MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (May 18, 2004) — The Florida Chapter of the Recording Academy® will honor nine-time Latin GRAMMY® winner Juanes, southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd and the late GRAMMY®-winning jazz bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius at its 2004 Florida Heroes Awards on Sunday, June 6. Scheduled performers and presenters include Recording Academy Chairman Daniel Carlin; Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Jaco Pastorius Big Band directed by Peter Graves featuring Ed Calle and Gerald Veasley; Latin GRAMMY Nominee Roberto Perera; 2004 Florida GRAMMY Showcase winner Nicolle Chirino and more to be announced. Maggie Rodriguez and Jade Alexander from CBS-4 Miami (WFOR) will host the event. Honorees and presenters will be joined by other recording artists, key entertainment executives and community leaders at the black-tie event, which will take place at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables Florida. The Florida Heroes Awards will be held from 7 – 11 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by calling the Florida Chapter of the Recording Academy at 305.672.4060. All tickets must be purchased by 5 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, June 2.
The Florida Heroes Awards are presented annually by the Florida Chapter to honor outstanding music community members with ties to Florida who have made great accomplishments in music and/or improved the environment for the creative community. New for 2004 is a segment recognizing support of the arts and arts education displayed by Florida’s elected officials. Those set to be recognized for their work this year are Florida State House Representatives Nancy Detert, (R) Sarasota, and Suzanne Kosmas, (D) New Smyrna Beach, who were instrumental in the affirmative House vote seeking to reinstate the Cultural Institutions Trust Fund, a State initiative funding arts organizations and projects.
This gala event also will feature a silent auction offering one-of-a-kind music memorabilia as well as travel and entertainment packages. Proceeds will benefit the Florida Chapter’s education initiatives and programming including the Tom Dowd Music Education Grant program, which provides musical instruments and instructional materials to Florida public schools.
Nine-time Latin GRAMMY winner and singer/songwriter/guitarist Juanes showed an early affinity both for the guitar and for the various musical idioms that surrounded him in his native Medellin, Colombia, including traditional Latin sounds of boleros, tangos, cumbias, and Colombian folk music such as vallenatto and guasca. He brought this unique combination of genres together during his 11-year, seven-album stint in the seminal Latin-rock band Ekhymosis, which would become Juanes’ launching pad. Fijate Bien, his first solo record, won him three Latin GRAMMY Awards, including Best New Artist. Juanes’ second record, Un Día Normal, released in May 2002, combined balladry with indigenous Colombian rhythms and straightforward pop/rock material. It scored him another Latin GRAMMY in 2002 for Best Rock Song for “A Dios Le Pido” and five more Latin GRAMMYs in 2003 including Album of the Year and Song of the Year for “Es Por Ti.”
For 30 years, these pioneers of southern rock have endured, despite all odds through death and disaster, as the signature band of rural America. Lynyrd Skynyrd made their mark early on with such hits as “Free Bird,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Simple Man,” and “Gimme Three Steps,” all of which have become classic rock staples. At their peak, legendary singer/songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and vocalist Cassie Gaines died in the 1977 plane crash that ended the band’s initial run. After surviving the crash, guitarist Allen Collins tragically passed away in 1990 from complications of a 1986 car accident. After a decade-long hiatus, the surviving members reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987 with Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny taking up the lead vocal reins. Today, led by founding guitarist Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd is stronger than ever, with Van Zant on vocals, early keyboardist Billy Powell, guitarists Rickey Medlocke (Blackfoot) and Hughie Thomasson (The Outlaws), drummer Michael Cartellone, bassist Ean Evans (who has filled in for the late Leon Wilkeson) and background vocalists Carol Chase and Dale Krantz Rossington rounding out the line up. True southern rock survivors, the band has sold more than 25 million albums and is about to release Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyve (Sanctuary Records) that features the band’s triumphant show before 17,000 fans in Nashville, TN in July 2003. Lynyrd Skynyrd also continues to tour in support of its 2003 album Vicious Cycle, which delivered “Red White and Blue,” the band’s biggest hit in 25 years.
Jaco Pastorius was born in Pennsylvania, but put Florida on the map of jazz globally. Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Pastorius expanded his explosive bass ideas into full-fledged works of complex and unexpected orchestrations, on par with Charles Mingus. But where Mingus was quiet and controlled, Pastorius was anything but. His flamboyance masked deeper psychological problems that led to his untimely death at the age of 35. During the ’70s and ’80s, he brought an aura of rock & roll celebrity to an otherwise studious genre, evoking the heyday of Gillespie and Davis. Along the way, with ferocious speed yet lyrical articulation, this former drummer transformed the electric bass guitar, doing for it what Jimi Hendrix had done for the electric six-string. He worked with artists ranging from Wayne Cochran & C.C. Riders to Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell and won a GRAMMY Award in 1979 for his work on “8:30” with jazz giants Weather Report. Pastorius is survived by his children John IV, Mary, and twins Felix and Julius, who will be in attendance at the event to accept the award on their father’s behalf.
Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. An organization of musicians, producers and other recording professionals, the Recording Academy is responsible for numerous groundbreaking outreach, professional development, cultural enrichment, education and human services programs. For more information about the Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. “There’s more to music than meets the ear®.” Find out: www.WhatsTheDownload.com.