For every great archival release made by the record companies, ten times as many pieces of recorded history are lost to the ages. The Grammy Foundation has awarded $250,000 in grants to eighteen individuals and organizations to help fund activities that will help us better understand the music of the past and make sure that it is preserved for future generations.

“For nearly 25 years, our Grammy Foundation Grant Program has been a leader in funding an extraordinary range of scientific research, archiving, and preservation projects,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and the Grammy Foundation. “We have provided support for research that seeks to help individuals with speech and movement difficulties, and for a project that will prepare a significant collection of African-American gospel and blues from Memphis and the Mississippi Delta for digitizing and preservation. Each year, we continue to build upon the impressive diversity and quality of our grant recipients, which makes us proud of the role that our Grant Program is playing in protecting our shared musical heritage, and enabling the medical and scientific advances of the future.”

In all, the program has awarded almost $5.8 million to over 300 projects. Highlights from this year’s grants:

  • Cafe Lena (Saratoga Springs, NY) – To clean, store, digitally transfer and provide access to its many tapes of performances and oral histories recorded between 1960 and 1989. The final recordings will be stored at the Library of Congress.
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic (Los Angeles, CA) – The digital transfer, storage and management of a collection of 1,500 analog tapes recorded between 1953 and 1960, including live recordings of such greats as Marian Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone.
  • Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK) – The archiving of lacquer disks and tapes of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys dating from the 40’s through the 60’s.
  • The Ravi Shankar Foundation – Preserve, digitize, catalog and provide access to live and studio recordings from Shankar’s career.
  • University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA) – Stabilize and digitize 49 reel-to-reel tapes of concerts, rehearsals and personal recording sessions by Dave Brubeck.
  • WGBH Educational Foundation (Boston, MA) – Preserve and make available interviews from the PBS series Rock & Roll.
  • Louis Guida (Lexington, KY) – Assess, prioritize and prepare material from the Indiana University Bloomington’s Black Film Center/Archive of gospel and blues from Memphis and the Mississippi Delta.
  • Northwest Folklife (Seattle, WA) – Assess, stabilize, preserve and catalog a collection of recordings from over 40 years of the music of the Pacific Northwest.
The complete list of 18 recipients with additional information, courtesy of the Grammy Foundation, is after the cut:
Preservation Implementation

Caffè Lena— Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Awarded: $19,691

CaffèLena will clean, store, digitally transfer, and provide access to its valuable, at-risk archive of fragile reel-to-reels of live performances and field recordings (1960–1989), and related oral histories on audiocassettes. This unique historic collection sheds light on the New York music scene and its influence on the 20th century folk revival. The Library of Congress will serve as the final repository for these archives.

Carnegie Hall— New York

Awarded: $17,250

This project will preserve volumes 1–4 of the Robert Shaw Choral Workshop Collection of Carnegie Hall’s Archives — a unique and irreplaceable series of tapes showcasing one of America’s greatest choral directors leading the finest young professional singers through workshops and performances at Carnegie

Los Angeles Philharmonic Association — Los Angeles

Awarded: $16,560

This grant will enable the digital transfer, storage, and management of the Swedlow Collection of 1,500 analog tapes recorded on a 3-track tape machine between 1953–1960. The collection includes live recordings of such performers as Marian Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Nina Simone, among others.

Oklahoma Historical Society— Oklahoma City

Awarded: $20,000

The Oklahoma Historical Scoiety will archive Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys recordings from the ’40s on lacquer discs, including U.S. radio broadcast transcriptions and 136 reel-to-reel tapes of ’50s and ’60s performances. Discs will be digitized and the project will create rich metadata for the collection to ensure long-term preservation of this unique cultural heritage

The Ravi Shankar Foundation — Encinitas, Calif.

Awarded: $16,420

This project will preserve, digitize, catalog, and provide access to historic live and studio recordings from two of the most prolific points in Ravi Shankar’s career. These recordings are unavailable anywhere else in any format and are at risk of deterioration in their analog state. The result will be an accessible collection of Shankar’s most important performances, greatly impacting scholarship and programming, both nationally and

University of the Pacific— Stockton, Calif

Awarded: $8,983

Guided by a preservation survey of the tapes funded by a GRAMMY Foundation  grant, this project will stabilize and digitize 49 highly endangered reel-to-reel tapes of concerts, rehearsals and personal recording sessions by pianist/composer Dave Brubeck. These tapes offer unique, unreleased documentation of Brubeck’s monumental contributions to

WGBH Educational Foundation— Boston

Awarded: $17,250

The goal of this project is to preserve and make available interviews from the landmark PBS television series “Rock & Roll.” They will be available to the public through WGBH’s Open Vault website and new radio pieces. The interviews are broadcast quality, and WGBH will preserve them in a digital format and make them accessible to the

Preservation Planning

PaulAnastasio— Shoreline, Wash.

Awarded: $4,000

This collection of Mexican violin music in Guerrero and Michoacán features Premio Nacional winner Juan Reynoso and 20 of his fellow violinists. This project will assist the copying, transcribing, collating, and indexing of this rare, beautiful and nearly extinct

Bowdoin International Music Festival — Brunswick, Maine

Awarded: $5,000

The Bowdoin International Music Festival, a renowned summer music school and concert series, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014. In advance of the anniversary, this project will catalog, transfer, and selectivelyrestore materials in its recorded archive. Included are performances by some of the world’s top classical musicians and works by illustrious 20th- and 21st-century

 Louis Guida— Lexington, Ky.

Awarded: $5,000

This project will assess, prioritize, and prepare material from a significant collection of African American gospel and blues from Memphis and the Mississippi Delta for digitizing and preservation. The collection, housed at Indiana University Bloomington’s Black Film Center/Archive, includes field recordings, film footage and photographs from a five-year project led by director Louis Guida that resulted in the international award-winning 1992 documentary Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.

Irka Mateo— Brooklyn, N.Y.; Santiago, Dominican Republic

Awarded: $5,000

Rare recordings of Dominican folk music played for popular religious events comprise primary source material that expands and continues on previous work done by Fradique Lizardo (1930–1997), housed at the Centro León. The goal of this project is to initiate preservation consultation efforts that focus on music recordings celebrating Liborio Mateo, a central religious leader and healer that lived in San Juan de la Maguana.

Northwest Folklife — Seattle

Awarded: $4,000

The Northwest Folklife Festival’s collection of live audio recordings documents 40 years of the musical and cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest. The project will assess the collection and design a multistage plan to stabilize, preserve and catalog those thousands of performances. Northwest Folklife’s goal is to publicize the collection and make these historical records available to the public via its website and at regional

Scientific Research

Georgia Tech Research Corporation — Atlanta


Cerebral palsy is prevalent in one in 303 children in the United States. Approximately one-half sustain upper-extremity dysfunction. Using rhythmicauditory cues to improve upper-extremity function has shown promise with adult post-stroke patients. There is limited evidence of such music-based intervention in pediatric physical therapy. This project will investigate the effects of rhythmic auditory-induced interventions for children with cerebral

The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital — Columbus, Ohio

Awarded: $16,846

The goal of this project is to create a healing environment through auditory stimulation within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit system that improves behavioral development and reduces length of stay in medically fragile babies. Through the use of technology, this innovative program allows parents to have a presence at their baby’s bedside even when they are away from the

Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care — Toronto, Canada


This project will examine the potential benefits of musical training on speech processing in elderly adults. Brain imaging techniques will be used to assess neural activity at multiple tiers of the aging auditory system and its correspondence to perception during active speech listening. Specifically, the project will assess the possibility that musicianship counteracts the negative declines in hearing ability and speech understanding that commonly emerge late in

University of Miami — Coral Gables, Fla.

Awarded: $20,000

This project will explore and quantify infants’ ability to entrain spontaneous movement with rhythmic auditory understanding of motor development, and inform therapeutic intervention for deficits in attention, speech, and extremity movement.

Western University — London, Canada

Awarded: $19,500

Despite the amazing level of shared neural machinery between humans and nonhuman primates, only humans appear to sense and react to musical rhythm. This ability has played a major role in the development of human culture for millennia. The aim of this project is to understand the neural processes that underpin our uniquely human ability to sense the beat in rhythmic sequences by comparing brain responses across species with the most advanced magnetic resonance imaging methods

Benjamin Zendel — Montreal, Canada

Awarded: $20,000

As we age it becomes more difficult to understand speech in noisy environments because of changes in how the brain processes sound. It has been recently demonstrated that this age-related decline is mitigated in lifelong musicians, likely due to neuro-plasticity induced by musical training. The purpose of this project is to determine if music lessons in older adults can improve the ability to understand speech in noise by improving the way the brain processes sound.

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.

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