By Bill Vaughan
The music industry’s biggest week is here with a number of events centered around the 63rd annual Grammy Awards Ceremony.
To kick things off, MusiCares Presents: Music On A Mission at 5 p.m. March 12. The virtual concert will feature new performances from H.E.R., Jhené Aiko, John Legend and HAIM, as well as legendary sets from the vaults with Bruce Springsteen, Usher, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty.
The event also will have special appearances by Lionel Richie, Ledisi, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Carole King, Jonas Brothers, Macklemore, Mick Fleetwood and Shakira preceded by a set from DJ D-Nice.
Tickets for the show, with all proceeds to be distributed to music people in need, are available to the public for $25 at MusiCares.org.
March 14 is the centerpiece of the activities beginning with the 2021 Premiere Ceremony at noon. More than 70 previous winners and a variety of exciting performances across genres will be presented via live stream exclusively on Grammy.com.
Then at 5 p.m., the Grammy Awards ceremony will be held at the Staples Center, recognizing the best recordings, compositions and artists of the eligibility year, running from Sept. 1, 2019, to Aug. 31, 2020.
Trevor Noah will host for the first time with performers to include Megan Thee Stallion, Bad Bunny, Black Pumas, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Brittany Howard, Lil Baby, John Mayer, Post Malone, Harry Styles, Mickey Guyton, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Roddy Ricch.
In addition, the Recording Academy will pay tribute to pandemic-impacted independent venues such as L.A.’s the Troubadour and the Hotel Café, NYC’s Apollo Theater, and the Station Inn in Nashville, during the show broadcast on CBS and streamed live and on-demand on Paramount+.
As a coda to the week, CBS will air “A Grammy Salute To The Sounds Of Change” March 17. The two-hour special, recorded at a fundraiser earlier, is hosted by Common and features appearances and performances by Yolanda Adams, Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Sheila E., Cynthia Erivo, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Billy Porter and more performing songs that have seen us through the darkest hours and greatest triumphs.
The evening will be interspersed by film shorts combining footage from key movements in history with filmed commentaries culled from The Recording Academy’s own Living Histories interview archives.
Look for insights from the late Coretta Scott King, soul pioneer Rufus Thomas, folk legend Pete Seeger, producer Peter Asher and others.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM: “The Piano Lesson,” August Wilson‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, will return to Broadway in 2022 as a starring vehicle for Samuel L. Jackson, directed by his wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson.
The cast also will include John David Washington (“Tenet,” “Malcolm & Marie”) in his Broadway debut and Danielle Brooks (of Lifetime’s biopic “Mahalia,” coming April 3).
After the run, the same players will make a film adaptation of the show to be produced by Denzel Washington with Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon rumored to be helming.
TASTY QUIP: “You can’t find an interview where I’m not talking about the entertainers that’ve come before me. And the only reason why I’m here is because of James Brown, is because of Prince, Michael [Jackson]—that’s the only reason why I’m here. I’m growing up as a kid, watching Bobby Brown [and] saying, ‘OK, if that’s what it takes to make it, then I’ve got to learn how to do the running man, I’ve got to learn how to do the moon walk.’ That’s it. And this music comes from love, and if you can’t hear that, then I don’t know what to tell you.” – BRUNO MARS on “Breakfast Club” regarding charges of cultural appropriation
CLIPPETTES: Singer/actor Luke James (“Star,” “The Chi”) is collaborating with the Nu Deco Ensemble to perform selections from his Grammy nominated album “To Feel Love” at 5 p.m. March 12. All of the proceeds raised will benefit “Backing the B.A.R.” custom initiative between Bacardi & NAACP, which provides grants to Black-owned accounts and retailers. Viewers can tune in to BET.com, BET YouTube channel, or BET Facebook page to watch, free of charge …
At 7 p.m., The Free Nationals, best known as Anderson .Paak’s live band, are in concert from L.A. $15 will allow you to jam with the group named after the first people of America, indigenous to the land before Columbus …
ABC’s pilot “Queens” is looking like a winner with the story of a reunited 90s girl group casting Eve, Naturi Naughton (“Power”) and now Brandy (who will also write the music) …
Multi-Grammy winning instrumentalist/singer Taj Mahal livestreams March 13 in a full electric set starring the Phantom Blues Band and British born New Orleans funk savant Jon Cleary. Boxoffice.mandolin.com/ has further info …
Later that evening, the last and final season premiere of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” is having a grand drive-in screening with complimentary snacks for the public at the Rose Bowl. Visit Eventbrite.com for tickets …
“The Equalizer” starring Queen Latifah has become the first new series to get renewed for a second season by CBS. After four episodes, it has become TV’s No. 1 scripted series, averaging 14.6 million viewers on Sunday evenings …
Bryson Tiller presents his virtual Trapsoul Series experience including his hits and songs from the new album, “Anniversary” on March 18 at momenthouse.com.
TASTY QUIP: “I am the voice of Speedy Gonzales in the new Space Jam. Does this mean they are gonna try to cancel Fluffy too? U can’t catch me cancel culture. I’m the fastest mouse in all of Mexico.” – GABRIEL IGLESIAS after cartoon skunk Pepé Le Pew was removed from the upcoming LeBron James reboot due to allegations of “adding to rape culture”
TC ON TV: March 12 – “Yes Day” (Netflix): Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramírez star opposite Jenna Ortega and Tracie Thoms in this heartfelt family comedy full of surprises. “The Drew Barrymore Show” (Syn): Eddie Murphy
March 13 – “Unprotected Sets” (Epix): Stand-up comedy by Seaton Smith and Yedoye Travis is presented in the series finale of this Wanda Sykes produced show. “Super Soul” (Disc+): A new slate of talks led by Oprah Winfrey. “2021 Kids Choice Awards” (Nick): Kenan Thompson hosts with appearances by Tyler Perry, Marsai Martin, Anthony Anderson, Tiffany Haddish, Terry Crews, Gal Gadot, Robert Downey Jr., Sofía Vergara and Lin-Manuel Miranda; and musical performances by Migos, Quavo and Justin Bieber.,
March 15 – “The Bachelor: After The Final Rose” (ABC): Bestselling author (“Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man”), on-air personality and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho steps in to host this post series finale special. “True Hollywood Story” (E!): Cardi B, who this week was certified Diamond (10x Platinum), making her the first female rapper with a song (“Bodak Yellow”) to achieve this feat.
March 16 – “Waffles + Mochi” (Netflix): Curious puppet pals travel the world exploring the wonders of food and culture while learning how to cook with fresh ingredients. The series will feature famous chefs, fun songs, celebrity guests and Michelle Obama (who will appear on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live! this evening in support. “Mayans M.C.” (FX): The next chapter in the “Sons of Anarchy” saga following the rival Latino bikers club and its members is here.
March 17 – “Disrupt & Dismantle” (BET): Soledad O’Brien answers the call from a resident in one of three housing projects the city of Norfolk is forcefully vacating for urban renewal. “The Pole” (SyFy): Bobby Moynihan, Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata are featured in this comedy series about a power struggle to fill Santa Claus’ shoes.
March 18 – “Zach Snyder’s Justice League” (HBO Max): The anticipated four-hour cut made possible by fandom command arrives along with a super-sized version of 2016’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” “Waka & Tammy: What The Flocka” (WE): Hip Hop sweethearts Waka Flocka and his fiery wife Tammy Rivera are back with season two showing the impact the pandemic has had on their relationship and financial stability.
TASTY QUIP: “There’s good news out there — there’s a COVID-19 vaccine. The bad news is as Black folks, it’s hard to trust what’s going on. The solution is to turn to those we trust. Not just your uncle at the cookout. Actually, not him at all. I’m talking about Black scientists, Black doctors and Black nurses.” – W. KAMAU BELL
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at email@example.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.