Great Performances | Grammy Salutes to Music Legends
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Credit: Courtesy of Kevork Djansezian/

Watch Friday, October 14 at 9pm & Sunday, October 16, 2016 at noon on WMHT-TV

In collaboration with 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.

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, 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)


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

·     “Mama 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)

·     “That’s the Way of the World” (Earth, Wind & Fire Encore)