Grammy Awards Speak to Undocumented Immigrants

SC3Kristian Hernandez

Hispanic Link News Service

While the U.S. Congress dawdles and dodges its responsibility to resolve our immigration crisis, Grammy award-winning Latin rock group La Santa Cecilia, with its undocumented requintaand accordion player, has made its stand loud and clear on prime-time national television.

The Los Angeles-based musicians dedicated their Grammy for the album Treinta Días, announced Jan. 26, to the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

With her arms spread wide to the pop-star crowd at the StaplesCenter in Los Angeles and the 28.4 million viewers watching at home that Sunday evening, Marisol Hernández screamed in her Janis Joplin rasp, “¡Viva la música!Migration is beautiful.”

Hernández, better known as “La Marisoul,” walked off the stage holding the band’s first-ever Grammy for “Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album.”

Treinta Días, their first album, was released last April under the major label Universal Music. Hernández was followed by her band members, including undocumented José Carlos.

Carlos is a native of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. He came to the United States with his parents when he was six. The single El Hielo, (ICE), referring to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, features the story of three undocumented workers one of which is based on the story of Carlos.

We are proud to be children of immigrant parents, and we dedicate this award to the more than eleven million undocumented people that live and work really hard and that still need to live a more dignified life in this country,” Hernández said during her acceptance speech.

The band is named after Saint Cecilia, the patron of music. Their songs feature bilingual lyrics and multicultural themes that illustrate the unique experience of Latinos in the United States.

Their sound is a cauldron of traditional Mexican cumbias, boleros, tango, rock and pop, spread thick over Afro-Caribbean beats, and a huge side of Latin soul. In a video interview with NBC Latino’s Cafecíto, the band explains that mixing all of these influences, to them, is as easy as speaking Spanglish.

Last year the band performed at an immigration rally in WashingtonD.C. It has been named one of Advertising Age’s, “Rising Hispanic Artists to Watch.”

Since their start on L.A.’s Olvera St. when they were teenagers, La Santa Ceciliahas recorded two EP’s, “Noches y Citas” and “El Valor,” which were re-released by Universal Music in July.

(Kristian Hernández is a recent grad from the University of Texas at El Paso and is a freelance reporter from El Paso.)

© 2014

For this article in Spanish and other news and features, go

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