For the third year in a row, Mississippi Night at the GRAMMY® museum in Los Angeles was a big success.
About 25 locals, including city leaders, members of the Cleveland Music Foundation and students and faculty from the Delta Music Industry at Delta State University, enjoyed Thursday's grand celebration.
The annual event is a part of GRAMMY® Week and was created to commemorate the musical legacy of Mississippi and strengthen relationships in anticipation of GRAMMY® Museum Mississippi that will soon be built in Cleveland.
The upcoming world-class museum, the only GRAMMY® museum outside of Los Angeles, will be dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music and the cultural context from which it emerges.
"This year's Mississippi Night may have been the biggest and best we've had yet," said Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell. "Everyone was talking about the great performance put on by the DMI All-stars."
The DMI All-stars, composed of six DMI students, were selected to represent the Magnolia State by performing at the affair.
"I think they really rose to the occasion and performed at a high level," said DMI director Tricia Walker. "More than anything, I'm so proud they had the opportunity to be associated with an event and project like this.
"It helps them see what's possible."
Band member Horace Willis said it was an experience of a lifetime.
"It was unbelievable — being from a small town and all of sudden performing on top of the GRAMMY® museum for a bunch of important people," said Willis.
Invitees for Mississippi Night include those with a connection to Mississippi music and film. GRAMMY® museum members and media are also on hand to enjoy the yearly performances.
Thursday's lineup also included Mississippi legends Steve Forbert and the North Mississippi Allstars.
The Cleveland Music Foundation is the local group leading the way in the GRAMMY® partnership.
"The relationship we're building with the folks in California is a win-win for them and for us, in so many ways," said CMF President Lucy Janoush. "Mississippi Night continues to build enthusiasm for what we're doing with the museum in Cleveland."
Nowell agreed that developing the rapport is of great significance.
"They are just as excited about this project as we are," said Nowell. "They understand the opportunity that exists here to honor our state's rich musical history."
The museum will be closely affiliated with the DMI, providing educational opportunities on a large scale.
The DMI is the state’s only accredited program of music industry studies.
The museum’s permanent exhibition will utilize film, video, interactive kiosks and, of course, music.