On Wednesday, October 12th, JGirl Productions held its second Latin Awards Pre-party at the Iguana Club on West 54th Street. A mix and mingle to introduce new talent and celebrate Latin culture, says JGirl founder Jen Santucci, "It helps everyone get excited for the awards."
Latin Awards creator Felix Jerez felt the entertainment certainly did its share to kick the party into motion. "The talent was very strong and professional," he said of PVAZ, Yoneiry, the Duran Sisters and Scarlet Santana.
In turn, Ms. Sanatana of C & C Music Factory relished the opportunity to represent her culture and paid heed tothe undeniable energy that she derives from its influence. "It just moves you," she says.
PVaz was proud of the Hip-Hop performance he pulled off with Disco Black and fed off another form of energy that he found among his fellow artists. "Everybody is so determined and passionate about what they are doing and it's great to be part of it," he said.
Of course, being up front about the opportunity that can come of an appearance to the liking of a Felix Jerez is nothing to shy away from. "It's all about getting yourself known," said Yoneiry Taveras.
Still, the Hip-Hop artist comes across as both grateful and serious and it showed in his performance. The New York City based singer/songwriter also remembers the role culture plays in his passion. "It defines who I am as a person," he says.
Singing harmony and backing Yoneiry's dance moves with motion of her own, Stephanie Taveras knows firsthand one doesn't have to be Latin to catch the welcome contagion that permeates the culture. "His family is always happy, and music and dancing are an integral part of everyday life," says Yoniery's wife of German descent.
Long indoctrinated, her job as construction project manager certainly has its place in paying the bills but she's clear on where she feels more rewarded. "Doing this is so much better," she says.
In as aguest of Mr. Jerez, Margarita Gonzalez was also putting aside her day job in favor of the same sentiment and acknowledged the feelings that Latin culture immerses her in. "It's a pride," she says.
She soundly recommended this party and the Latin Awards on November 4th to men smart enough to appreciate women like herself. "If you love latin women, it's the place to be," she said.
Not such a bad place to be if you're a woman - Latin or no, according to Ms. Santucci. "We brand ourselves as female dominated event planners in a male dominated business," she says. "So events take a different aspect on throwing a party, while making sure we're celebrating the accomplishments of women in the entertainment industry."
Diamond Sparks definitely didn't feel left out as a male singer/songwriter and was happy to mix, mingle and hopefully make his mark. "I'm looking for someone to discover me," he says.
That brought the whole evening back to Mr. Jerez and what he's always hoping to leave in his wake. "We want to see what we can do for all these talented artists," he concluded.