Grammy News

Entertainment, Grammy News — By on May 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat on the red carpet of "Cue The Music." Photo by John Wareham.

The Grammy Foundation’s
Music Preservation Event

The Event, “Cue The Music” at The Wilshire Ebell,
celebrated Music and Television

By Buddy Sampson
The Wilshire Ebell was the locale of a fantastic night of music, celebrating and documenting the wonderful effect that music has had on several mediums, including television. “Cue The Music” was hosted by Shaun Robinson of the popular television show, Access Hollywood. She was an excellent host- funny, engaging, articulate and shined brightly amongst the stars of the stage on this spectacular night.

Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow started the show, articulating the history of The Grammys, which started in 1959. “The music that has been made in the past has an influence on what’s made today and in the future,” said Portnow. “If we don’t save it, if we can’t hear it and we don’t know about it, we’re cheating future generations of having all this great background and great understanding and material in their heads to create the next generation of music.” Throughout the night, many clips were shown from the golden era of television- from The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Petula Clark, Sonny and Cher, Miles Davis and many others. The older members of the audience were wowed as they were shown clips of classic shows with very recognizable music, such as Gilligan’s Island, Green Acres, Sanford & Son, The Cosby Show and The Andy Griffith Show, whistled by the legendary Earle Hagen. The first performers that took the stage were Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat, who did a funky reggae version of “It’s Not Unusual.” Mraz and Caillat, who wore a silver mini dress, were barefoot on stage and started the evening on a great note.

Jorge Moreno, who had perhaps the best performance of the night, did his best imitation of Desi Arnaz’s Ricky Ricardo character of the mega popular show “I Love Lucy,” performing the song “Babalu.” He even played a conga drum. Moreno was sexy, charming and captivated the audience. His Latin flavored moment was nothing short of excellent. On the red carpet, Moreno talked about his musical influences and how he grew up. His mother listened to rock groups like The Yardbirds and his father listened to traditional Latin flavored music. “I do that in my music,” said Moreno. “In Spanish it’s more like the Salsa-tropical style and in English it’s like Brit-American classical.”

This talented artist will soon makes waves in the music industry.

R&B and Soul legend Solomon Burke took the stage and he was in fine voice, donning a king’s throne as he sang. The audience immediately recognized that they were in for a real treat and Burke happily provided it, with his smooth and silky vocals. “Do you happen to have a cheese steak in your pocket?” Burke kidded on the red carpet when told the writer was from Philadelphia, where his brothers Daniel Burke and Joey Burke once lived. When asked about the state of current R&B music, Burke was very candid. “I think it’s incredible,” he said. “I think it’s grown to the magnitude of just being overwhelmingly beautiful and fantastic. Alicia Keys-‘I love you.’ And there’s so many great artists. We have such a wealth of artists now. We lost the King of Pop (Michael Jackson) and I’m hopeful that we’ll find another. But what an exciting time. Lady Gaga, I mean come on. That’s R&B to me, she rocks.” Burke has a current project due to be released soon called, “Nothing Impossible.”

Grammy nominated artist Melanie Fiona mesmerized the audience, taking the stage in an elegant black gown. Her breathy vocal style was captivating. She resists the current trend of singers to do vocal gymnastics, and chose to sing a Paul Williams song with grace and sophistication. When asked about the excitement of The Grammys, Fiona, from Canada, was visibly moved. “I still feel like a regular girl,” said Fiona. “It’s almost likeCinderella being dressed up for the night. But I worked really hard to be here. I’m just happy that I can share music history.”

Pat Monahan, of the group Train performed and he summarized the true spirit of preserving the history and art form of popular music. “I think it’s important,” said Monahan of keeping archives of performance and music. “I just think about young people all the time. I had my opportunities to have a chance at this and I wasn’t good at other things, so I’m sure there’s going to be a kid like me out there that has kind of one place to go and this kind of gives them a chance to do that.” Monahan, a hilarious guy, who joked about being naked to a radio interviewer on the red carpet, had no doubt as to the artist he looked forward to hearing at the Grammy Awards. “Roberta Flack, and Roberta Flack,” he laughed. “Maxwell-I’m super psyched to hear him and there’s not a lot of people I don’t want to hear. I’m a big Lady Gaga fan, I think she’s super cool. There’s lots of them. I can’t think of them all because I don’t want to hear anyone more than Roberta Flack.”

The Fray, best known for their music on the show “Grey’s Anatomy,” closed the show with the audience on their feet. The Wilshire Ebell audience was treated to a spectacular night of great music. Special thanks to Christina Cassidy of The Grammy Foundation, Jessica Erkskine and Joe Schneider, Rogers and Cowan for their kindness in providing material for this article.

The Grammy Museum. Photo by Deidra Burton.

Inside the Grammy Museum
By Deidra Burton

You dance to JLo or eat your Wheaties to The Beatles. Or maybe you carpool with Vivaldi. Perhaps you may drift off to sleep with Coltrane. Every word to La Isla Bonita by Madonna is stored in your memory bank.

You think you know your music so well that you can win a contest in trivia of any genre.

As of December 6th, a 30,000 square foot music museum is here to tell you that you may be wrong.

The Grammy Museum is a combination of sound, futuristic learning experience and artistic hi-tech entertainment.

Forget everything your field trip leader told you in grade school, on your way to another historical museum. The look-but-don’t-touch policy need not apply. Explore a dynamic interactive base, inspired by today’s multimedia and timeless music. Ever changing audio and video exhibits raise the bar for the museum experience.

The museum’s curator, Ken Viste, explains, “It’s hard to tell stories in rich, meaningful ways to a broad spectrum of visitors without being able to deliver a ton of video quickly to people at the touch of a button [which] is what they are used to at home, on the internet.”

Begin challenging your knowledge of Grammy-award winning heavyweights by searching the virtual index of winners and nominees by year. Computerized interactive archives resemble an actual PC with touch-screen selection, window applications, and the standard Start icon. To get acquainted with your favorite artists on a geographical level, find the Music Epicenter. The digital audio-video device allows visitors to choose from cities throughout the map of the U.S., from which musical artists are specified. Your curiosity about Austin, Texas may lead you straight to the bio and country tunes of, “Shotgun Willie” Nelson. Choose between mono and surround sound in your listening booth.

The museum uplifts music as a part of history in 160 genres and showcases renowned artists from each. Witness the history that cultivated today’s music and how it is made. Level two of the four-story building provides a hands-on overview on how recording began. Phonographs, the first made in 1877, were criticized because it was said that it would ruin music. Little did skeptics know that the phonograph would create a new business for the music world. Find out for yourself by stepping into the booth and create a beat or melody of your own in a digital recording studio guided by your high-def virtual instructor. After the samples, vocals, loops and layers, master your finishing touches with the engineer who worked with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Learn about the great businessmen “on the other side of the glass.” The timeline of producers and engineers cover an entire wall for Fred Gaisberg, Berry Gordy, Clive Davis, Chris Blackwell, and Timbaland.

The sights and sounds of musical legends capture the spirit of the museum. What’s Going On by socially conscious, R&B legend, Marvin Gaye, plays. White lights, benches, and walls keep the musical atmosphere in key focus.

In completion of exhibits that have only existed for a little over a month, research is up to The Grammy Award date of just last year. Archives can be researched and records can be heard from an array of award-winning artists up to the latest. Constantly updated archives include the likes of Kanye West, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, and Alicia Keys. Possessions of legendary musicians change throughout time in the museum, including the famous Versace dress worn by Jennifer Lopez in 2000. New films and music events in a 200-seat sound stage keep the atmosphere fresh.

It’s clear that professionals behind the ideas of The Grammy Museum aim to please. “You need to have the scholarship and diversity of experience that people expect and demand. “I think we’ve done a good job of that,” says Viste.

General Information: Located on the L.A. Live campus at 800 W. Olympic Blvd. #A245, L.A., CA 90015. Open daily 10-6. Admission price ranges by age from $10.95-$14.95.

Unforgettable original JLo dress worn Grammy's night, 2000. Dress designed by Gianni Versace. Photo by Deidra Burton.

Grammy statue standing at 11 ft. Photo by Deidra Burton.

Grammy Museum Exhibit. Photo- Deidra Burton.

Classic microphones. Photo-Deidra Burton.

Grammy Exhibit. Photo- Deidra Burton.

View inside the museum. Photo- Deidra Burton.

Musical icons take center stage in the museum. Photo- Deidra Burton.

Dynamic duo of classical and jazz music kiosk. Photo-Deidra Burton.

Stars have to shine! Performers' original garments (left to right): Miles Davis(1985), Celia Cruz (1990), Michael Jackson (1982), Johnny Cash (1955), Ella Fitzgerald (1964), BB King (2007). Photo-Deidra Burton.

Harlem Swingin'! Cab Calloway starred in the musical, Bubbling Brown Sugar , 1977. Photo- Deidra Burton.

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