Emilio and Gloria Estefan: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

(Rochester, NY) – Emilio and Gloria Estefan: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, airing Friday, May 3, 2019 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV, is an all-star tribute to Emilio and Gloria Estefan. They are the 2019 recipients of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and the first married couple or musicians-songwriters of Hispanic descent to receive the honor.

The event is taping on March 13, 2019 at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall in Washington, DC and is being produced by WETA, the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital; Bounce, a division of Concord Music Group; and the Library of Congress; in association with Latino Public Broadcasting. The event will feature performances by Gloria Estefan, as well as Jose Feliciano, Il Volo, Cyndi Lauper, Emily Estefan, and original cast members of “On Your Feet!”, and a special presentation by Quincy Jones — with Rita Moreno and Andy Garcia as hosts (program subject to change). More talent will be announced in advance of the tape date. Gregg Field will be music director; he most recently won an Emmy Award for his music direction of last year’s special, Tony Bennett: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. During this year’s event, the Estefans will be presented the Gershwin Prize by Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, and a delegation of Members of Congress.

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is named in honor of the legendary songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin. The prize is given annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins. The Gershwin Prize was first awarded to Paul Simon in 2007, followed by Stevie Wonder in 2009, Sir Paul McCartney in 2010, the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 2012, Carole King in 2013, Billy Joel in 2014, Willie Nelson in 2015, Smokey Robinson in 2016 and Tony Bennett in 2017.

The Estefans symbolize the rich cultural diversity of the American musical experience. They are musical auteurs, creating a unique sound of Latin rhythms that transcends cultural boundaries, parlaying their creative genius into entrepreneurship and community activism, and propelling the careers of many of today’s Latino artists to stardom. During their more than 30-year career, they have built a musical empire and made listening to Cuban-infused music one of America’s favorite pastimes.

Married since 1978, the Cuban-American Estefans started their extraordinary rise to global fame in 1985 with Miami Sound Machine, creating a unique sound that blended Latin and pop rhythms. Many of their iconic hits — including “Conga,” “Turn the Beat Around,” “Get on Your Feet” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” — reflected the perfect marriage of creative lyrics, high-octane rhythms and spirited vocals. In March 2018, “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” was named to the National Recording Registry, an exclusive group of sound recordings selected for preservation because of their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to the nation’s audio heritage.

The Estefans have both been named BMI’s “Songwriter of the Year” and have garnered 26 Grammy Awards between them. Their life story and music were showcased in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical “On Your Feet!,” which they executive produced. In addition to their musical talents, they are also successful entrepreneurs, philanthropists and humanitarians. The Estefans have received numerous awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Pictured: Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the 2019 recipients of The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
Credit: Courtesy of Courtesy Crescent Moon, Estefan Enterprises Inc.

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