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Local musicians win awards

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By The Staff

The New Mexico Hispano Music Association recently hosted their 17th Annual Awards Show at the Ohkay Casino Event Center. The event took place Jan. 19, in Espaola and featured performances by several New Mexico artists including, El Gringo, 45, Candace Vargas, Steve Chavez, Jenna, Mathew Martinez, The Blue Ventures, Al Hurricane Jr., our very own Mariachi Paisano del Valle and Gonzalo.

Other area musicians on stage were Eric Yee, Daniel Gallegos, Albert Solano, Bobby Madrid, Mathew Cordova, and Albert Tafoya. Serving as masters of ceremonies were Eric Garcia from KANW and Mathew “El Tigre” Martinez from KNMX radio.

Awards were given in 23 categories including Instrumental Song Of The Year, Songwriter Of The Year, Male and Female Vocalist Of The Year, Band of the Year and many more. The show was sold out to a crowd of over 1,400 people.

Las Vegas and the surrounding areas were well represented with their share of talents and award winners. Bobby “El Pelon” Madrid was honored as a recipient for winning both his nominations as Rising Star of the Year and Corrido Song of the Year with his version of the popular song, “El Venadito.” Gonzalo, won awards for Cumbia Song Of The Year and Song Of The Year with his most recent hit “Sin Sal Ni Limon.”

Camino Oscuro, a group based out of Pecos was awarded Instrumental Song of the Year with their recording of “New Mexico Polka.” The Hispano Lifetime Achievement Award went to KNMX radio’s General Manager and former Mayor of Las Vegas, Matt Martinez. Mariachi Paisano del Valle “El Orgullo del Valle” won Mariachi Song Of The Year with their live recording of “Juan Charrasquiado.”

Other local artist to receive nominations were KNMX radio personnel, Mathew Martinez for Mark Ipiotis Award, Anita Montao Lopez and Fabian Montao for Vocal Duo Of the Year, Gregorio Enriquez for Songwriter and Original Song of the Year, and Marcelina Velasquez for Mariachi Song of the Year.

“It was such a great honor to receive this award,” stated Martin Sena, Director of Mariachi Paisano del Valle. “It means much more this year as we celebrate our 10 years of performing mariachi music together.” The group has 5 recordings and has been members of the NMHMA since their first recording in 1999. They have won Youth Artist of the Year, Vocal Duo of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Mariachi Song of the Year, Original Song of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year (Anita Montao Lopez), and Gospel Song of the Year throughout the years. They are currently working on music to record their next CD.

Other New Mexico Artist that received awards are Jenna, Rockin’ Rick Padilla, Derek Velasquez, Mathew Martinez, Los Garrapatas, Candace Vargas, Joel Vargas Sr., Santiago Espinoza, Steve Chavez, Johnny Sanchez, Bryan Olivas, Los Garrapatas, and Darren Cordova y Calor.

The association is dedicated to ensuring that New Mexico Hispanic Culture continues to flourish and influence today’s music through education, guidance and promotion of New Mexican musicians, vocalists, composers and all others involved in the production and distribution of New Mexico Music.

It is devoted to ensuring the public understands the significance, importance and spirit of New Mexico’s Hispano music community and pays special tribute to our diverse Hispanic heritage which influences our lives daily by honoring those New Mexicans who help preserve the Spanish language and culture through music. From the show the NMHMA Board of Directors and their volunteers recently hosted, it is evident they are doing just that.

Board of Directors include President Casey C. Gallegos from Espaola, Vice-President Eric Garcia from Albuquerque, Secretary-Treasure Mathew P. Martinez from Las Vegas, Board Member Rosie Gomez from Dulce and Board Member Roberto Martinez from Albuquerque.