Dream Deferred

The State Department's antiterrorism effort keeps Cuban acts off Latin Grammy Awards

Cancio's idea has been to break acts through lots of media exposure and visibility at live shows with grassroots promotion, "the way that Berry Gordy worked Motown's soul artists."

"I'm doing the opposite of what the major labels are doing," Cancio said in a July interview. "I don't have a million dollars to break an artist, but hundreds of people will attend these concerts."

Cancio's been busy putting "Grammy Nominated Album" stickers on a new shipment of Sampling CDs, and he's hoping the band might get a chance to perform at a private pre-awards party for Mexican star Vicente Fernandez (for which the group would not need a work permit). "Whatever happens, it's an album that's already made history," Cancio stresses. "This will forever be a three-time Grammy Award-nominated album."

He's also been rethinking his business plan in light of the more rigid State Department rules for visas and time constraints for security clearances. Recently Ciocan added a regional Mexican band and a local hip-hop group to the label's roster.

"I'll continue working my Cuban artists, but I'm not going to sign any more," admits Cancio. "I have a responsibility to my company to expand our territories."

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