To kick off the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards, the GRAMMY’s hosted a Salute to Jazz evening honoring the Blue Note Records label with "The RecordingAcademy’s President’s Merit Award." The event was held at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles, just a couple of floors above the new GRAMMYMuseum.
Hosted by 8-time Grammy winner Natalie Cole that also featured 12-time Grammy winner Herbie Hancock who sent shockwaves around the world with “River: The Joni Letters" that garnered Album of the year who performed to the audience delight to end the evening.
But the evening belonged to Blue Note Records as RecordingAcademy President/CEO Neil Portnow presenting the President’s Merit Award to Blue Note Records president Bruce Lundvall. Neil provided brief accolades to the label for its contribution to the industry and then a video tribute of memorable moments of the label’s was shown filled with various album covers and images of renowned artists such as John Coltrane and Art Blakely just to name a few.
Bruce Lundvall also provided comic relief and paid homage as he shared stories about the label and the many artists that had gone thru the door of Blue Notes Records which made it the premiere Jazz label during its hey day.
As for Herbie, the moment of last year was short lived, as he has spent the year working on several movie projects which will be coming out later this year and he has been busy in the studio with five other projects, so as he put it “ to busy to enjoy the win.”
Before her performance Cassandra was still beaming over her time spent in D.C. for the inauguration party that she attended as she overflowed with enthusiasm expressing her emotions from that experience.
As for renowned trumpeter Terrence he expressed how he sat down with his kids and shared the day with them and marveled at all the historic implications.
At the star-studded cocktail party held at the new Club Nokia, the lucky jazz fans got to meet the performers and other stars such as music producer such as Jimmy Jam and and sportscaster Jim Hill just to name a few.
From L to R: EventHostess Natalie Cole, Performer Herbie Hancock, Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow, Blue Note Records President Bruce Lundvall, Performer Cassandra Wilson, Performer Terence Blanchard, Recording Academy Vice Chair Neil Tesser, Performer Joe Lovano, and Recording Academy Chair Jimmy Jam.