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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Cubans may miss Latin Grammys
Ibrahim Ferrer
The affected musicians reportedly include Ibrahim Ferrer
Cuban nominees in the forthcoming Latin Grammys may miss next month's awards ceremony in Miami because of visa problems.

"We have not received any visa applications from Cuban citizen Grammy nominees in connection with the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony," a US State Department spokeswoman said on Friday.

The Miami Herald has said that at least three Cuban acts will not be able to make it to the ceremony, which takes place on 3 September, because their visas will not be able to be processed in time.

"Visa applications received from award nominees to attend the Latin Grammy Awards are adjudicated in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations governing the issuance of non-immigrant visas," the spokeswoman said.

The three acts involved are reported to be Ibrahim Ferrer, of Buena Vista Social Club fame, Afro-Cuban jazz star Chucho Valdez and the salsa band Los Van Van.

Some Cuban exiles have threatened to boycott the Grammys if musicians from the Communist state are allowed to take part at the event.

Surprise favourite

Acclaimed salsa producer Sergio George upstaged the stars by being awarded the most Latin Grammy nominations this year when the list was announced in July.

George, from New York, earned most of his six nominations for writing and producing Miami-based group Bacilos' hit song Mi Primer Millon.

From left in rear are Julio Iglesias Jr and Kike Santander. From lower left, front row, are, Jorge Villamizar, Jose Jose, wearing tie, and David Bisbal
A group of singers got together to hear the nominations on Tuesday

The group themselves were also given three nominations, while Colombian singer Juanes got five nominations.

Argentine songwriter Gustavo Santaolalla was awarded five nominations, while Natalia Lafourcade and Anibal Kerpel had four each.

Gabriel Abaroa, President of the Latin Recording Academy, said: "We are very pleased by the multi-cultural calibre of talent and music reflected by this year's Latin Grammy nominees."

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