Hoot/Wisdom-produced album earns Latin Grammy nomination

Professor Alejandro Sanchez-Samper and his students help produce Latin tango and Latin Grammy nominated album, “Bogota – Buenos Aires”


The band, Quinteto Leopoldo Federico, with their album. Photo courtesy by Hoot Wisdom

Emily Creighton, Features Editor

Hoot/Wisdom Recordings-produced album “Bogota – Buenos Aires,” by Latin group Quinteto Leopoldo Federico, has been nominated for a Latin Grammy award in the Best Tango Album category.

The collaboration between the quintet, director Giovanni Parra Huertas, Alejandro Sanchez-Samper – a Florida Atlantic associate professor and assistant director of commercial music – and a group of students brought this work to fruition.

“I am thrilled to have recruited the Quinteto Leopoldo Federico to record this album, and it is an honor to have been nominated at the Grammy Awards,” said Sanchez-Samper in a press release. “It was also exciting to engineer the album with current and former FAU students.”

Sanchez-Samper, who had known Huertas for years and hoped to bring more exposure to Hoot/Wisdom, proposed the idea of bringing the quintet to the Artist and Repertoire Committee. After getting the plan approved and convincing the band to fly to Boca, the project quickly unfolded.

The group came to FAU to start recording after a performance in New York last October. By March, the album was finished and ready for its May release in Colombia.

“We recorded the album in two long days, but it took five months to edit and mix,” said Sanchez-Samper. “Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take three minutes to record a three minute song.”

He continued, “I spent many long night sessions working on edits, sending them to the Quinteto for approval, getting notes back, doing more changes, etc … The mixing of the album took two weeks in March.”

Quinteto Leopoldo Federico is one of several outside musical acts to record under the label. Hoot/Wisdom Recordings has two departments: one that is student-run and houses students’ projects overseen by faculty, the other a creative research facility for faculty where they can bring in non-students.

Ben Cross, a commercial music major and one of the students who helped engineer the album said, “Recording this album was a lot of fun … Myself and two other assistant engineers set up mics, cables, and listened along in a separate listening room.”

He continued: “Professor Sanchez would follow along in the score while listening to the tracks on headphones. He would then instruct the band to play certain ways to shape the overall sound of the recording. A lot of the session was also in Spanish, so it was very interesting to see a recording session conducted in another language.”

Cross and fellow commercial music students Joel Iglesias, Hunter Isbell and Jesse LaPierre are credited as assistant engineers. Sanchez-Samper also brought on alumnus Matt Baltrucki as an engineer, and grad student Karol Owens to work on Spanish to English text translations.

With a private donation of $1,000, the crew was also able to bring on three-time Grammy winning master engineer Bob Katz.

“What attracted me the most when I came to FAU was the record label. My mission from the start was to catapult Hoot/Wisdom Recordings to an international level,” said Sanchez-Samper.

Proud of the album’s success, he hopes the nomination “helps students be proud to be at FAU and to see the possibilities Hoot/Wisdom recordings has for them.”

Joseph Pye contributed to the reporting of this story.

Emily Creighton is the features editor of the University Press. If you would like to contact her regarding this article or others, email her at [email protected].