Whenever two or more Latinos get together, you know it's gonna be a party. So when hundreds of Latin musicians from all across the globe haul culo into the Magic City, get ready for una tremenda pachanga!
Especially when you're talking about the Latin Billboard Music Conference and Awards, a four-day fiesta of fun and face time with megastars like Gloria Estefan, Don Omar, and Carlos Vives — not to mention a glitzy, nationally televised awards gala packed with live performances by Marc Anthony, Romeo Santos, Daddy Yankee, Michel Teló, and tons of other major estrellas.
Y claro, New Times has got you covered with the Latin Billboard's five best events, from tribute shows to superstar Q&As, expert panels, and the starstruck awards ceremony.
BMI, Peermusic, and Sony Music's Latin Billboard Showcase. With Edwin Bonilla, A Band of Bitches, Kat Dahlia, Nina Diaz, Dyland & Lenny, and Rio Roma. Monday, April 22, 8 p.m., the Stage, 170 NE 28th St., Miami; 305-576-9577; thestagemiami.com. Free. If there is one Latin song embedded in everyone's head, it's probably Tito Puente and his orchestra's 1958 hit, "Oye Como Va." Disagree? Then here's a challenge. Look at the phrase and try not to complete it by singing, "mi ritmo." Wait, you just did. Ah, you did it again. With that kind of impact on the music world, it's no surprise that Puente was nicknamed "El Rey."
In honor of his legacy, Edwin Bonilla will be paying homage to the musical legend. A staple of the Latin music community himself, Bonilla has worked with all sorts of artists: Gloria Estefan, Jose Feliciano, Lenny Kravitz, even 'NSync. Joining Edwin, up-and-coming acts like A Band of Bitches, Kat Dahlia, Nina Diaz, Dyland & Lenny, and Rio Roma will be showcasing their work. It's sure to be a night of rumba y baile.
Top Stop Music Showcase. With Tito Nieves, Villa-Mizar, Leslie Grace, Toby Love, Jonathan Moly, and 5 Solz. Tuesday, April 23, 9 p.m., Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com. When the sounds of El Pavarroti de la Salsa (AKA Tito Nieves), Grammy-winner Jorge Villa-Mizar, bachata star Toby Love, and other artists of the ilk meet under one roof, the outcome is pure Latin bliss. Considering the collective skills of these muchachos muy talentoso, it's no wonder this event is named the Top Stop Music Showcase. Bonus: There will be a special preview of Sergio George's film Salsa Giants, featuring Marc Anthony, Oscar D'León, Luis Enrique, and others.
Viva for Vevo. With Don Omar, Bill Werde, Doug McVehil, and Gustavo Lopez. Wednesday, April 24, 10:30 to 11: 15 a.m., JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-421-8600; marriott.com. Free music videos! Everybody loves watching them, which is why everybody loves Vevo, including the artists who post their videos on the site. And if there is an artist who knows a thing or two about Vevo, it's Don Omar. That's why el regattonero will be discussing how to maximize presence and revenue via the world's largest music video and entertainment platform. With nearly 550,000 subscribers and more than 770 million video views, the Don will clearly have a helpful thing or two to say about his Vevo ways.
The Billboard Superstar Q&A With Gloria Estefan. Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m., JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, 255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami; 305-421-8600; marriott.com. Ever wonder what goes on inside the head of a 17-time Billboard Latin Music Award recipient and seven-time Grammy winner? The conference's chat sesh with the great Gloria Estefan is the perfect opportunity to pry open her pretty little head. The Cuban songstress and Miami icon will talk about her latest album, Miss Little Havana, as well as the planning of her Broadway show, businesses, and how she manages to continue topping charts after being in the industry for nearly 30 years.
The 2013 Billboard Latin Music Awards. With Marc Anthony, Romeo Santos, Roberto Tapia, Daddy Yankee, Tito El Bambino, Juan Luis Guerra, Don Omar, Gerardo Ortiz, Michel Telo, La Arrolladora Banda el Limón de René, Maná, Carlos Vives, and others. Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m., BankUnited Center, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-8686; bankunitedcenter.com. If you can make it to only one of the Billboard Latin Music Conference events, it should definitely be the glitzy awards gala, simply because you never know what will go down. Many times, it's not the performers. Usually something totally unplanned steals the show. Can you say JLo nip-slip on the red carpet? Like we said: ¡Tremenda pachanga!