• Chirino, Willy

    Willy Chirino (b. 1947, Consolación del Sur): Celebrating 40 years in the music business, Chirino is recognized throughout the world as the creator of the Miami Sound. He won a GRAMMY® in 2006 for Best Salsa/Merengue Album for Son del Alma and was nominated in 2007 for a Latin GRAMMY® for Best Salsa Album for 35 Aniversario-En Vivo. He has released more than thirty albums and is the composer of over 100 songs which have been recorded by over 60 artists including Celia Cruz, Raphael, Gipsy Kings, David Bisbal and Oscar D’Leon. He launched his own music label in 1997, Latinum Music, after being signed by CBS and later Sony Music. He launched a worldwide tour in 2009 to promote his album Pa’lante, which took him to Europe, Central and South America, and most major cities in the United States. He then released My Beatles Heart in 2011, an album dedicated to the music of the legendary British band, but with the Chirino sound. In the summer of 2013, he was part of the Salsa Giants concert at the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival. The concert was released on CD and won a Latin GRAMMY® in the category of Best Salsa Album and was nominated for a GRAMMY® and a Billboard® Award. (Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016)


  • de Armas, Raúl

    Raúl de Armas (b. 1941, Havana): A founding principal of MdeAS, de Armas established Moed de Armas Architects in 1991. Recognized internationally as one of the world’s preeminent design architects, he has designed and completed many major buildings in the United States, Europe, Canada and the Middle East. In his career of more than 50 years he has won numerous design awards, including the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture and was named Interiors Magazine’s “Designer of the Year” (1984). Raúl began his career at Holt & Downing Architects in 1963 before moving to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where he became a partner of the firm in 1979. He was involved in the design of many high-profile projects around the world, including Park Avenue Plaza, Citicorp at Court Square and 780 Third Avenue in collaboration with Leon Moed and the Palio Restaurant in NYC, BCE Place in Canada, San Benigno Torre Nord (“Il Matitone”) in Italy and the master plan of the Haj Terminal/King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia, which was honored by the AIA with the Twenty-five Year Award in 2010. (Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016)


  • de la Martínez, Odaline

    Odaline de la Martínez (b. 1949, Matanzas): Martínez pursues a demanding and successful career composing – particularly opera, conducting repertoire from Mozart symphonies to the latest contemporary music, and recording CDs often with LORELT (Lontano Records) and numerous other labels. She was the first woman to conduct a BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in 1984, and has made several return visits since. She has received numerous awards including a Marshall Scholarship from the British Government and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Imoinda, Part I of her Slavery Opera Trilogy was commissioned by the Caribbean Women Writers’ Alliance with funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund. An Opera Grant from Opera America in 2015 allowed her to make the video Selected Scenes from Imoinda. The Crossing Part II her Slavery Opera Trilogy was commissioned by Tulane University and premiered in New Orleans in April 2013, while there as composer in residence, and received its UK Premiere in November 2014 at the opening concert of The Fifth London Festival of American Music. Martinez is published by Composers Edition. (CINTAS for Music Composition, 1989-90, 2016-17)

  • Díaz, Vanessa

    Vanessa Díaz (b. 1980, Ft. Lauderdale) Díaz earned her MFA from the University of South Florida. She was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, and a South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship in 2014. She was one of ten artists invited to exhibit in the premier Florida Prize in Contemporary Art exhibition at the Orlando Museum of Art. Her work has been exhibited at Project Row Houses in Houston, Texas as well as the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg, the Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa and the ArtsUp! Gallery space in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has also received several fellowships for residency, including The Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans; BAU Institute Camargo Foundation, France; The Oberpflazer Schwandorf Kunstlerhaus. Germany; The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida; the Wassaic Projects, New York; and the Windgate Visiting artist in Residence Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is currently based in South Florida. (CINTAS-Knight Foundation Fellowship in Visual Arts, 2016-17)

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