Although only the streets surrounding Staples Center will be blocked off, the Grammy Grand Prix will be running all over Los Angeles this week, as several days of events will keep music bizzers racing all over town in the run-up to Sunday night’s 55th annual awards ceremony.
The main events:
Wednesday: The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers’ Wing’s “An Evening of Jazz” at the Village Studios. Every year, NARAS’ tech-heads salute their own with a fete at the venerable Westwood recording facility, and this year two of music’s most honored studio titans, Quincy Jones (27 Grammys) and Al Schmitt (18), will get their due. Guests will include Patti Austin, Tom Brokaw, Jimmy Jam, Kaskade, Ledisi, Shelby Lynne and Arturo Sandoval.
Thursday: “Play It Forward: A Celebration of Music’s Evolution and Influencers” — the 15th annual Grammy Foundation Music Preservation Project at the Saban Theater. The archival arm’s yearly shindig will promote its projects with classic clips and live performances. The diverse cast this year includes Lupe Fiasco, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Dionne Warwick, LeAnn Rimes, George Thorogood, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Ed Sheeran.
Friday: The 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year Gala Honoring Bruce Springsteen at the L.A. Convention Center. The annual big-ticket glitterfest that raises funds for the academy’s charitable activities pays homage to the Boss this year, and some of music’s biggest guns will be rolled out for the celebration: Jackson Browne, Faith Hill, John Legend, Tim McGraw, Mumford & Sons, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples and 2010 honoree Neil Young will appear at the dinner-concert.
Saturday: Recording Academy’s Special Merit Awards Ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. This afternoon invitational event recognizes career achievement; this year will celebrate Charlie Haden, Carole King, the Temptations and the late Glenn Gould, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Patti Page and Ravi Shankar, plus non-performers Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Chess Records’ Leonard and Phil Chess and Alan Livingston.
Saturday: Clive Davis and the Recording Academy’s Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton. Sony Music chief creative officer Davis’ yearly invitation-only soiree, part of NARAS’ official Grammy Week bill of fare, will salute Epic Records chairman-CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid. As usual, the list of performers is a closely guarded secret (though one can anticipate the participation of big-name Sony and Epic acts), but, as ever, the event will roll into the early morning hours and will be graced by the host’s inimitable name-checks of his select guest list.