Updated with winner – 2023 GRAMMY AWARDS – Best Tropical Latin Album category

Feb. 6 update – Winner: Marc Anthony


The 2023 Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 5, 2022, at the Cripto.com Arena in Los Angeles and televised live on CBS. Therefore, it’s now time to talk about the musicians who were nominated for the tropical music that we love. Here are the nominations in the Best Tropical Latin Album category!

(Please know that I’d already written about some of the following works back in November at the time of the Latin Grammys. Therefore, there might be some self-plagiarism here.)

  • IMAGENES LATINAS – Spanish Harlem Orchestra

This is the sixth GRAMMY nomination for the Spanish Harlem Orchestra (SHO), which is solid proof that being on this list is not a coincidence. This is good music, of the kind that will keep a dancer on a dance floor, be it with a bolero, a cha-cha, or a salsa. “Romance Divino” is exactly that, but I’m posting the title song below because my countryman, SHO singer, Carlos Cascante, sends a shout out to Costa Rica at minute 3:33 that my heart simply can’t overlook! Listen to full album here.


  • PA’LLA VOY – Marc AnthonyWINNER

This album includes 9 songs, it’s 36 minutes long, and was released in March of 2022. Below I write about the title song, which is special to me because it takes me two decades back to the night when I saw the group Africando in Los Angeles. The album, however, has multiple impossibly catchy songs; I mean, check out “Mala!” Listen to the full album here.

If you’re familiar with the Senegalese band Africando, I know that your ears perked up when you heard Marc Anthony’s re-do of “Yay Boy.” Originally sung in the Wolof language, “Yay Boy” was released in 1994. “Pa’Lla Voy” is a clever version of it in Spanish. 


  • LADO A LADO B – Víctor Manuelle

This is a huge release of 17 songs, 1 hour and 10 minutes long, that became available in April of 2022. It’s divided in two sections – Lado A is a selection of modern Salsa with some fusions and collaborations with Miky Woodz, Farina, and La India. Lado B, in Victor Manuelle’s own words, is more “traditional, with a classic sound that evokes the music of the past.” 

“Besito Suave,” in Lado A, is a cha-cha featuring Farina that I really like.

“Si Es Cuestion de Imaginar” is a bolero in Lado B with gorgeous lyrics that I hope everyone takes the time to listen to. 

Here is the full album. Back in November I said that, out of that list, this album should win. It didn’t, though. Marc Anthony took it. 


  • LEGENDARIO – Tito Nieves

According to Grammy.com, the music running in this category must be from “albums containing greater than 50% playing time of new tropical Latin recordings.” Having said that, LEGENDARIO is a release of eight new versions of existing Nieves songs. I’ll be honest, my non-musician ear can’t tell exactly where the new 50% is, but I do agree that the music is enjoyable. I’m posting below the new version of “Fabricando Fantasias,” which Nieves re-dedicated to the memory of his son. Listen to the full album here.


  • CUMBIANA II – Carlos Vives

This is a 14-song album with multiple collaborations with popular artists like Camilo, ChoQuibTown, Ricky Martin, and Pedro Capo. My favorite song is definitely the merengue “Buscando Al Caballo,” which is a tribute to the great Johnny Ventura (RIP). Vives collaborates here with Milly Quezada and Jandy Ventura (Johnny’s son, whose voice sounds so much like his dad’s!) I love the lyrics and the video. Listen to the full album here.


  • QUIERO VERTE FELIZ – La Santa Cecilia

Back in November, for the Latin Grammy awards, this album was nominated in the Best Cumbia/Vallenato category. Then and now, the song that is most interesting to me is the collaboration with Salsero Luis Enrique titled “Solo en Mis Sueños.” You can read that article here. And you can listen to the full album here.


So, that’s it folks! Who do you think will win?



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