THE NOMINATIONS ARE …..

a preview of The Canary Islands Music Awards 2021

by Norman Warwick

The Canary Music Awards is simply a chance to gather and celebrate some of the best musicians of our community, those who, through live performances and recordings, and help to show residents and visitors that this really is the best little island in the world to holiday, live and work on, where the sub-tropical sunshine adds to the bright sunlight we each carry within us.  as music surrounds us everywhere we go. It’s a good old slap on the back for talented musicians working hard and smiling brightly to make sure we keep progressing our music and making our musical present felt on the world stage.  .

Nominated in The Canary Islands Music Awards 2021, for the prize for ´Best Jazz And Fusion Album- was Lanzarote born Tonin Corujo (left)

I wrote of Tonin on these pages on Lanzarote Information in April of last year when a special concert we had long been looking forward to had to be cancelled due to covid.

We spoke of how Toñín is held in high regard for the way he bases his programmes on tradition, but remains open to the musical reality of ´world music, and ´delivers traditional and contemporary music played from heart.

Until the lockdown he had played almost every Saturday, from June 15, 2013, with the Tonin Corujo Quartet at the weekly Nights of Jameos a concerts with Carlos Perez: Saxo, Yarel Hernández: Guitar, Israel Curbelo: Piano and Percussion and, of course Tonin playing the timple.  

Toñín Corujo is a Canaria musician, born in 1960 in Arrecife, and his instrument is the timple. His passion for music was transmitted to his own family, his grandfather being the one who taught him the first chords on a guitar and his father who started him on timple.

In 1975 he was part of the Awañac group, dedicated to ethnographic research, carried out different rescue work, among them the recovery of the coplas of Víctor Fernández Gopar, popular copist of palpable quality and ingenuity, born in 1844.

In those years he began teaching as a music teacher, although he combined that with his own training. This became much more serious and constant in the middle of the following decade. First he received guitar lessons from professor Silvestre Alvarez and then traveling to Paris where he would study classical guitar, harmony and composition. There he met Blas Sánchez, Cristian Salmón and Didie Prat, his teachers. With Blas he enlisted in Guitar Consort and with this training gave several concerts in Kladno and Prague. Also in Paris he had the opportunity to share experiences with Juan Carlos Pérez, Domingo Rodríguez and to receive classes from Michelle Ponce and Roland Dyens.

In 1991 he returned to Lanzarote, where he opened his own music school and made music teaching his main profession and livelihood. Soon he worked on the production of the album “Rancho de Pascua de San Bartolomé”, then appeared on the first album of the group Antenara.

To learn more of Corujo´s career since then check out my archives here at Lanzarote Information for Introducing Tonin Corujo, or simply type his name into Google for further details and you will find our Lanzarote Information article is there right at the top of the list of entries !!

Tonin´s nomination is for an album (left) that, as the title suggests, celebrates the late genius who was Cesar Manrique. The album, available on Spotify, contains eleven tracks. Their titles alone are almost chapter headings of any Manrique biography, and listening to the likes of  The Warehouse (of Cic Almacen) and Wind Toys and Paths Of Fire reminds us again of the extraordinary vision of  Lanzarote´s best loved artist.

The Canary Islands Music Awards is sponsored by the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Government of the Canary Islands and the collaboration of Canarias Radio Autonómica. Tonin certainly finds himself in the good company of excellent nominees covering the full extent of music and its dissemination.

The nominees for the best song of the year included Aldara for Pura Babel, Gekah for Orgullo de barrio and Josh Acosta for Ella le mete, while in the category of ´revelation´ artist were the interpreters Aldara, Gabriela Suárez and Sara Socas.

Beatriz Martín for Here And Now, Monkey Faces for Hard Love and Sito Morales for Ojalá Mondo were nominated for the best pop-rock album. In the category of best jazz and fusion music album, the jury had nominated Carmela Visone for Inner Fight’ and Hirahi Afonso for Memento, in addition to Corujo. Judges also had nominations for the best urban music album, including Abraham Arvelo for Cicatrices-La Parte Invisible’, Gekah for ‘F*** Foxtrot, Uniform, Charlie, Kilo and Josh Acosta for The First.

Althay Páez (left) for Sostiene Pereira, the Las Palmas Symphony Orchestra for Cantos Isleños and Yoné Rodríguez for  Semilla were the nominees in the category of best root music album, while Gerson Galván for Entre Boleros In London, Jonay Armas for Indigo and Natalia Machín for Cachitos Lent were in contention for the best melodic music album.

Up for best music for audio- visuals were Jonay Armas for Blanco En Blanco, La voz de Tara for Wentaqqa-Beñesmén and Miguel Jaubert & Reaasri for Umarekawa. Among nominees for the best design were Carlos Arocha for Desde La Luz by Mento, Elena Rosino for Imaginario, by Jesús Garriga and Lamacla Estudio for the eponymous Therapy Break.  

In the category for best video clip, the nominees were Alejandro González for Balada de Kid Fracaso, by Said Muti, with Asiria Álvarez named for Orgullo de Barrio by Gekah and Vasni Ramos for Documentos de la 2, by Carlos Rhodes. As best sound technicians, the professionals Gustavo Sánchez, Hilario Benítez and Jesús Mendoza were nominated.

The jury has also determined that the award for the best musical programming is for the initiative launched by the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ‘Culture in Action’. For his part, the RNE journalist, Sergio de la Rosa, responsible for the magazine ‘Canarias Mediodía’, was given an award in this third edition of the annual awards for the best dissemination work.

Special awards (honoring Canarian music and best work in classical music) have been awarded, respectively, to the singer from El Salvador, María Mérida, and the teacher María Isabel Torón.

A total of 374 entries were received for consideration at The Canary Islands Music Awards 2021, 62 more than in the last edition of 2019 to which a total of 312 were submitted (the 2020 festival could not be held due to the pandemic).

It should be remembered that these awards are convened in order to celebrate, promote and disseminate the creative processes, artists, musical works and professional management of the music sector in the Canary Islands.

The jury this year was made up of Ángeles Pérez (cultural manager from Gran Canaria), Tazirga García (teacher and decimista from Tenerife), Yeray Betancor (journalist from Lanzarote), Héctor Martín (music critic from Tenerife) and Luis Socorro ( journalist from Gran Canaria). As president of the same, although without vote, the director of Canarias Radio acts and as secretary, although without vote, the association’s secretary acts. During the process, the composer Juan Carlos Sierra has also been in charge of coordinating the selection and deliberation with the members of the jury.

Both the Canarian public radio service, which has been a strong platform supporting musical creation in the Islands in its first decade of existence, and the aforementioned Association, highlight with these awards the creators, and their creations,  over the last two years. 

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