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April 23, 2024

“Red, Rhythm, and Blues”

GRAMMY Museum MS’s 5th Crossroads of American Music Award Gala

By Lyndsi Naron

The Bolivar Bullet

The GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi’s 5th Crossroads of American Music Award Gala entitled, “Red, Rhythm, & Blues” was held Thursday, September 28th at the Grammy Museum in Cleveland. 

The GRAMMY Museum’s signature fundraising event raised a total of $158,000. The proceeds will directly benefit the Museum’s education programs, which seek to use music as a gateway to learning by inspiring and cultivating creativity, critical thinking, and self-expression.

Cleveland Mayor, Billy Nowell, shared the Gala was a success.

“We had over 400 people in attendance and not only from Cleveland, but a lot of surrounding towns and all the bigger businesses in town that participated,” said Nowell. “It was a great crowd.”

Nowell said events like the 2023 GRAMMY Gala are positive for the community because so many people get involved.

“The money that is raised goes to music education for students,” said Nowell. “When you are taking care of students, it’s not hard to buy in. It’s only the second Grammy Museum in the country and to have it in Cleveland is just a compliment to how much work was put in to get it.”

According to Nowell, the number of tourists the Museum brings in each year means a great deal to the community and local economy. 

“I just want to give a special shoutout to all the people who are so generous in their contributions to make it such a success,” said Nowell.

Established by the Museum’s Board of Directors, the Crossroads of American Music Award honors an artist who has made significant musical contributions influenced by the creativity born in the cradle of American music. Previous recipients of the Crossroads of American Music Award include GRAMMY winners; the late Charley Pride, Bobby Rush, Marty Stuart, and the late Jerry Lee Lewis. 

The Gala honored the five time- GRAMMY -winning artist Keb’ Mo’ with the fifth annual Crossroads of American Music Award. The artist shared he was honored to be receiving the award for his work. 

“If it wasn’t for the blues, I don’t know what I would do,” said Keb’ Mo’.

“It was a wonderful evening celebrating the multi-talented and five-time GRAMMY winner Keb’ Mo’ at our 2023 Gala,” said Emily Havens, Executive Director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. “Keb’ Mo’ is a true blues luminary whose music continues to captivate audiences worldwide, embodying the essence of the genre with his unparalleled talent and heartfelt storytelling. It was such an honor to celebrate his career where the Delta Blues originated, as well as the achievements of our L.U.C.Y. Award recipient Laurel Waldbieser, with an incredible evening of music and fundraising. We raised over $158,000 for the Museum — critical funds that will go directly to support all of the important work we continue to do here at the Mississippi Museum to help educate our young people on the importance and value of music.” 

Named after devoted Mississippian and community advocate, the late Lucy Janoush, who was instrumental in securing funding for the development of the Mississippi Museum, the L.U.C.Y. Award, which stands for Lifting Up Children and Youth, celebrates K-12 educators from the state of Mississippi who embody the educational mission of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. 

At the Gala, Laurel Waldbieser, a Cleveland-native and music educator was officially awarded the L.U.C.Y. Award (Lifting Up Children and Youth). 

“The Gala was a fabulous event to raise money for the educational outreach of the museum,” said Waldbieser. “The resources provided by the Grammy Museum, not only in exhibits, but in events like camps and classes, are invaluable for the music education of our students. The Gala brings these activities to the attention of our community and stakeholders, and the money raised will increase the impact the museum has in the music education of our students.”

The Gala also included a live and silent auction with items to bid on from GRAMMY-winning artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Lady Gaga, Keb’ Mo’, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, plus Lainey Wilson, and more. 

Developed by the Cleveland Music Foundation—a nonprofit organization founded in 2011—the 28,000-square-foot GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is housed near the campus of Delta State University, home of the Delta Music Institute’s Entertainment Industry Studies program, which features the most unique audio recording facilities in the South. Affiliated with the GRAMMY Museum FoundationTM, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is dedicated to exploring the past, present, and future of music, and the cultural context from which it emerges, while casting a focused spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi. The Museum features a dynamic combination of public events, educational programming, engaging multimedia presentations, and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a Mississippi-centric area that introduces visitors to the impact of Mississippi’s songwriters, producers, and musicians on the traditional and modern music landscape. 

The 2023 GRAMMY Museum Mississippi Gala was presented by Walmart. Additional support was provided by Cannon Motors of Mississippi, Kirk Auto Group, and Quality Steel Corporation. The sold-out event featured performances by Crossroads of American Music Award winner Keb’ Mo’, and local Mississippi band the Spunk Monkees. 

The gala is produced by the Museum’s Red Carpet Guild. The mission of the Red Carpet Guild is to promote, support, and sustain GRAMMY Museum Mississippi through an organization of committed volunteers. 

For more information, visit grammymuseumms.org.