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Rubén Blades first Latino to receive Harvard Medal of Arts


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Rubén Blades first Latino to receive Harvard Medal of Arts


Posted 29/04/2022

Rubén Blades on  Thursday, April 28, became the first Latino to receive the Medal of Arts from Harvard University, during a ceremony in which actor John Litgow participated, and which was enlivened by the Harvard Jazz Club directed by Yosvany Terry.

Devon Gates, Veronica Leahy and Kyra Teboe had special appearances at the celebration that took place at the Sanders Theater, in  Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Harvard‘s decision dates back to February 2020 when Harvard University President Larry Bacow commented that Blades "has endowed many aspects of his remarkable career with deep humanity and passionate intensity. He is a phenomenal musician, a talented actor, a devoted public servant, and we look forward to welcoming him back to campus and celebrating his many accomplishments in the arts,” he commented, according to the Harvard Gazette

In that same publication, the director of the Harvard Office of the Arts, Jack Megan, said that "Rubén Blades' dynamic career arc is simply extraordinary." “He is an extraordinary artist - one of the most influential salsa musicians of the second half of the 20th century and the 21st century as well as an inspiring actor and political activist... His generosity, musicality, and activism are models of creativity and commitment to our students and all of us.

Blades has been the recipient of 17 Grammy and Latin Grammy awards while his contributions to the various musical genres of salsa, rock, pop and jazz are known worldwide. The actor also participated in various audiovisual productions such as the series Fear The Walking Dead and the film Predator 2.

Previous recipients of the Harvard Medal of Arts included actors John Litgow, Matt Damon, Peter Sellers, and Tommy Lee Jones.


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