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Latin Grammys: Calle 13 and Gustavo Dudamel get the show rolling

November 10, 2011 |  5:32 pm

Latin Grammys: Calle 13 and Gustavo Dudamel get the show rolling
When Rene Pérez of the group Calle 13 rapped the opening number at the Latin Grammys, he had a semi-surprise guest from L.A. with him.

Right next to Pérez, on stage at the Mandalay Bay Hotel theater in Las Vegas, was none other than Gustavo Dudamel, music director and principal conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and budding multimedia celebrity, conducting the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, the orchestra that Dudamel apprenticed with as a youth. It's Dudamel's biggest television audience since he guested on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno earlier this year.

Resplendent in a yellow, blue and red sash -- the colors of the Venezuelan flag -- Dudamel led his orchestra in backing Calle 13's hit song "Latinoamerica," an anthemic celebration of Latin culture and identity stetching from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego. Like Pérez and his stepbrother Eduardo Cabra, Calle 13's other half, Dudamel has made a point in his career of promoting music from all corners of Latin America -- including the music of the growing Latino presence in the United States.

He and wife, Eloisa, are pretty good salsa dancers too.


Calle 13 dominates Latin Grammys nominations

Live: Calle 13 shows off a large Latin American tent

Latin Grammys gives Calle 13 and other acts another spotlight

-- Reed Johnson

Photo: René Prérez Joglar "Residente" of Calle 13 at the 2011 Latin Grammy's in Las Vegas. Credit: Julie Jacobson / AP