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Special Merit Awards will give Grammys to notable people in music plus new award

Ringo Starr at a party for the DVD Bangladesh in 2005
Ringo Starr at a party for the DVD Bangladesh in 2005

By Phyllis Pollack

The Annual Grammy Week Event Honors Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award,
The Trustees Award, Technical Grammy Award, and the Inaugural Music Educator Award TM will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony, on January 25, 2014, just three nights before the Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy will present the Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring lifelong artistic contributions to recording, awarding it to the Beatles, the late Grammy-winning zydeco performer Clifton Chenier, soul singers Isley Brothers, German prog rockers Kraftwerk, singer songwriter Kris Kristofferson, and American Mexican composer Armando Manzanero, and acclaimed American violinist Maud Powell.

The Trustees Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry in areas other than performance, will be presented to producer Rick Hall, owner of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; iconic rock photographer Jim Marshall, and Italian composer, Ennio Morricone, who has written music for hundreds of television shows and Hollywood films.

The Technical Grammy Award will also be presenting, honoring an individual's and/or corporation's outstanding contributions of technical significance to the recording field, to the late inventor Emile Berliner for his development of the disc Gramophone player, and Lexicon, the sound system company.

Also a part of the event, The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation will present its first Music Educator Award. The Music Educator Award was added in order to give recognition to working educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) that have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education, and who demonstrate a commitment to the cause of keeping music education in the country's schools.

A formal acknowledgment of all recipients will be made within the 56th Annual Grammy Awards telecast.

Attendees will include member of Ringo Starr of seven-time Grammy winners, The Beatles. Also slated to attend are producer/songwriter Rick Hall; members of Grammy-winning R&B group the Isley Brothers, Ernie Isley, Ronald Isley and Chris Jasper; Kraftwerk member, Ralf Hütter; Grammy winner Kris Kristofferson; Lexicon representatives Blake Augsburger, Noel Larson and Dinesh Paliwal; singer/songwriter/pianist Armando Manzanero; and President/CEO of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow.

Family members or representatives of the following will also be in attendance: Beatles members George Harrison and John Lennon; gramophone inventor Emile Berliner; Grammy-winning zydeco musician Clifton Chenier; photographer Jim Marshall; composer Ennio Morricone; and violinist Maud Powell. Additionally, members of Grammy Camp – Jazz Session will perform.

A formal acknowledgment of all recipients will be made during the 56th Annual Grammy Awards telecast, which will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

In addition, the recipient of the Music Educator Award will selected from the 10 finalists below:
First Name Last Name School City State
Lisa Bianconi Kurn Hattin Homes for Children Westminster Vt.
Charles Cushinery Ed W. Clark High School Las Vegas Nev.
Andrew DeNicola John P. Stevens High School Edison N.J.
Vivian Gonzalez South Miami K-8 Center Miami Fla.
Kent Knappenberger Westfield Academy and Central School Westfield N.Y.
Kathrine Kouns Horizon High School Scottsdale Ariz.
Glen McCarthy George Mason University Fairfax Va.
Steve Vutsinas Grassfield High School Chesapeake Va.
Jo Wallace-Abbie Plano West Senior High School Plano Texas
Mary Jo West George Mason High School Falls Church Va.

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