The Latin Jazz category is back at the Grammys.
After a lawsuit and several protests, which involved hundreds of musicians including Carlos Santana, Eddie Palmieri and Paquito Rivera, over the discontinuation of the best Latin jazz album category from the Grammys, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced it was reinstating the Latin jazz as a category.
Last year, the Academy reduced the number of categories from 109 to 78 to make the awards more competitive. For the upcoming Grammys, there will be 81 categories.
The news is certain to end a yearlong battle for the fate of the category. The decision to eliminate it brought instant condemnation from Latin jazz fans.
New entries this year includes awards for best urban contemporary album — to honor R&B albums that may include elements of pop and rock — and best classical compendium to highlight albums "involving a mixture of classical subgenres."
Bobby Sanabria, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit and Latin Jazz musician told Fox News Latino he is overjoyed with the Recording Academy because it was “the right thing to decision.”
“We hope this opens up doors for other categories to be reinstated,” Sanabria told FNL. “I’m thankful to the board of trustees.”
“We love the Academy and we respect highly the [Grammys] tradition and the majesty of the Academy,” he added. “All of this was done because it was our goal, our obligation to protest.”
At the time Sanabria, who is a five-time, Grammy-nominated Latin jazz musician, told said that by eliminating the categories, without any input from members (NARAS) was showing that they do not care about “representing diversity” in music.
Sanabria, who is of Puerto Rican decent, also said he was glad NARAS added a new category, the music educator award, which as he says will “honor heroes training musicians of today.”
“The people that teach have a lot to do with the artists’ success, he told Fox News Latino.”
He also said it was “great” to learn about the reinstatement of the Latin jazz album category just days before a planned Puerto Rican day parade in New York City.
“Everyone that signed the petition and everyone in the academy and all of the great artists. It was all a big collective effort.”
Still, not everyone in the academy is happy with the new categories and the reinstatement of Latin jazz album category to the Grammys.
Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy, had told the Associated Press that it's incredibly unfortunate that a very small group chose to voice their discontent with a lawsuit that had no basis."
"Every year we want to look at these objectively and make a good musical decision and not be influenced by politics and pressure," Portnow said.
"Not only is it distracting from a time standpoint, but it costs a great deal of money to have to defend something that we knew was completely defensible,” he added.
To that notion, Sanabria disagrees.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” Sanabria said.
The decision was made at the Academy's annual Board of Trustees meeting last month.
Roger Maldonado, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sanabria and others, said he was elated at the reinstatement.
"I want to thank the academy for having the maturity to make the decision despite a yearlong fight," Maldonado said.
Maldonado said the legal battle would now likely end.
"We didn't sue for money, we sued for reinstatement of the award. That has happened I see no reason for continuing the lawsuit," he said. "Instead my clients can stop worrying about this and instead focus on preparing and recording music for consideration of the Latin jazz award."
Other changes include splitting up the best Latin pop, rock or urban album honor into two awards, now known as best Latin pop album and best Latin rock, urban or alternative album.
However, the best Banda or Norteño album and best regional Mexican or Tejano album have been combined into one award: best regional Mexican music album.
Portnow says a number of proposals were filed, noting that "the volume was definitely up" this year compared to past ones.
"I don't hold anything against the Latin jazz community for the passion that they have for their music," he said. "The (Latin jazz) community put a good proposal together this year, and we see the results of that."
Maldonado said he hoped that the Academy would reconsider the reinstatement at other categories at some point as well. But he called the decisions a victory.
"For [my clients] it's a vindication not of the lawsuit but of their belief in the music, which is wonderful," he said.
The 55th Grammy Awards will air on CBS on Feb. 10
The Associated Press contributed to this report.