Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Mississippi’s musical artists are at the center of American popular music, and that legacy is apparent in the number of Mississippians who have been recognized by The Recording Academy with Grammy Awards, Grammy Hall Of Fame inductions and Lifetime Achievement Awards.
On Thursday, Feb. 7, this year’s "Mississippi Music Celebration at the Grammy Museum" at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles will celebrate that unparalleled musical legacy and specifically honor Mississippi’s pivotal role in the development of American popular music.
The evening’s festivities will also include special announcements related to the Grammy Museum Mississippi. The event is part of Grammy Week, a preamble to the Grammy Awards ceremony scheduled on Sunday, Feb. 10.
On Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m., the State of Mississippi will host a press conference regarding the development of the Grammy Museum Mississippi. Bob Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum at L.A. LIVE; Patrick Gallagher, principal of exhibit design firm Gallagher and Associates; Cleveland Music Foundation President Lucy Janoush and Project Consultant Allan Hammons will unveil renderings of the new Museum project. On the same evening at 7:30 p.m., Mississippi’s Music Celebration will feature performances by the North Mississippi Allstars and Meridian native Steve Forbert in the Museum’s Clive Davis Theater.
Previous Mississippi Music Celebrations at the Grammy Museum have included performances by Lifetime Achievement Award-winner David "Honeyboy" Edwards, five-time Grammy-winner Marty Stuart, blues guitar legend Hubert Sumlin, The Williams Brothers, Dorothy Moore, Shannon McNally, Jimbo Mathus, Eddie Cotton, and the Homemade Jamz Blues Band.
"As the birthplace of America’s music, Mississippi’s influence can be heard everywhere," said Bob Santelli, executive director of The Grammy Museum. "We’ve been honored to showcase Mississippi’s blues heritage for the last three years here at The Grammy Museum. The artists participating in Mississippi Night perfectly highlight the tremendous range of Mississippi’s musical legacy."
Recognizing the achievements of artists from around the world, the annual Grammy Awards celebrate the wealth of American popular music, whose development is hard to imagine without the contributions of Mississippi artists. In positioning itself as the "Birthplace of America’s Music," Mississippi draws on the legacy of music pioneers such as Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Hank Jones, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Leontyne Price, Charley Pride, Pops Staples and Muddy Waters. The state can also look to modern day music makers such as Brandy, Faith Hill, North Mississippi Allstars, The Band Perry, Paul Overstreet, LeAnn Rimes, Williams Brothers, Hayley Williams of Paramore and Cassandra Wilson.
"Mississippi is the birthplace of American music, and I am grateful for this opportunity to showcase our state’s rich musical heritage," said Gov. Phil Bryant. "This event recognizes the significant impact Mississippians have made on American popular music and will provide others a glimpse of what our great state has to offer."
Mississippi has embraced its role as the "Birthplace of America’s Music" through initiatives like the B.B. King Museum, Delta Blues Museum, Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo, and the Mississippi Blues and Country Music trails statewide. The Mississippi Blues Trail is a top tourist attraction that brings visitors to more than 160 sites within the state as well as nine in other states and one outside the country. The Trail recognizes blues artists, places where they lived and played, and other relevant sites that give visitors an intimate feel for where the blues were born. The Country Music Trail honors the state’s country greats including Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette, Faith Hill, and Jimmie Rodgers.
In April 2010, the State of Mississippi and the Grammy Museum announced the first ever satellite Grammy Museum to be built on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. Grammy Museum Mississippi and the Delta Music Institute will form a unique partnership that will inspire and help shape the music and musicians of today and for generations to come. Bringing one of the most recognized brands in the world to the birthplace of American music is a win for Mississippi and for musicians and music lovers everywhere.
Grammy Museum Mississippi will be dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music and the cultural context from which it emerges. The Museum will use a dynamic combination of exhibits, public events, and educational programming to explore, celebrate, and experience the enduring legacies of all forms of recorded music; the creative process of music making; the art and technology of the recording process; and the history of the Grammy Awards, the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment. The "Mississippi Influences" gallery will introduce visitors to the impact of Mississippi’s songwriters, producers, and musicians on modern world music. The Museum’s permanent exhibition will utilize film, video, interactive kiosks and, of course, music. The Museum will continually augment its permanent exhibition with temporary exhibits created by the Grammy Museum at L.A. LIVE.
Grammy Museum Mississippi will be designed by a duo of Mississippi-based firms, which includes Dale Partners Architects P.A. and Eley|Barkley, PA. Dale Partners Architects P.A. is one of the largest full service architectural firms in Mississippi. Having been in business for more than 32 years, T. Doug Dale and his partners have earned their firm 70 design-related awards including a "Top Design Firm" distinction. Eley|Barkley, P.A. has more than 30 years of experience providing professional design services.
The Museum’s exhibition spaces will be designed by Gallagher & Associates, an internationally recognized museum planning and design firm, with offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Singapore. The firm’s extensive experience spans more than 30 years and includes projects ranging from cultural history and natural science, to music and the arts. Gallagher & Associates’ music-related museum design work includes projects for the B.B. King Museum (Indianola, Miss.), Music Instrument Museum (Phoenix, Ariz.), Ray Charles Memorial Library (Los Angeles, Calif.) and the Grammy Museum at L.A. LIVE.
"Mississippi music is more than just a historical fact," said Jon Hornyak, senior executive director of The Recording Academy Memphis Chapter. "The state is giving birth to more American music every day in a renaissance that spans genres and geography, from Biloxi to Clarksdale to the north Mississippi hill country. The Mississippi Music Celebration at the GRAMMY Museum continues to demonstrate the wealth of talent from the state. This year’s performances will undoubtedly follow that pattern as the North Mississippi Allstars and Steve Forbert will show the audience that Mississippi talent is as good as it gets."
The Mississippi Music Celebration at the Grammy Museum is made possible by the generous support of Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division, AT&T, Bank-Plus, Mississippi Economic Council, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi, and the Cleveland Music Foundation.
For more information about the Grammy Museum Mississippi, contact the Cleveland Music Foundation at (662) 453-4737.