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The Good Times - 56th Annual GRAMMY AWARDS in Review 

The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards have now come and gone and what a party it was this year!  From the GRAMMY Jazz Camp showcase at the cozy Spaghettini Fine Dining and Entertainment venue in Seal Beach, CA to the amazing, music-filled Sunday night extravaganza televised live on the CBS network, everything was just fabulous.

I made the trek once again to Seal Beach, CA which is located approximately 30 miles south of Los Angeles. This year I had the pleasure of having SoulBounce.com’s Butta with me to share the experience of the yearly showcase.


Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis dazzling the Spaghettini crowd

The man in charge of the showcase is Manhattan School of Music’s Chair of Jazz Arts, Justin DiCioccio. He leads, inspires and shapes the music presented by 30 of the best high school jazz musicians in America. I have been impressed and elated each year that I have attended the event. The talent and heart that the younger generation shares with us lets me know that the future of Jazz music is in capable hands. Traditionally, an established artist comes on stage and plays a tune (or two) with the Jazz Band at some point during the show. This year the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award recipient, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, was the special guest. It was such a wonderful time! I have video that I’m really trying to recover from one of my iDevices that I hope to share with you. It was over 10+ minutes of jamming that the audience totally got into.

Random sightings during my time in Los Angeles included Fred Hirsh, Christian McBride, Gregory Porter, John Beasley, Steven Tyler, Terri Lyne Carrington, Angelique Kidjo, Wayne Wallace, Roberto Fonseco, Robin Thicke, Trombone Shorty…. The artists were everywhere and it made people-watching more exciting. I never knew who I might catch a glimpse of or walk past while I was in town.

The Special Merit Awards Ceremony always has “heavy-hitters” being honored and this year’s list of honorees had everyone buzzing.  The careers of The Beatles, The Isley Brothers, Clifton Chenier, Kraftwerk, Kris Kristofferson, Armando Manzanero, Maude Powell and others were presented in video montages that were followed by uncanned, heartfelt acceptance speeches.  

The Pre-Telecast Ceremony on Sunday (you can watch online at grammy.com until the 26th of February 2014) was once again presented in the beautiful Nokia Theater. Cyndi Lauper was the host. Congratulations to all of the winners but I am especially happy for Terri Lyne Carrington being the first female musician EVER to receive the Best Instrumental Jazz Album Award! Plus, Snarky Puppy featuring Lalah Hathaway won the GRAMMY for Best R&B Performance! And, third time was the charm for Gregory Porter because he was finally honored with the GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album! YAY!

The winners in the Jazz categories are:

  • Best Improvised Jazz Solo – Wayne Shorter for Orbits – track from Without A Net (The Wayne Shorter Quartet)
  • Best Jazz Vocal Album – Gregory Porter - Liquid Spirit
  • Best Jazz Instrumental Album – Terri Lyne Carrington – Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue
  • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album – Randy Brecker, Wlodek Pawlik Trio & Kalisz Philharmonic – Night in Calisia
  • Best Latin Jazz Album – Paquito D’Rivera And Trio Corrente – Song for Maura

That’s a wrap! I hope that you enjoyed the broadcast(s) on Sunday afternoon/evening and I want to encourage you to check out the Pre-Telecast Ceremony while you still can on grammy.com!