GRAMMY Salute to Honorees Named

January 04, 2006 -- 9:03 am PST
The special events spotlight classical, jazz and gospel music.

The Recording Academy will spotlight the classical, jazz and gospel genres with special events to be held during GRAMMY Week. The GRAMMY Salute To Classical Music, the GRAMMY Salute To Jazz, and the GRAMMY Salute To Gospel Music events will celebrate these genres and honorees who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. Each event will feature live performances and a special presentation of The Recording Academy President's Merit Award to accomplished artists in honor of their professional achievements. This year's honorees are Kronos Quartet (classical); Barry Harris, Hank Jones and Oscar Peterson (jazz); and Shirley Caesar, Billy Ray Hearn & Bill Hearn, and Richard Smallwood (gospel). The events will take place in Los Angeles, with the Salute To Classical Music and Salute To Jazz scheduled for Feb. 3 and the Salute To Gospel Music on Feb. 4. The 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live from Staples Center on the CBS Television Network on Feb. 8 from 8-11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

"In keeping with the mission of The Recording Academy, we will salute and celebrate specific genres of music and pay homage to some of the legends who have made significant contributions to these musical forms," said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. "Our celebrations are a primary part of GRAMMY Week events, which highlight music's cultural impact on our society. We are so pleased to honor great artists as well as recognize timeless music."

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the GRAMMY Salute To Classical Music, The Recording Academy pays tribute to Kronos Quartet, one of the most celebrated and influential ensembles of our time. Known for an adventurous approach that dates back more than 30 years, the Kronos Quartet has released more than 40 recordings, collaborated with many of the world's best composers and performers, and commissioned hundreds of works and arrangements.

Paying tribute to three of the greatest pianists in American music, GRAMMY Salute To Jazz will honor Barry Harris, Hank Jones and Oscar Peterson. The special presentation will feature live performances and appearances by the honorees and the Gibson/Baldwin GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles. The President's Merit Award for outstanding achievement will be presented to these jazz legends for their lasting contributions to jazz and the music community at large.

In appreciation of music that touches the soul, The Recording Academy hosts GRAMMY Salute To Gospel Music honoring gospel legend Shirley Caesar, EMI Christian Music Group founder Billy Ray Hearn, President and Chief Executive Officer of EMI Christian Music Group Bill Hearn, and gospel innovator and songwriter Richard Smallwood. In addition to the President's Merit Award presentation, this event will feature exciting performances by top gospel artists.