Latin Grammy Winner Finds Success Creating Bilingual Music

Andrés Salguero to receive the UMKC Conservatory Alumni Achievement Award
Andrés Salguero

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. UMKC is honoring Andrés Mauricio Salguero (G.R.C.T. ’11, D.M.A. ’11) with its Class of 2020 UMKC Conservatory Alumni Achievement Award.

Andrés Mauricio Salguero (G.R.C.T. ’11, D.M.A. ’11)
Andrés Mauricio Salguero
(G.R.C.T. ’11, D.M.A. ’11)

Along with his wife and partner, Christina Sanabria, Salguero is co-creator of the Latin Grammy-winning musical group 123 Andrés, a duo that performs music for children and families throughout the United States and Latin America. 123 Andrés has released four acclaimed studio albums, including their Latin Grammy-nominated debut, “Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés,” Latin Grammy winner “Arriba Abajo,” and the most recent, Latin-Grammy-nominated, “Canta las Letras.” His first children’s book, published by Scholastic, debuted in 2020. We caught up with the composer, performer and multi-instrumentalist recently.

Your music teaches English and Spanish. How did you get into educational music?

When I was a young child in Bogotá, Colombia, my mom found some workbooks and cassette tapes at a used toy sale. It turned out to be “Inglés Junior,” an English learning course for children created by the BBC. They were a big part of how I learned English as a child and I never forgot them.

How does it feel to be helping children communicate better and learn foundational material from your music?

Our biggest goal for our music is to connect children and families to celebrate and learn about Latin heritage and Spanish language. We are proud that our songs support children in learning words and phrases in another language and that the underlying messages of multiculturalism, curiosity and friendship stick in their hearts and minds.

How did UMKC contribute to your success?

I am thankful for Conservatory faculty, who held us to the highest expectations. They fed my drive and nurtured a belief that I could perform at the highest level, whatever my chosen career path would be.

UMKC also offered many opportunities that went beyond the traditional coursework. I had several student work opportunities on campus that allowed me to be in different professional environments.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Being able to give back. We have used our platform to raise awareness and funds for two amazing organizations that support children and families in need, the Greater DC Diaper Bank and Immigrant Families Together.

About the Alumni Awards

Join us in honoring Salguero and the other Class of 2020 Awardees in our first-ever virtual celebration at 5 p.m. April 16. Go to to register for this free event. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to donate to student scholarships, contributions can be made online.

Meet the rest of the 2020 UMKC Alumni Awardees

Learn more about Conservatory

Published: Mar 23, 2021

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