The GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program concluded on Friday with an exclusive musical performance by ‘The C.S.C.L.F. – Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet’ along with alumni from the GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Sessions program at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. The quintet is composed of musicians from the most prestigious music establishments in China. These talented young men and women were sponsored to come to Los Angeles and perform at various venues while taking in the city’s sights.
The ‘Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund’ is the result of the philanthropic efforts of Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry in partnership with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (C.S.C.L.F.), one of China’s largest charitable organizations. Launched in January 2012, the Fund provides scholarships to students studying at China’s premiere music academies. The best of the best were selected to be part of ‘The C.S.C.L.F. – Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet.’ Participants enjoyed a number of activities in Los Angeles, including Q&A workshops with industry insiders. The select five students concluded their week with a performance at the GRAMMY Museum sponsored by Chong Hing Jewelers. Michael Benavente, managing director of Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, served as host for the evening. Also in attendance were Neil Portnow, CEO of The Recording Academy and The GRAMMY Foundation, David Sears, the senior director of The GRAMMY Foundation, and Xikui Li, the secretary general of the C.S.C.L.F.
The GRAMMY Band kicked off the evening with a series of funky jazz tunes. Made up of Luke Celenza (piano/keyboard), Gabe Schneider (guitar), Evan Sherman (drums), Dominic Sbrega (acoustic and electric bass) and Patrick Bartley (alto saxophone and flute), these current college students all attended the GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Sessions program when they were in high school. The band members arranged the music themselves and took turns performing stellar solos. After a number of jazz pieces, the group finished off with an interpretation of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” that got the whole audience clapping to the beat.
Next up was sixteen-year-old Yi Lie Hao on the piano. Although the switch from jazz to classical music was abrupt, Hao kept the energy up with Ravel’s “Alborada del gracioso.” His hands moved so quickly across the keys that they looked like a blur. The rest of the quintet, consisting of Angi Lv (viola), Fang Liang Ning (violin), Yajing Su (violin), and Yi Chen Yang (violin/cello), joined Hao in performing a couple of songs, including music from the award-winning film La Vie en Rose. The GRAMMY Band took the stage with ‘The C.S.C.L.F. – Gucci Timpeieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet’ for a final piece – the overture from Candide, conducted by David Sears.
Afterwards, guests mingled on the beautiful rooftop terrace of the GRAMMY Museum, the sweet sound of the musicians’ songs reverberating long into the night. The evening successfully showcased the talents of China and America’s best musicians. This program is just the beginning of The Recording Academy and The GRAMMY Foundation’s efforts in China. They hope to launch a number of other initiatives in the near future, including a program that will send American musicians to China. Learn more about the ‘Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund’ here.
I may be the butt of all jokes among my group of friends, but please believe me when I say that multi-talented Margaret Cho received a Grammy nomination on Wednesday for her album Cho Dependent under Clownery Records. She’s like a jester, and I say that with the most respect because she never fails to keep the public entertained with her quick-wit, swift dance moves and sassy voice.
Her album, which features the likes of Andrew Bird and Mickey Avalon, will be running against other town clowns such as Flight of the Conchords and Robin Williams in the Best Comedy Album category.
To date, this is Cho’s second ever Grammy nomination since her last in 2004 for her Revolution release.
Meanwhile, Bruno Mars is just doing his thing (not lines of cocaine, hopefully) and living the dream with his “Nothin’ on You” B.o.B. collaboration and “Just The Way You Are” hit because he picked up seven nominations for categories like Best Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Other Asian Americans who also are in the running for a Grammy include Tia Carrere and Danny Ho, both nominated for Best Hawaiian Music Album and both under record label Danny Ho Creations. This looks like a win-win situation for Ho nonetheless.
So let’s watch the actual face off (with the whole split screen shot and winner and losers reaction shot) when the 53rd Grammy Awards airs Feb. 13, 2011.
For the full list of the 109 Grammy nominations, please visit: http://www.grammy.com/nominees.