The Grammys Reinstate Best Latin Jazz Album Category

A year after the Grammy Awards cut 31 categories, sparking protests and a lawsuit by Latin jazz musicians, the music organization has made more changes by adding three awards, including the reinstatement of best Latin jazz album.

The Academy shook up the music industry when it announced in April 2011 that it would downsize its categories to make the awards more competitive. That meant eliminating categories by sex, so men and women compete in the same vocal categories.

Some artists protested the change and others – including Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon and Bill Cosby – complained. The group that filed a lawsuit, which was dismissed in April, was led by Bobby Sanabria, the Grammy-nominated Latin jazz musician who accused the Academy of not following the proper procedures to implement the changes. Part of the class-action lawsuit called for the reinstatement of the best Latin jazz album award.

Roger Maldonado, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sanabria and others, said he was elated at the reinstatement of the Latin jazz category.

“I want to thank the academy for having the maturity to make the decision despite a yearlong fight,” he said. While Maldonado had filed notice of appeal for the lawsuit, he expected the legal battle would now end.

“We didn’t sue for money, we sued for reinstatement of the award. That has happened I see no reason for continuing the lawsuit,” he said. “Instead my clients can stop worrying about this and instead focus on preparing and recording music for consideration of the Latin jazz award.”

The 55th Grammy Awards will air on CBS on Feb. 10.

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