Natalie Cole was named MusiCares person of the year yesterday by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. MusiCares is the organization’s charitable foundation focusing on human service issues affecting music and recording professionals.

Cole, a six-time Grammy winner, will receive the honor at the annual MusiCares fund-raising dinner to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Feb. 20.

Elementary target

NARAS also announced a new program aimed at Los Angeles elementary school students. The National Grammy Concert Series will expose children to a range of musical styles in an interactive setting of live performances, lectures and discussion.

The first concert will be held at the Egyptian Theatre Feb. 17, focusing on big band jazz. Cheech Marin will host, with an appearance by the Chipmunks.

Additionally, The NARAS Foundation will host its local edition of the 1993 Grammy in the Schools program at Hollywood High. More than 2,000 students will participate in the event, which will take place Feb. 19.

Two local youths, Victor Ayala, a trumpet player from Hamilton High School Academy of Music, and Brian LaForce, a trombonist from Hart High in Newhall, were selected to the Grammy All-American High School Jazz Band.

The band, to be conducted by a major celebrity that has not yet been announced, will perform at the 35th annual Grammy Nominee Party on Feb. 23, the Grammy in the Schools program and several other events.

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