Luis Galeana, President of Berklee’s Latin American Music Business Association (LAMBA) continues to share his stories from the 2012 Latin Billboard Conference in Miami. Read Part 1, or check out the photo gallery.
The highlight of Wednesday – the conference all the attendees were waiting for – was Emilio Estefan talking about his business relationship with retail store giant, Target. We were seated with our notebooks and ready to grasp as much information as we could from the master himself. Leila Cobo moderated this conference. When I lifted my hand to ask Mr. Estefan a question she just winked and asked one of the assistants to give me a microphone. I stood up ready to introduce myself, and suddenly Ms. Cobo made a hand signal cueing me to not say a word. She then said to Mr. Estefan,
“Emilio, this is Luis from Berklee College of Music, I know of your relationship with Berklee and I’m very happy to have them at the conference”.
At that moment I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, Leila was introducing me to Emilio in front of everybody at the conference, and before I could say anything Emilio replied:
“Oh really? I love Berklee, in fact, Gloria and I just went there in January (Gloria Estefan led a conference in the BPC entitled ‘Inspiring The Self Teacher” on January 2012). I’m sending my daughter there for the summer (Emilio’s daughter came for the 2012 Five-Week program), so take care of her! I’m really happy to see young Berklee students here. Thank you for coming.”
As soon as Emilio Estefan thanked us for coming, the whole room started clapping for us. If Emilio Estefan thanks you, you have to be somebody. This paved the way for everybody to want to know more about Berklee.
CONNECTING WITH ALUMNI
Thanks to Karen Bell (Alumni Affairs) we had the chance to get in contact with Berklee alumni
Paul Hoyle (Latin Grammy Award Winner) and Pablo Reynoso (Director of Marketing, and PR for Ducati Miami) who are prominent producers and musicians in the Florida area.
Paul Hoyle (Berklee Alumni, 83’) talked to us over the phone about his career as a musician and producer. He encouraged us to make connections because that’s what the business is all about.
As soon as we mentioned that we were there to represent Berklee Latin Studies & the Berklee Valencia Masters programs he was impressed. He was happy to see that Berklee was expanding to another continent and praised Berklee’s initiative in going global.
We had the chance to meet with Pablo Reynoso (Berklee Alumn, 07’) and it was so inspiring to meet a Berklee alumnus who was doing so well such a short time after graduating. As we talked with him at the Billboard Bash Party he said to us:
“Whatever it is what you want to do, do it while you’re at Berklee. It is very sad to see great musicians and Berklee alumni that wait after they graduate to do things and it becomes late for them. They didn’t do the networking work and the preparation at Berklee where they had the chance to make every mistake in the book. I realized that Berklee is like a Buddhist temple where everyone is in learning mode, focused and you think that the outside world is like that, but it is not.
I thought other producers were as good and prepared as I was but they are not. You guys are ahead of everyone else for being Berklee students, take advantage of that, and make connections. Don’t underestimate the weight Berklee has in the industry, you guys are at the right place!”
Meeting such prominent musicians/producers was an incredible experience. They were both professional and humble, and they treated us like family. It was great for them to see new Berklee students talking to them about Berklee’s new initiatives, and it was great for us to learn from them.
AFTER THE LATIN BILLBOARD C&A
On June 16th, after the great experience of being at the 2012 Latin Billboard Conference & Awards in Miami, promoting the new Berklee Latin Performance Minor and Berklee Valencia Masters programs, Berklee faculty Oscar Stagnaro (Paquito D’Rivera) and José Massó (Massachusetts Broadcaster Hall of Fame) gave the students of LAMBA the opportunity to appear on José Massó’s show “Con Salsa” on WBUR 90.9 Radio.
This interview consisted of talking about the new Berklee Latin Studies, the Berklee Valencia Masters programs, and also about the experience of the club LAMBA at the 2012 Latin Billboard Conference & Awards in Miami, FL as Berklee student representatives.
Soon after the Latin Billboard Q&A had passed, Andrea Martin (Marketing for Billboard Events) contacted me to let me know that a picture of us was uploaded to the Billboard website:
The experience of representing Berklee College Music, Berklee Latin Studies, and Berklee Valencia Masters programs at the 2012 Latin Billboard Conference & Awards was unforgettable. We had the opportunity to not only represent the Berklee Latin community at the biggest conference in Latin music, but to also connect with great people from the Latin music industry.