Grammys launches festival in Brooklyn
New York (AFP) – The Grammys, the biggest night of the music industry, is throwing an inaugural festival in Brooklyn to showcase a diversity of genres.
Dubbed Grammy Park, the event runs from Thursday through Sunday across New York’s largest borough with both free and ticketed concerts.
Highlights include a ticketed concert Thursday by R&B singer Ne-Yo, a three-time Grammy winner, alongside 11-time nominee Jazmine Sullivan.
R&B great Toni Braxton, who has seven Grammys, will close out the festival at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre on Sunday, a day after pop star Robin Thicke sings at the venue.
Other major performers include Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade, the big winner of the last Latin Grammys.
The Recording Academy, which holds the awards gala every February, described Grammy Park as a bid to showcase music and reach out to a more diverse audience, year-round.
“We’re excited to offer the public the opportunity to experience various music genres and share the cultural diversity of the Grammys, and there is no better place to do this than the Big Apple,” Branden Chapman, a senior official at the Recording Academy, said in a statement.
Grammy Park, held in coordination with the mayor’s office, will also include free concerts.
A number of jazz greats including multi-Grammy winners Terence Blanchard and Christine McBride as well as funk heroes The Commodores will play a free concert Saturday in Prospect Park, with Gospel star BeBe Winans among artists at the venue on Sunday.
The Grammys used to be held at various venues in both Los Angeles and New York, but have been based permanently at Staples Center in Los Angeles for more than a decade.
Awarded by music professionals, the Grammys covers a broad array of genres although the top prizes frequently go to pop stars.