NEW YORK - Musicians are expressing their anger over the elimination of Latin jazz as a Grammy award category, the New York Daily News Reports.
"I was very instrumental in getting the Latin Jazz category into the awards, and its elimination is very upsetting to me," Eddie Palmieri, a pianist and bandleader, told Daily News reporter Monika Fabian.
"As a member for over 20 years, it's insulting," said Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria at a local chapter meeting of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the awards ceremony's organizing institution.
"All of the 30 categories being cut represent the diversity of American music," he said.
The Grammy award restructuring plan, announced last Wednesday, will consolidate the number of award categories from 109 to 78.
Male and female awards categories will be merged, and niche genres such as Hawaiian and Native American music will be eliminated.
Academy President Neil Portnow, on hand at the midtown meeting - intended to introduce the announced changes to the organization's members - said the new rules were the result of months of careful review.
"All of the genre fields remain - that's a important point to make here," said Portnow. "The nomination committee spent more than a year analyzing and evaluating the Grammy process and categories with great objectivity and fair-mindedness."
The slimmed category count will make its debut at the 54th annual Grammy Awards to be held next February.