Leomar Cordero Receives the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation's Nicky Jam Scholarship
The Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation awarded its Prodigy Scholarship to pianist Leomar Cordero in a special presentation on August 24, 2023, in Miami, Florida. The Prodigy Scholarship, which is cosponsored this year by Latin Grammy–winning singer Nicky Jam, was created nine years ago to support music education and Latin music genres. It holds a maximum value of $200,000 and will allow Cordero to pursue a bachelor's degree at Berklee, beginning this fall.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Cordero was selected by the foundation's scholarship committee from a highly competitive group of hundreds of applicants worldwide. “I am beyond thankful to the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation and Nicky Jam for rewarding my efforts and motivating not just me but also a large number of passionate young musicians who share an infinite love for music and our rich culture,” said Cordero. “I am committed to making the most out of this incredible opportunity and leaving a lasting impact in the world of music.”
The foundation's unwavering mission has been to support and cultivate the next generation of Latin music creators.
Since its establishment, the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation has committed more than $9.3 million in scholarships, grants, musical instruments, and educational programs throughout the United States and Ibero-America.
“Since our inception nearly a decade ago, the foundation's unwavering mission has been to support and cultivate the next generation of Latin music creators. I am humbled to announce our ninth Prodigy Scholarship winner and continue this mission,” said Raquel "Rocky" Egusquiza, executive director of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation. “With the extraordinary generosity of respected artists such as Nicky Jam, we have the unique privilege of fostering the education of future generations, paving the way for their dreams to flourish and carry forward the rich legacy of Latin music.”
"This is more than a scholarship, it's a symphony of dreams harmonizing with dedication," said Nicky Jam. "To witness the power of music uniting us all, and to be a part of Leomar's journey, is an honor beyond words. Through education, we nurture the melodies of tomorrow and keep the soul of Latin music alive. Congratulations, Leomar. Let your music paint the world with colors only your heart can imagine."
Previous cosponsors of the Prodigy Scholarship include Enrique Iglesias (2015), Juan Luis Guerra ’82 (2016), Miguel Bosé (2017), Carlos Vives (2018), Emilio and Gloria Estefan '07H (2019), Julio Iglesias '15H (2020), Juanes (2021), and Sofia Carson (2022).
The foundation also announced 43 recipients of its annual Gifted Tuition Scholarship and Tuition Assistance Scholarship, with 15 of the awardees planning to pursue their education at Berklee College of Music or Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Through the Tuition Assistance Scholarship, each student will receive a one-time scholarship with a maximum value of $10,000 toward their tuition costs.
One of Berklee's scholarship recipients, Kristalis Sotomayor Matos, a graduate of the college who's now pursuing her master's degree at Boston Conservatory, said, “Winning this scholarship means a lot to me since now it's possible to make my dream come true. Thanks to this scholarship, I will be able to complete my master's and . . . achieve my goal of teaching, playing in an orchestra, and having my own Latin jazz band. I am very thankful to the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation for helping many Latino students like me achieve our goals.”
The 15 recipients include:
- Sofía Almeida, Portugal, Berklee College of Music (Voice)
- Sebastián Castillo, Panama, Boston Conservatory at Berklee (Piano)
- Lorenzo Curik, Argentina, Berklee College of Music (Drums)
- Juan Pablo Faundez, Chile, Berklee College of Music (Drums)
- Yandy García-Palacio, Cuba, Berklee College of Music (Drums)
- Simon Martinez, Ecuador, Berklee College of Music (Piano)
- Laia Martínez Gelabert, Spain, Berklee College of Music (Electric Bass)
- María Medina Almaguer, Cuba, Berklee College of Music (Piano)
- Rafael Ernesto Nocedo, Cuba, Berklee College of Music (Piano)
- Daniel Olivero, Venezuela, Berklee College of Music (Voice)
- Andy Popescu, Australia, Berklee College of Music (Electric Bass)
- Oscar Rojas, Mexico, Berklee College of Music (Piano)
- Juan Sebastián Sánchez, Colombia, Berklee College of Music (Percussion)
- Kristalis Sotomayor Matos, Puerto Rico, Boston Conservatory at Berklee (Flute)
- Guillermo Wan, Ecuador, Berklee College of Music (Electric Bass)
For more information about the foundation or to make a donation, visit the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.