New York, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–April 24, 2006–For the seventh consecutive year, Heineken returns as the exclusive presenter of the Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards continuing the company’s longstanding commitment to supporting Latin music and its emerging and established artists. The Latin Billboard Awards and Conference is April 24-27 in Miami, FL. The Latin Billboard Awards airs at 8pm on April 27 on Telemundo.
This year Heineken has partnered with award winning Latin-Rock fusion band Ozomatli to raise awareness for their annual “Green Ribbon Initiative,” a national effort to raise funds to support music education programs and up and coming artists in Hispanic communities across the country. Heineken will continue its three-year relationship with the Celia Cruz Foundation by making a donation to the organization on behalf of everyone who wears a green ribbon during the Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards.
As an added twist, Heineken has commissioned up-and-coming designer Nick Verreos, who wowed fans on Bravo’s hit show “Project Runway” this season, to design an exclusive Green Ribbon for Ozomatli to wear on the red carpet for the Latin Billboard Awards on Thursday, April 27. Verreos will also put his creative touch on the green ribbon that will be handed out to those interested in supporting the cause. The ribbons will be unveiled at Heineken’s pre-party on Wednesday, April 26 at the National Hotel where Ozomatli will perform a special acoustic set.
“The Latin Billboard Conference & Awards are one of the best events Latin music has to offer and through our Green Ribbon Initiative we hope to garner support for those aspiring to work in Latin music and who will one day be a part of this prestigious event,” says Marime Riancho, Sr. Brand Manager, Multicultural for Heineken USA. “We decided to collaborate with Ozomatli because they have earned respect in the industry and will prompt others to support this worthy cause.”
For the fourth year in a row, Heineken has chosen the Celia Cruz Foundation as the beneficiary of the funds raised through the Green Ribbon Initiative because of its common commitment to supporting music education in Hispanic communities and the respect that Heineken has for the positive influence Ms. Cruz had on so many. In 2003, Heineken partnered with the foundation to launch the Green Ribbon Initiative and has assisted the foundation in supporting several students pursue careers in music through the funds raised.
For years Heineken has been the official beer of the country’s premiere music events including the Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards (7 years), the Latin Grammy Awards (7 years), the Grammy Awards (3 years), Coachella, Street Scene and its own original music event, AmsterJam, which launched in 2005 with the intent of bringing fresh and unique music experiences to the masses.
About Heineken USA
Heineken USA Inc., the nation’s largest beer importer, is a subsidiary of Heineken International BV, which is the world’s most international brewer. Brands imported into the U.S. include: Heineken Lager, the world’s most international beer brand; Heineken Premium Light; Amstel Light, the largest-selling imported light beer brand; and Buckler non-alcoholic brew. Heineken USA is also the exclusive USA importer for the Tecate, Dos Equis, Sol, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands from FEMSA Cerveza of Mexico. Please visit EnjoyHeinekenResponsibly.com.
Brewing a vital concoction of Latin salsa, urban hip-hop, and jazz-funk, Ozomatli formed in Los Angeles in the mid-’90s. After making their name on the local club circuit, the group caught the attention of Carlos Santana who took them on their first national tour, opening for Mana and Santana as co-headliners in the summer of 1999. Embrace the Chaos was released in 2001 and won a Grammy Award, followed by an EP, Coming Up, in 2003. A third full length, Street Signs, came out in 2004, and subsequently won a Grammy and a Latin Grammy for Latin Rock Alternative album . A concert CD, Live at the Fillmore, with an accompanying DVD of the show, was released in 2005, unofficially honoring the group’s 10th anniversary. The band has won two Latin Billboard Awards for “Latin Rock /Alternative Album of the Year” for “Coming Up” (2005) and “Street Signs” (2006). Ozomatli is Raúl “El Bully” Pacheco (Guitar/Lead vocals), Ulises Bella (Tenor sax, clarinet, vocals), Jiro Yamaguchi (Percussion), Sheffer Burton (Trombone), Wil-Dog Abers (Bass, Vocals), Mairo Calire (Drums), Rene “Spinobi” Dominguez (Turntablist), Justin “Niño” Porée (Percussion, MC, Vocals), Asdrubal Sierra (Trumpet, Lead Vocals), and Jabu (MC).
About Nick Verreos
In 2005-06, Nick was chosen to be one of the sixteen Designers in Season 2 of Bravo’s hit Show, “Project Runway,” where he quickly became one of the favorites to win and a fan favorite for his talent, skill, design ability as well as becoming the go-to-guy for “color commentary” on the show. He also won the now-famous “Barbie Challenge,” in which he designed an outfit for the My Scene Barbie. Born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in Caracas, Venezuela to a Greek-American Diplomat father and a Venezuelan mother, Nick’s Mediterranean-Latin heritage has been infused into his philosophy of design. After quickly being picked up by Henri Bendel in the spring of 2001, Nick officially launched NIKOLAKI along with his design partner, David Paul. Their goal was to provide women with a high-end young Designer Line consisting of Silk Charmeuse and Grecian draped Jersey Dresses as well as Contemporary Separates. The line is now available exclusively at several boutiques in Southern California, Dove Boutique on Robertson, Sirens & Sailors in Silver Lake, and Billion Dollar Babes Events in Los Angeles.
About the Celia Cruz Foundation
Founded by music industry legend Celia Cruz, The Celia Cruz Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for underprivileged students wishing to study music. During her 50-year span in the music industry, Ms. Cruz was a tireless supporter of music education issues in the Hispanic community. She passed away 2 years ago.