Marc Anthony plots fourth Juntos en Concierto tour

Fri May 30, 2008 7:10pm EDT

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MIAMI (Billboard) - Juntos en Concierto (Together in Concert), the multi-act Latin concert series led by salsa/pop star Marc Anthony, returns for its fourth consecutive year with a streamlined touring schedule and featured performers that will vary by market.

Instead of the 15 to 20 arena dates that have characterized the series since its inception, this year's edition will stop in only six markets, limited in part by Anthony's South American touring schedule. But each show, Anthony says, will feature different acts and will be tailored to the specific market.

"It's the perfect excuse to bring acts that you wouldn't necessarily find together in an arena setting with a spectacular production," Anthony says.

The tour's first stop will be an Anthony solo show July 26 at Los Angeles' Gibson Amphitheatre, followed by multi-act shows in Chicago, New York, Miami, Houston and Irvine, California, through September.

The tour's original version, produced by Live Nation, was groundbreaking because it put three major Latin artists -- Anthony, Chayanne and Alejandro Fernandez -- together on one stage. According to Billboard Boxscore, 200,000 people attended 17 shows, which grossed $13.6 million.

For the 2006 version of Juntos, with Italian icon Laura Pausini and grupero/pop star Marco Antonio Solis, financial services company ING (known for sponsoring major sporting events like the New York and Miami marathons) became the tour's name sponsor. It maintained that role in 2007, when the Juntos tour featured Anthony with his wife, Jennifer Lopez.

Juntos is a departure for ING in that it is the company's only major entertainment/music event and the only Latin-themed event it sponsors.

"The idea was really to engage the Hispanic community in a fashion that was fun, upbeat and relevant," ING vice president of multicultural marketing Javier Palomarez says. The multiple acts, he says, also afforded ING broad reach with a single event.

Since 2007, ING has asked Anthony to incorporate into Juntos support for its Run for Something Better program, which encourages children to run to fight obesity. The program now serves 33,000 children nationwide, up from 5,000 when it started three years ago.

As part of that alliance, Anthony taped public service announcements that will air as part of the promotion for Juntos and before each concert. In addition, $2 from each ticket sold will be donated to Run for Something Better.

As for Anthony, he's currently recording three studio albums: a new tropical album, a Spanish ballad album and an English-language pop album in which he's collaborating with the likes of Billy Joel and Babyface.

"We are aiming to release them simultaneously by the end of the year," he says.

Reuters/Billboard

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