘Te Mando Flores

Aterciopelados won the Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2007 with their album ‘Oye’. This album features important songs like ‘Canción Protesta’. ‘Don Dinero’ and ‘Oye Mujer’. This album is very important for the band because it talks about their social and political ideas in many of its songs. Like this one:

(Look carefully at the guitars!)

Also in 2007,  Jorge Celedon and Jimmy Zambrano (vallento performers) won the Latin Grammy for Best Cumbia and Vallento album with ‘Son… Para El Mundo’.

That same year, Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto won their first Latin Grammy Award with their album ‘Un fuego de Sangre Pura’ in the Best Folk Album category.

In 2008, The Bogota Philarmonic Orchestra won a Latin Grammy for Best Instrumental Album. The orchestra was founded  44 years ago and it counts with over 90 musicians whose main purpose is to represent Colombia through its variety of music. The Album, who won the orchestra a Grammy, is called ‘La Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá es Colombia’. It is a special edition with 4 cds and 40 Colombian classics.

Also in 2008, ‘Cholo Valderrama’ won in the category of Best Folk Music Album with ‘Caballo!’. It was the first time that music from ‘Los llanos’ won such an important award.

In 2010, Diomedez Diaz won the Latin Grammy in the Vallento/ Cumbia category with his album ‘Listo pa’ la Foto’. Diomedez won to against other Vallenato artists, all Colombian (needless to say).

All our good energy should now go to ChocQuibTown next Sunday. As they say, “This GRAMMY nomination is very significant and brings us a step closer to our dream of placing our music and our culture on the world map.”

And we hope for the exact same thing!