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NARAS Takes Students, Others Behind Music Scene

Pop music: With a series of events, the Discover Grammy Festival offers an inside look at the industry.


Harry Belafonte doesn't usually linger on the stage after sound checks, but the veteran calypso singer will make an exception this afternoon at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts when he'll take questions from 50 Long Beach high school students.

It's part of the Discover Grammy Festival, a series of community events that provides special opportunities for students and, in some cases, the general public to learn more about music.

"A lot of people would probably see this as an intrusion, but I welcome it," says Belafonte, who plays tonight and Saturday in Cerritos. "To the extent that a group of young people can benefit from it, I think it's fabulous."

Also participating in upcoming events in the program, which was organized by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, are the Gipsy Kings, Spin Doctors, Santana and Michael Bolton.

B.B. King, the Neville Brothers, Delbert McClinton, Taj Mahal, John Tesh and the Allman Brothers Band participated in events held last month.

"This program builds awareness of the problems that we're having with music education and arts education in our schools," says Steve Carlisle, executive director of the NARAS Foundation. "The real thrust of our effort is to indicate to kids the really profound need for higher education . . . and to show them that there are many, many career opportunities in the music industry other than as a performer.

"At the sound checks, we always introduce them to everybody. It's like, 'This is the sound man, this is the road manager, these are the lighting guys.' They get the sense that this is a rather large effort."

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