By: Fredwill Hernandez
“For [The] Latin Alternative Music Conference [LAMC], this is our 19th year, and 19 or 20 years ago we felt there was a need for a place for people to get together and talk about music that wasn’t your traditional Latin music. I remember going to [the] New Music Seminar and other conferences’ and they used to have one Latino panel, it was at the worst hour, it was always packed, [so I said “f?ck it”], we can try this as well,” eloquently explained Tomas Cookman, as to what sparked the initial idea that [through him] would give birth to what The Associated Press describes as ‘the top showcase for up-and-coming Latin acts’. “It wasn’t about the type of music: you can have a rock act, you can have a hip-hop act, you can have a Reggae act, an electronic act, but it wasn’t for Salsa, Regional Mexican, or Pop [music either], it was for stuff you wouldn’t typically hear on the radio [back] then. Over the years that definition changes [and has changed] all the time. In our 5th year, we had Pitbull doing showcases before he blew up, we’d have so many people [artists’] before they blew up [or became known] that The New York Times calls it ‘the Sundance of Latin [Alternative] music,’ and that’s what it’s all about.”
The 19th Annual LAMC will take place July 10 – 14, , with eight scheduled concerts thoughout New York City, with the main conference panels taking place [during the day] at The Stewart Hotel, [NYC].
The four-day conference which brings together top music record labels, publishers, talent managers, and executives in other areas of music to discuss, engage, and interact with conference attendees about new and creative ways of doing business in the ever changing [predominately Independent, Latin Alternative] musical landscape.
Among panels, marquee sessions, and topics to be discussed during the conference will be the SYNCHronicity: Latin Music Opportunities in TV, Film, and Branding panel on Thur. – July 12th [at 11:30 am – 12:45 pm], the Women Changing the Face of the Latin Music Industry panel also on Thur. – July 12th [at 2 pm – 3:15pm], the Big Digital Frontier: Latin America and the U.S. Latin Market panel on Fri. – July 13th, [at 11am – 12:15 pm], the Knowledge is Power: Music Education in the Digital Age panel on Fri. – July 13th, [at 1 pm – 2:15 pm], and a panel that will hopefully answer, What is a Crossover in 2018 ?, also scheduled for Fri. – July 13th, [at 3pm – 4:15 pm].
LAMC’s “most anticipated performances,” in my opinion, will be by Latin Grammy winner’s, Mala Rodriguez, who in 2013 won [her second Latin Grammy] under the Best Urban Album category for her  album: Bruja, as well as by Ana Tijoux, who won [her Latin Grammy] under the Record of the Year category for her  album: Universos Paralelos, both [performing separate] will hit the stage [as] LAMC Celebrate[s] Brooklyn! Show @Prospect Park Bandshell located at 9th St. and Prospect Park [West Entrance], on Fri. – July 13th [at 6pm -10 pm]. Jorge Drexler, who won two Latin Grammy’s in 2014 under the Best Singer-Songwriter Album, and Record of the Year categories for his  album: Bailar en la Cueva, will also perform during [LAMC’s] Central Park SummerStage @ Rumsey Playfield, [entrance at 72nd and 5th Ave.] on Sat. – July 14th [at 3 pm – 7 pm], and a performance by NYC’s all female Mariachi outfit Flor De Toloache, who won their Latin Grammy, under the Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album category in 2017 for their album: Caras Lindas, will [also] hit the stage during [LAMC’s] Acoustic Showcase @ The Loft at City Winery, 431 W 16th St. [Between 9th and 10th Ave.] on Thur. – July 12th [at 6pm – 8:30 pm], presented by Taylor Guitars and KCRW, with performances also by [Ana] Tijoux, El B, Carlos Cros, Cheo & Ulices Hadjis, Mitre, Mirella Cesa & Mr. Pauer, Vega, and Silvina Moreno, who are also on the bill.
Other artist’s also scheduled to perform [during LAMC], at different locations and times, include Trending Topics, ìFÉ, Dj Raff, Gabriel Garzón–Montano, Nicola Cruz, Tomas del Real, Latin Bitman, Fyahbwoy, Delaporte, Natos y Waor, Moncho Chavea, PJ Sin Suela, Niña Dioz, C-Kan, and Marrón, among others.