January 16, I received an email from an A-class musician friend of mine, Ray Zepeda simply asking "what are you doing February 12th?" To be honest, I wasn't sure what day the awards ceremonies normally land on since I usually watch everything DVR'd nowadays anyways. I told Ray, "I'm not doing anything, why?" And when Ray asked me to accompany him to the GRAMMYs my heart skipped a few beats! Only a little less than a month away, I was going to be attending the GRAMMYs!!
Being a girly girl, and a glam girl at that, I immediately thought, "what am I going to wear?!" And then I thought, "what could I not live without wearing? And, that dress label said SUE WONG. I contacted Sue to ask if she would honor me with this request. A few days later, I received word that she would! I was elated beyond elation! I ended up going to Sue's new studio several weeks later and tried on her selections. When I came to this dress, white silk with silver thread detailing, I knew it was the one. I was also able to pick out a second dress for the after party which Ray had tickets for as well! It was a fairy tale come true. I was and will always be grateful for what SUE WONG did for me on my first trip to the GRAMMYs.
On the day of the GRAMMYs, Ray picked me up from my home close to noon for the first event of the day, the Premiere Ceremony which started at 12:30. We were off! It was a gorgeous California day, and no traffic to be seen on that Sunday. We made it to LA Live in record time, quickly parked and headed over to the Microsoft Theater. Oh, btw, you are probably wondering why I have this henna tattoo on my back! Well, read the previous blog I've posted and you'll find out!
The Premiere Ceremony was wonderful. The seating was first come first serve, but was already filling. Ray and I ended up sitting in the mid-center section right next to the photographers. After the Premiere Ceremony, we had a quick turnaround to get to the Staples Theater for the Telecast Program. Before we sat down, we ate at one of the several food venues available in the Staples' hallway. I ended up risking my dress for some pizza as I had worked up an appetite. As we were eating we talked with those around us, and I just so happened to walk by some performers that were on stage for the Native American portion of the Premiere Ceremony. I stopped them and asked for a group photo :)
When Ray and I went to our seats in the Staples Arena, it was my first time being there. Adele set the opening tone with "Hello" and the anticipated night began. I had mini concerts from some of my favorites: Adele, Bruno Mars, Little Big Town, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, John Legend, and Ed Sheeran. Lady Gaga also killed the night with rock, and Katy Perry's catchy song, "Chained to the Rhythm" looked pretty impressive on her revolving stage set. All stage sets and the turnaround that each set took had to have been the biggest showstopper for me. So many hands were on deck to assure that LIVE had no glitches. I had my very own behind the scenes view into the production life, and it made me appreciate teamwork at a new level. And let's not forget that Celine Dion presented an award!! Though she was briefly on stage, it brought joy nonetheless.
After the show, Ray and I were off to the GRAMMYs after party! First, we went back to the car so I could change into my after party dress...yes, I changed in a car in the parking garage (I'm sure I've not been the only one). Once we were nearing the after party, we happened to spy the red carpet background that we had unfortunately missed while in the Premiere Ceremony. So, I got my picture then! As we entered the party room, the John Daversa big band was playing, and we spotted our friend and trombonist, Paul Young on stage! Paul teaches at USC, but we knew Paul first from his performances at the Hermosa Beach Lighthouse Cafe. I was also thrilled by the surprise guest appearance of jazz vocalist, Renee' Olstead! Renee' Olstead has been an admired vocalist of mine ever since hearing her on the Princess Diaries soundtrack. I also ended up eating and talking with Hawaiian GRAMMY winner, Kalani Pe'a who really impressed me with his winning speech during the Premiere Ceremony...he ended up singing it! He was very kind, and so were his significant other, and fellow Hawaiian artist, Kimie' Miner. :)
The 59th GRAMMYs will always be etched into my memory. It has opened my eyes to bigger goals and dreams, and I pray that one day my name will be called. I continue to work towards that dream and root others on! THANK YOU Ray for inviting me!