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2019 for EGREM: A year of achievements. 2020: A year of challenges

Defending truly cultural, authentic and enriching proposals is one of the main goals of the Music Recordings and Editing Company –EGREM-, both in its own programming circuits and in its relationship and alliance with public private spaces.

EGREM has set guidelines in Cuban record production, since its establishment on October 31, 1964. Following the concepts of heritage, identity and renewal, the contribution to the country’s musical legacy, thanks to several generations of performers and creators, is undeniable, which supports the positioning of the oldest Cuban record label in the nation.

The year 2019 is over, and as this Cuban record label has reported, it has increased and diversified its work, which includes album and audiovisual production, artistic representation, editorial management, digital marketing in various modalities and the live presentation of Cuban music in the company’s Casas de la Música or Music Houses and new-style Cultural Centers. Record and audiovisual productions maintain a high quality level, taking into account market requirements and the search for cost-benefit relations. These are aimed at the maximum cultural and commercial use of EGREM’s music and image catalogue, archives and production requests.

2020 has started with 75 record productions in process. In 2019, 135 were completed, including CDs, DVDs, singles and video clips. However, the final volume was affected by the shortage of supplies and the decrease as a trend experienced by sales in the CD and DVD format in Cuba. 78 productions were presented to Cubadisco –the island’s most important music awards festival-, obtaining 33 nominations and 16 awards, including two Special Prizes and one Grand Prix. Also, 66 Latin Grammy productions were presented, of which three were nominated: Omara Portuondo received the Award for Musical Excellence. As for the Lucas Awards, the most important Cuban video clip event on the island, ten nominations were obtained in eight categories, resulting in two awards. The musical genres included in representation agency catalog are: popular dancing music, fusion, song, jazz, traditional Cuban music, folk music and traditional folk dance music,

Last year national events were held, including festivals, such as Piña Colada, Un Puente hacia la Habana (A bridge to Havana), Ciudad del Mar or Ocean City, the Josone Festival and Chocolate con Café or Chocolate with Coffee. Despite not being organized by EGREM, the company’s catalogue musicians, singers and performers participated in important events, such as the 13th Havana Biennial; the Jazz Plaza Festival; the Salsa Festival; the Havana Cigar Festival; la Fiesta del Tambor or Drum Fiesta; Cuarto Encuentro Internacional Danzonero ‘Miguel Failde in Memoriam’ or Fourth International ‘Danzon’ Encounter ‘Miguel Failde in Memoriam’; Festival Internacional de la Trova ‘Pepe Sánchez’; concerts by the Buena Fé duo to present the CD Carnal and concerts by Álvaro Torres, who launched his most recent album. In terms of links with the community, the work done in 2019 in several cultural centers, such as Plaza de 31 y 2, Casa de la Arte Artemisa, La Llave del Cerro Cultural Center and Julio Antonio Mella Cultural Center in Cienfuegos, stands out through workshops and other amenities.

In the international sphere, visits to Cuba by renowned performers, such as Olga Cerpa from Spain were helpful, as well as that of Maite Hontelé from Holland,  Charlie Cruz from Puerto Rico and Álvaro Torres from El Salvador. Likewise, a delegation of artists and officials that represented EGREM participated in the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony in Las Vegas, in the US. Concerning 2020, the record company directors added in their annual report that work is being done to prepare investments in the Areito Studios, Siboney Studios, the Boyeros and Área de Grandes Eventos Boyeros y Camagüey or the Boyeros y Camagüey Events Area, el Salón del Son (the Hall of ‘Son’) and el Patio de la Casa de la Música Artemisa or the Music House of Artemisa courtyard.  

 

Edited by Damian Donestevez
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