The 52nd Grammy Awards

IMG_0755I attended the biggest event in music, The Grammys in Los Angeles, which took place on Jan 31st.

The Grammys brings together some of the greatest artists of our time, from all styles and musical genres. It’s a big affair that celebrates the most popular and upcoming music in all forms. The televised portion on CBS-TV took place at the Staples Center which seated 20,000 people and the place looked full to me from floor to ceiling. The afternoon pre-show where 100 Grammys were awarded, and after party for 5,000+ guests, took place at the adjacent LA Convention Center.

How do you win a Grammy? Well, you have to be nominated. Any member of NARAS (National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences) can nominate you. There is one round of voting that brings the nominations to 5, and then members vote for the winner.

Many friends and musicians I’ve known and played with were there too: the great Narada Michael Walden (a triple Grammy winner) performed with Jeff Beck. Narada is touring with Jeff this year. Carlos Santana attended (played together often in earlier days). The brilliant New Age pianist and composer Peter Kater was nominated for Best New Age album for the sixth time and cellist David Darling took the honor. The #1 guitarist John McLaughlin and Chick Corea won Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Five Peace Band. Guitarist Mike Stern was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and Joe Zawinul won. Seated in front of me at the awards was Native American artist Bill Miller who won his 3rd Grammy Best Native American Music Album. Cool story: I sat behind Bill because I could feel some really soulful energy. A few minutes after sitting down, Bill went out to pray and connect with the cosmic Spirit who guides us. He returned and soon was announced as the winner.

As far as the telecast went, it was a monumental stage set, large enough to blow away 20,000 people. How the crew managed to pull off these incredible multi-media driven performances – with 20 screens surrounding the stage – and state of the art lighting and stage designs around so many spectactular performances by Elton and Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Bon Jovi, Jeff Beck and others, I’ll never know. The production was really breathtaking, and forget the nay sayers — this was an incredibly well produced show. The icing on the cake was hearing Sam Cooke at the after show doing tunes like “Soul Man.”

I met so many terrific artists, including Bill Miller, Chick Corea, Kenny Garrett, Kitaro, Peter Kater, and friends Kit Thomas, Alex Theory, Greg Gordon, and so many other great souls, on truly a night to remember. So big Congrats to all!!