WHAT WE ARE
Back for its 5th year, The Latin UK Awards, better known as The LUKAS, are Europe’s most important awards celebrating the spirit of Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese Music, Dance, Arts and Sports.
Created by the UK’s leading Latino publication, Latino Life - in print (www.issuu.com/latinolife) and online (www.latinolife.co.uk), The LUKAS is a fantastic, colourful, and entertaining celebration of Britain’s rapid growing passion for all things Latino.
Reflecting the popularity of Latin culture in the UK and worldwide, every year the LUKAS is covered by more than 150 press, radio and TV outlets and over 8,000 web and social networking sites as fans and candidates campaign and vote, reaching an estimated 18 million people. The LUKAS makes national TV news in the UK, Latin America and Spain.
"I had a wonderful time at the LUKAS Award evening. Thank you for all your efforts. It meant a lot to me to receive the LUKAS ’Lifetime Achievement Award’ for Contribution to Human Rights." Bianca Jagger
" The LUKAS are doing a great job celebrating and rewarding the talent and efforts of our cultures" in the UK and Europe," says JUANES, multi Grammy award winner and currently the world's most popular all-Spanish speaking artist.
SHINING A GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT ON GREAT LATIN ACHIEVERS
The LUKAS is a unique event, in which the greatest achievers in Latin music, dance, football, food, arts, community and business - from unsung heroes of the community to global football stars, artists and celebrities - come together under one roof to celebrate.
"It was a great honour for me to be recognised by the Latino community in the UK," said producer Phil Manzanera, winner of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, who was presented his award by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour.
World Cup Winner, Spurs legend and Lifetime Achievment Awardee 2014, Osvaldo Ardiles, said: "This is a beautiful award and I receive it with a great deal of respect for the Latin American community, which has come such a long way since I first came. Our cultures have given a huge amount to British society, if you think about sports, music and food its incredible the progress we have made here and this is a wondreful way of celebrating it."
The LUKAS also transported previously unknown artists onto international TV screens, giving many of the winners a global media platform.
"We noticed a huge spike in our web traffic whilst the LUKAS voting was taking place. We received new visitors from all over the world. The LUKAS gave us a global platform for our music. That's priceless," said Salseology, Tropical Act of the Year.
THE LUKAS 2016/17
The public nominate candidates at www.thelukas.co.uk/content/NOMINATIONS. Nominations will close on 31st Oct and voting will start on November 5th.
The are two rounds of voting. The first month of voting is an ‘open’ round in which nominees who fulfill the awards criteria participate (www.thelukas.co.uk/content/nominations). This round of voting will close on 1st December.
A shortlist of the top five most-voted-for nominees for each award then enter a second and final round of voting, in which the public can vote again. The second round will begin on December 5th and end on December 17th.
The winners and runners up are decided at the end of the final round, with the public vote counting for 50% and the remaining 50% by votes from a panel of experts selected for each award. The two percentages are added up to decide the winner.
THE LUKAS TEAM
Amaranta Wright - Founder and Managing Director
Amaranta Wright is a journalist, author, magazine editor and social entrepreneur. Born in Buenos Aires, Amaranta Wright came to the UK from Argentina at the age of six, and grew up in North London where she went to Fortismere Comprehensive School. After reading Modern History at Oxford University, she returned to her birthplace and became correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph, San Francisco Chronicle, The Scotsman, and The Toronto Globe and Mail and was short-listed for The Jane Packenham Journalism award.
Amaranta then worked for Levi Strauss in a job that took her across Latin America researching youth culture. She wrote about her experience in a critically acclaimed book Ripped and Torn: Levi's, Latin America and The Blue Jean Dream, published by Random House and now being made into a film. After creating and running BULB, the award-winning global issues youth magazine, for four years Amaranta founded www.latinolife.co.uk – now the UK’s leading Latino lifestyle magazine. THE LUKAS is the brainchild of herself and Jose Luis, London’s leading Latin events promoter.
Jose Luis Seijas – Founder and Managing Director
Since his arrival from Caracas 20 years ago, Jose Luis has established himself as one of Europe's leading Latin DJs and events promoters, and has become a central reference point for Britain's Latino community. He pioneered the Urban Latin music and club movement in Europe, taking his creation, La Bomba – the UK’s most successful Latin club night at the Ministry of Sound – to Ibiza and Germany, South Africa and Hong King. As well as starting some of London’s most innovative club nights, Jose Luis has directed the UK's biggest Latin festivals, such as Latin Splash, Carnaval del Pueblo and the Latin Stage at The Notting Hill Carnival. Jose Luis also specializes in consulting and marketing for Latino brands in the UK. Rooted in a deep love of Latin music, years of expertise and loyalty to his roots, Jose Luis always has his finger on the Latin pulse.
Steve Lewinson - Music Director
Steve Lewinson is a musician, producer, songwriter, composer and musical director, who has worked with some of the world's most artistically and commercially successful artists, including Herbie Hancock, Annie Lennox, Massive Attack, Amy Winehouse, George Michael, Sade, Kylie Minogue, Anita Baker and Jimmy Cliff and Simply Red. He has contributed to many award winning records, as well as to film soundtracks and theatre and opera productions. Steve also acts as a creative consultant to companies and organisations, helping them to recognise and develop new opportunities for growth. He has now joined The LUKAS as a partner in this role. We are delighted to welcome him to the team!
Kenny Underwood – Co-producer and Production Manager
Through his company, Cheeky Rascals, Kenny has become one of the UK’s leading project and event management consultants, bringing efficiency, quality and a meticulous attention to detail to all he touches. His recent and current projects include BeautyCon 2015 London – (Beauty and Lifestyle Exhibition) 1Direction – (Live Televised UK Promotional Performances 2015) Sarah Brightman World Tour 2016 and British Athletics Association – Indoor & Outdoor Live Broadcast Track & Field Events (2012 - Current). We are very fortunate to have Kenny as part of The LUKAS team.
WHY WE DID IT
Do you know a pub without its Salsa night, a gym without a Zumba class, or a neighbourhood without a Tapas bar? Whether its footballers in our Premier League, Brazilian beats in the coolest urban club nights or pub entertainment in the suburbs, Latino influence is everywhere… we even dominate Saturday night television with our fantastic Latin dances.
With British and global interest in Latin dances, music, football and food at an all time high, we felt it was time to show off the real stars of these genres – from Tango and Samba to Salsa and Kizomba, from Mexican street food to Michelin star Peruvian, from Luis Suarez to dazzling sklls on Clapham Common – and celebrate them in their cultural contexts.
Our communities have been growing and influencing British society for several decades now. it is time to celebrate the diverse Latin genres and achievements under one umbrella. And beyond the dance floors, it’s also time to recognise those who have worked for years to diffuse Latin culture, to establish the community and fight for its rightful place in British society.
"The LUKAS is an excellent initiative. In the United States they've been recognising the quality and popularity of Latin and Spanish music for years. With so many Latinos in Europe, and the popularity of the culture here, it is natural that we should have our own awards on this side of the Atlantic," said David Bisbal, Spain's most successful pop artist of the last decade
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