Ruben Blades Productions Inc

Rubén Blades, Panamanian singer, songwriter, composer.
11 Grammy and 10 Latin Grammy Awards.
Salswing Tour! 2023! Europe dates available

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Latin Music icon Rubén Blades was at the center of the New York Salsa revolution in the 1970s. His landmark albums in classic Afro-Cuban salsa are touched with rock, jazz, pan-Latin, and worldwide influences. Blades has collaborated with rock, jazz, pop, hip-hop, reggaeton, and salsa artists, and has composed hundreds of songs and dozens of hits, known for their eloquent, socially charged lyrics, colorful characters, and memorable melodies. His 2017 album Salsa Big Band was awarded the Latin Grammy Album of the Year, and in 2021 the Latin Recording Academy named him Person of the Year, and was awarded, again, the Latin Grammy Album of the Year and the Latin Grammy Best Salsa Album
He is the subject of the 2018 award-winning documentary Yo No Me Llamo Rubén Blades directed by Abner Benaim. He has won 11 Grammy and 10 Latin Grammy Awards, and this year he returns to star in the AMC television series Fear the Walking Dead. His role in the show has earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor Imagen Award.

He has starred in Hands of Stone opposite Robert De Niro, and in Safe House opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Blades has played memorable roles in films with such acclaimed directors as Robert Redford in The Milagro Beanfield War, Robert Rodriguez in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spike Lee in Mo’ Better Blues, Alan Pakula in The Devil’s Own, and Jack Nicholson in The Two Jakes. He was nominated for three Emmys for his roles in the television movies The Josephine Baker Story, Crazy From The Heart, and The Maldonado Miracle. His work has been honored with Cable ACE, Independent Spirit, and ALMA Awards, and honored with the Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Arts Award.

Beyond Blades’ artistic success, he holds degrees in political science and law from the University of Panama, and an LLM from Harvard Graduate Law School. He ran for President of his native Panama in 1994 and served as Minister of Tourism 2004-2009. The Loeb Music Library at Harvard University formed The Rubén Blades Archives in 2008 to collect his work and papers. New York University Steinhardt appointed him Scholar in Residence for the 2018/2019 academic year.

In 2021 Blades, with Panama’s Roberto Delgado Orchestra, released SALSWING! (Latin Grammy Best Album of the Year 2021; and Grammy Best Tropical Latin Album 2022), offering up both salsa and jazz tracks, as well as SALSA PLUS! (Latin Grammy Best Salsa Album 2021) with salsa tracks, and SWING! with jazz tracks, for genre purists.

In 2022 Blades, with the Brazilian Vocal Group ¨Boca Livre¨, released two albums, ¨Parceiros¨ and ¨Pasieros¨, a selection of Blades songs arranged with brazilian rhythms and harmonies, the former with Portuguese versions and the latter with Spanish versions.
In 2023 Ruben Blades and the Delgado Big Band will return to touring in the U.S., Latin America and Europe, with Salswing Tour!

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Born July 16th, 1948 in the Republic of Panama
Blades was born in a rooming house in a small Latin American country, but he refused to see limitations or barriers; his work has crossed geopolitical borders, cultures, and genres and has made an impact throughout the world. He says he has “more past than future” – but he’s not done yet.

Harvard Graduate Law School LLM Masters in International Law (1985)
Degree in Law and Political Science from the University of Panama (1974)

Awards and Distinctions
He has won 21 Grammy Awards (11 U.S. Grammy and 10 Latin Grammy).
2021 Person of the Year nomination from The Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (LARAS).
2020 Harvard Arts Medal Harvard University
2019 Dorothy Height award in honor to the civil rights leader at New York University.
2018 Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes awarded by the Ministry of Culture of Spain
2018-2019 New York University Steinhardt Dean’s Scholar-in-Residence
2011 The Hispanic Heritage Foundation honored him with the Arts award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
2011 The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) honored him with their Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award
2010 Aid for Aids honored him with the “My Hero” award for his work promoting Aids awareness
2008 The Rubén Blades Archives at Harvard University was initiated to collect his papers, work, and related materials
2008 Latin Trade Magazine honored him with the Bravo Award for the Most Innovative Leader of the Year
2007 The Latin American Tourism Confederation (COTAL) selected him as the Tourism Personality of the Year, honoring him with the Albatross Award
2006 The Chilean Government presented him with the Pablo Neruda Medal of Honor
2005 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) honored him with the Founders Award
2003 The National Academy of Arts & Sciences (NARAS) honored him with the Heroes Award
2000 Named Ambassador Against Racism by the United Nations

He has an Honorary Doctorate in Chicano Studies, from Berkeley University (California)
He has an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Lehman College, CUNY (Bronx, New York)
He has an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music (Boston, Massachusetts)

Music and Film
He has recorded more than 25 albums and countless collaborations with diverse artists
He has starred in 35+ movies and as a regular in 2 television series, and guest star in 2 other series
He was nominated for 3 Emmy Awards
He won a Cable Ace Award in the Best Actor category (1989)
He won a Imagen Foundation Award in the Best Supporting Actor category by ¨Once upon a Time¨ (2004)
He is the subject of the 2018 award-winning documentary Yo No Me Llamo Rubén Blades, directed by Abner Benaim.

Served as General Administrator of the Authority of Tourism in Panama and Minister of Tourism of Panama, from September 1st 2004, until June 30th 2009

Founder of the Papa Egoro political party in the Republic of Panama (1992)
He was a candidate for President of the Republic of Panama in 1994, coming in third place, with 18% of the vote in the election, among 27 parties and 7 presidential candidates

Future Plans
Blades plans to tour with Roberto Delgado Salsa Big Band through Latin America, the United States, and Europe, while continuing his activities in film and television, writing his articles of opinion published in his social media pages and his blog La Esquina de Rubén, and preparing new productions in other musical genres and styles.

2023 Europe dates available.

participating in

  • WOMEX 2022
  • WOMEX 2014
  • WOMEX 2011
  • WOMEX 2010
  • WOMEX 2009
  • WOMEX 2008
  • WOMEX 2007
  • WOMEX 2006
  • WOMEX 2005
  • WOMEX 2004
  • WOMEX 2002
  • WOMEX 2001
  • WOMEX 2000
  • virtualWOMEX


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