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GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends™ Comes to THIRTEEN's Great Performances Friday, October 14 at 9 p.m. on PBS

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2016

NEW YORK, Aug. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In collaboration with the The Recording Academy, Great Performances presents "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends," a special all-star concert offering a primetime spotlight for The Academy's 2016 Special Merit Awards recipients. The celebration and tribute concert features rare performances by honorees and never-before-seen renditions by those they've inspired.

"Great Performances" logo, courtesy: WNET New York Public Media

The celebration, recorded at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, will air Friday, October 14 from 9-11:30 p.m. on PBS. (Check local listings.) Previously held during GRAMMY® Week, this is the first time The Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit Awards with a stand-alone event and musical tribute.

This year's Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt, and Run-DMC. John Cage, Fred Foster, and Chris Strachwitz are Trustees Award honorees; and EMT and Dr. Harvey Fletcher are Technical GRAMMY® Award recipients. Also being honored is Phillip Riggs, this year's recipient of the Music Educator Award™.

Along with never-before-seen video packages celebrating each of the honorees' contributions to the music industry and our cultural heritage and heartfelt testimonials from the presenters, the star-studded event features performances by Patti Austin, Ry Cooder, Lila Downs, Earth, Wind & Fire, David Foster, Andy Garcia and The CineSon All Stars, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, J'Nai Bridges, Kris Kristofferson, Naughty By Nature, Anthony Parce, Lucrecia, Shelby Lynne, Martina McBride, Magnolia Sisters, and JD Souther.

Other presenters include Jimmy Jam, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Crosby, LL Cool J, Don Was, and David Foster.

Among numerous highlights, psychedelic rock pioneers Jefferson Airplane takes fans back in time as they play some of their most memorable hits that shaped much of the San Francisco scene in the 1960s and earned them international mainstream success.  Standing in for legendary frontwoman Grace Slick (who is present to accept her award) is GRAMMY®-nominated rock songstress Cathy Richardson.

Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz has made a living recording, preserving, selling, and celebrating the music he loves —music that formed the fabric of both American and international culture. Paying homage to the multifaceted and uniquely talented producer/businessman will be six-time GRAMMY winner and fretboard virtuoso Ry Cooder, Chicago bluesman GRAMMY nominee Henry Gray, and Cajun music jewels and GRAMMY nominees Magnolia Sisters.

Paying tribute to three-time GRAMMY winner and four-time Latin GRAMMY® winner Celia Cruz — internationally known as the "Queen Of Salsa" — are Latin GRAMMY nominee Lucrecia and GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY winner Andy García, who will bring his Cuban musical group, Andy García And The CineSon All Stars, to the stage.

Six-time GRAMMY winners Earth, Wind & Fire, one of the most important and innovative musical forces influencing music and popular culture across generations, offer a roof-raising performance.

A salute to 10-time GRAMMY winner Linda Ronstadt features pop, country and Latin musical offerings from GRAMMY and four-time Latin GRAMMY winner Lila Downs and GRAMMY nominees Martina McBride and JD Souther.

The full musical program follows (the honorees in bold type; performers in parentheses):

Linda Ronstadt

  • "Faithless Love" (JD Souther)
  • "Gritenme Pledras del Campo" (Lila Downs & Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano)
  • "Blue Bayou" (Martina McBride w/ JD Souther)

Fred Foster

  • "Me & Bobby McGee" (Kris Kristofferson & Shelby Lynne)
  • "Oh Pretty Woman" (Shelby Lynne)

John Cage

  • "Water Walk" (Anthony Parce)
  • "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs" (J'Nai Bridges)

Ruth Brown

  • "Mana He Treats Your Daughter Mean" (Patti Austin)

Jefferson Airplane

  • "Somebody to Love" (Jefferson Airplane)
  • Medley: "Embryonic Journey"/"Come Back Baby" (Jefferson Airplane)

Celia Cruz

  • "Guantanamera" (Andy Garcia & the CineSon All Stars with Lucrecia)
  • "Quimbera" (Andy Garcia & the CineSon All Stars with Lucrecia)


  • Medley: "King of Rock"/"Rock Box"/"Peter Piper"/"My Adidas"/"It's Tricky"/"Beats to the Rhyme" (Naughty By Nature)

Chris Strachwitz

  • "Blues Won't Let Me Take My Rest" (Ry Cooder & Henry Gray)
  • Medley: "Blues de Voyage"/"Magnolia Hop" (Magnolia Sisters w/"Ry Cooder)

Herbie Hancock

  • "Nuance" (Herbie Hancock w/Wayne Shorter)

Earth, Wind & Fire

  • Medley: Intro/"Shining Star"/"Celebrate"/"In the Stone"/"Fantasy"/"September" (Earth, Wind & Fire w/David Foster)
  • "That's the Way of the World" (Earth, Wind & Fire Encore)

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording, while the Trustees Award recognizes such contributions in areas other than performance. Both awards are determined by vote of The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by vote of The Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing® Advisory Council and Chapter Committees, and are ratified by The Academy's Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field. Presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation®, the Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.

Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its more than 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America's most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. 

A production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends is written by David Wild and directed for television by David Horn, with Mitch Owgang as producer, and Horn and Neil Portnow as executive producers. Don Was is music director. For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

The Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, James S. Marcus, the Lenore Hecht Foundation, and PBS.  

Visit Great Performances Online at for additional information about this and other programs.

About WNET

WNET is America's flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET's groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere:

The Recording Academy

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education, and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, "like" The GRAMMYs® on Facebook  and join The GRAMMYs' social communities on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.



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