In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina
Confirmed Talent Approved Bios
(As of 10/07/09)
“In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” is a concert hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama on the South Lawn of the White House that will be broadcast by PBS. The sixty-minute program, to be taped live by WETA Washington, D.C., on October 13, will celebrate Hispanic musical heritage and airs on the final day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, October 15, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET, on PBS stations nationwide. (Check local listings.)
This Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY award-winning singer/songwriter, actor and producer is the top selling tropical salsa artist of all time. The five-time GRAMMY winner has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Among his many achievements and distinctions are that Anthony was the first solo salsa act to ever sell out Madison Square Garden, he recently received from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) the 2009 CHCI Chair’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and he is currently a Minority Owner/Limited Partner of the NFL Miami Dolphins football team.
Hailing from the Bronx in New York City, this chart-topping quartet is known worldwide as “The Kings of Bachata.” Comprised of lead singer/featured composer “Romeo” Santos, guitarist/producer Lenny Santos, bassist Max Santos, and singer/composer Henry Santos Jeter, Aventura has several multi-platinum albums and routinely fill arenas such as Madison Square Garden. Hailed by the New York Times as “the definitive 21st-century New York musical act,” Aventura’s recent album, “The Last,” is the top-selling Latin album of 2009 and has posted the longest run at #1 on the Latin Album chart of any artist in the last three years.
Sheila E. is a multi-faceted drummer, percussionist, vocalist, songwriter, performer, arranger, producer, composer, instrumentalist and humanitarian. She was influenced by her father, Latin jazz legend and timbalero Pete Escovedo. From age 17, Sheila has recorded and toured extensively with renowned artists to much critical and popular acclaim. She is also the founder and president of HEAVEN PRODUCTIONS MUSIC, a music production company, and co-founder of ELEVATE HOPE FOUNDATION (www.elevatehope.org). Her last CD release, “Heaven”, is a combination of adult contemporary, funk, jazz and inspirational tracks.
Native Californian Pete Escovedo discovered and cultivated a love and passion for music, which soon led him to embrace Latin Jazz, and pass it on to his sons and daughters as his father did for him. Escovedo has performed and toured with such respected artists as Mongo Santamaria, Bobby McFerrin, Cal Tjader, Woody Herman, Billy Cobham, Boz Scaggs, Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez and Chick Corea, to name a few, with his signature sound on timbales. Additionally, Escovedo and his brother Coke were the founders of the legendary band Azteca, and was one of the original members of Santana.
International superstar Gloria Estefan has sold over 90 million records, recorded 24 albums throughout a long and prolific career and has become an icon and role model for Latinos the world over. She has won seven GRAMMY Awards and is an accomplished songwriter, actress, children’s book author and philanthropist. Her latest musical production, “90 Millas” (90 Miles), a nod to her Cuban roots, went multi-platinum around the world, won two GRAMMY awards and included the #1 single, “No Llores.”
José Feliciano is a world renowned performer who is often cited as the first Latin Artist to cross over into the English music market, opening doors for other Latin musicians who now feature prominently in the American music landscape. Born blind to humble beginnings in Lares, Puerto Rico, Feliciano taught himself to play guitar and today is hailed by many critics as the world’s “greatest living guitarist.” Feliciano has garnered over forty-five Gold and Platinum records, and been recognized by his musical peers with seven GRAMMY awards. Feliciano is also a proud recipient of both Billboard’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” and the Kennedy Center’s “Hispanic Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Since they began as Los Lobos Del Este Los Angeles in 1973, this East Los Angeles rock band has evolved into a respected artistic entity searching for themes and topics that are an interpretive pulse of our times. Los Lobos uses musical molds built on the blues, rockabilly, jazz, Latin and their own Mexican-American heritage. Celebrating 36 years together, the band has commenced work on their 18th record, the highly anticipated debut on Shout! Factory and follow-up to the lauded 2006 release “The Town and The City”, which drew four-star reviews from Rolling Stone, Mojo, The Independent and many others.
Eva Longoria Parker
Entrepreneur and philanthropist, “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria Parker is the founder of Eva’s Heroes, as well as national spokesperson for Padres Contra el Cancer. The face for L’Oreal and PepsiCo, Longoria is an executive producer and host for the National Council of La Raza ALMA Awards, and is producing her first documentary, “HARVEST.” Longoria is involved with the United Farm Workers, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Speaker Pelosi selected her for the National Museum of the American Latino Commission. Longoria owns BESO restaurants, her own production company, UnbeliEVAble Productions, and an eco-friendly development firm, The GreenVille Project.
George Lopez is a multitalented entertainer whose career encompasses television, film, stand-up comedy, and now, late-night television. Lopez most recently announced his exciting foray into the late night arena, in which he will headline brand new late night talk show for TBS. “Lopez Tonight” will air Monday through Thursday nights and is set to debut on November 9, 2009.
Jimmy Smits is adept at bringing to life compelling, multi-layered characters, from his Emmy Award-winning role in “LA Law” to his Bobby Simone on “NYPD Blue,” regarded as one of the most beloved TV characters of all time. His credits additionally include acclaimed guest-starring roles in “The West Wing” and “Dexter” and in such films as the prequels to “Star Wars” and the upcoming “Mother and Child.” Tracing his roots to Puerto Rico and Suriname, Smits was raised in New York. In 1997, Smits co-launched the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, for the advancement of Latinos in media, telecommunications and entertainment industries.
Mexican media superstar, multi-platinum recording artist and actress Thalía has been a media darling for most of her life. In 1990, Thalía, “la Mexicana,” made her chart-topping solo recording debut and in 1992 she began starring in a series of popular telenovelas that earned her the title la Reina de las Telenovelas (the Queen of the Telenovelas). She is currently the host of her own weekly syndicated radio show for ABC/Citadel Media en Espanol, entitled “Conexion Thalia.” Her fifteenth CD and first live album, “Primera Fila,” is set to be released on SONY LATIN December 2009.
Tito “El Bambino”
Reggaeton sensation Tito “El Bambino” recorded his first song at the age of 12. Soon after, he became the first voice for the famous duet Héctor and Tito, with success throughout the U.S. and Latin America; they received a Billboard Latin Award and a Tu Musica Award in 2003. Tito made history as the first reggaeton artist to perform at the prestigious Center for the Performing Arts in Puerto Rico, premiered his first soloist production “Top of the Line” in 2006, and created his own record label, ON FIRE MUSIC. Tito’s latest album, “El Patrón”, stands in the top 10 charts going on 7 months.