Sony Music Entertainment has signed a historic licensing deal for the international distribution rights of the world’s biggest Cuban music catalogue.
The exclusive multi-year agreement encompasses audio and audiovisual recordings produced by The Havana-based Enterprise of Recordings and Musical Editions (EGREM) since the 1960s.
It includes recordings by such artists as Bola de Nieve, Elena Burke, Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, Celina Gonzalez, Cesar Portillo de la Luz and Guillermo Rubalcaba.
The catalogue also contains recordings by the musical groups Aragon, Irakere and Los Van Van, including their most recent album La Fantasia, A Tribute to Juan Formell.
EGREM recordings have been individually licensed for international distribution before, but never in a comprehensive way to a multi-national corporation.
Mario Angel Escalona Serrano, Managing Director of EGREM, said: “We see these agreements as an opportunity for the joint management of our catalogue over the coming years.
“The leadership of EGREM, together with Sony Music’s, represents the best way to give new momentum to the worldwide distribution of Cuban music.”
“This landmark agreement will help expand international awareness and appreciation of cuba’s rich musical heritage.”
Doug Morris, Sony Music
Doug Morris, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment (pictured) said, “We are delighted to be partnering with EGREM to share for the first time one of the largest and most acclaimed catalogues of Cuban music with fans across the globe.
“This landmark agreement will help expand international awareness and appreciation of Cuban culture, Cuba’s rich musical heritage and its many wonderful artists.”
Edgar Berger, Chairman and CEO, International, of Sony Music, noted, “Sony Music is honored to bring this iconic music —representing over five decades of Cuban culture — to all corners of the world.
“This very special project has been almost two years in the making and today becomes a reality. We are thrilled to introduce these extremely talented artists to the global audience they so richly deserve.”
Afo Verde, Chairman and CEO, Latin America, Spain and Portugal, of Sony Music, said, “We are very grateful that EGREM has entrusted our company with this amazing project.
“We are working on the release of this treasure of Cuban music so it will be available on all possible music and video platforms for music lovers to enjoy as soon as possible.”
Sony Music has entered into the transaction with EGREM pursuant to the “informational materials” exemption under US sanction rules for Cuba administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”).
This exception applies to music and other works of art, and is intended to promote the free movement of information and artistic expression by the Cuban people.Music Business Worldwide