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Enchanted excellence: Los 15 Grandes showcases the best of New Mexico music

New Mexico music surely gets a crowd out of its seats and dancing.

The traditional music is a staple on KANW-FM, 89.1.

And for nearly a decade, the radio station has celebrated New Mexico Latin music recording artists with its Los 15 Grandes de Nuevo Mexico.

The awards create a greater public awareness of the cultural diversity of New Mexico music’s recording artists and creators by honoring artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the New Mexico music recording industry.

The event is a fundraiser for 89.1 KANW, New Mexico Public Radio.

Michael Brasher, KANW general manager, said listeners often call in during Saturday broadcasts.

“Often they will express that the music and the artists provide a lot of happiness in their lives,” he says. “It’s important to have an event where we showcase the talent. It’s also a chance to say thank you to the listeners for being supportive after all these years.”

This year’s event includes performances from Al Hurricane Jr., Sparx, Lorenzo Antonio, Cuarenta y Cinco, Lluvia Negra Band, Chris Arellano, DeZi Cisneros, Tanya Griego, Divino, Ernestine Romero, Rhythm Divine, and Johnny Sanchez y Puro Norte.

There will also be a dance party after the awards featuring Lorenzo Antonio and his mariachi band.

Brasher says the event will also celebrate the life of Alberto Nelson “Al Hurricane” Sanchez, who passed away Oct. 22.

“We asked the listeners to come in and sign a card for the Sanchez family,” he says. “We’re going to present the card to the members of the Sanchez family and express our gratitude for Al’s influence in New Mexico music.”

Brasher is proud that the event has grown into a celebration of community for New Mexico.

“Finding performers is easy, because the artists want to play,” he says. “The event has become one of prestige.”