Puerto Rico’s National Foundation for Popular Culture has just unveiled its selection of the 20 most outstanding recordings of 2009. The first three places on the list went to La Tuna Bardos of the University of Puerto Rico, Mario Ortiz All Star Band, and Decimamía’s Separated by Sea.
Other selections were La décima de Espinel (in fourth place) and Bohemia bailable by Pijuan & Los Babyboomer Boys (in fifth place) followed by Viento de Agua’s Fruta madura, Criollo con salsa by Victoria Sanabria and His Orquestra, Recuerdos que lleva el viento by Yan Carlos Artime and Mario Hernández. Of particular interest to me is the place of literary-musical productions among the top 20 works. The album A Julia sin lágrimas [To Julia without Tears], dedicated to Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos (1914-1953), obtained the ninth place in the selection. Another interesting selection was Del ruiseñor cuando a la luna mira by Orquesta Criolla Nacional Mapeyé, which was fifteenth on the list. This CD was created in homage to Puerto Rico’s epic poet Juan Antonio Corretjer Montes (1908- 2008).
The selection of the 20 most outstanding productions of the year was based on the artists’ interpretation, musical performance, presentation, technical work, visual presentation, creativity, coherence, and cover concept. Marketing strategies for each work were also taken into account.
This is the 13th edition of the National Foundation for Popular Culture’s selection, which began in 1997. Other artists that have occupied the top places in previous years have been Fiel a la Vega (1998), Danny Rivera (1999), Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri (2000), Marc Anthony (2001, 2004), Edwin Colón Zayas (2002), Obie Bermúdez (2003), La Secta All Stars (2005), Andy Montañez and Pablo Milanés (2006), Glenn Monroig (2007), and José Lugo (2008).
The National Foundation for Popular Culture is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research, conservation, production, promotion, exhibition, and dissemination of information about the classic, folkloric, and popular culture of Puerto Rico.
For more information, see http://www.prpop.org/