Local resident attends Grammy Awards Ceremony
News and Features
Ellen Warren Jones recently traveled to New York for a star-studded vacation, culminating with an evening at the Grammy Awards.
Traveling with her sister, Martha Ruble and two friends from college, Jones received tickets to the events from her sister-in-law, who works for NARAS, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization that organizes and produces the Grammy Awards.
The weekend began Thursday with lunch at Tavern on the Green and a carriage ride through Central Park.
Friday night the real fun began as Jones and her traveling companions attended parts of the rehearsals for the Grammys.
"That was even better than the Grammys," Jones said. "You could really tell their (the performers) personalities then."
Jones saw a number of singers–including the Dixie Chicks, John Mayer and James Taylor. The four women were about the only ones in the room, and they sat right down in front–in the same chairs that people such as Dustin Hoffman, Nellie and Norah Jones would sit in Sunday night, according to the name plates on the back of the chairs.
Friday night the women enjoyed a benefit dinner at the Marriott on Times Square for Musicares, a charity that NARAS supports. The evening included a silent auction, dinner and an award presentation for Person of the Year to Bono for his countless hours of charity work for Aids relief in Africa and foreign debt relief.
"He was a very humble person," Jones said. "You could tell."
Bill Clinton presented Bono with the award, and Ashley J
udd emceed the event. Aretha Franklin performed, and Bono and his guitarist, the Edge, sang several songs.
Sunday night the Grammys began, but Jones said that it was a let down after being up close to the stars earlier in their trip. The after-party was held at the Sheradon hotel, and each ballroom had a different theme, such as Italian pasta, dessert or sushi, Jones said. Different groups performed in each room.
"It was just a crush of people," Jones said. "There we were–elbowing Mick Jaggar for a piece of chocolate."
The ball gowns were a highlight of the event. "It was fun to see everyone dressed in their finery," Jones said.
The weekend also included sightseeing, and the women saw the Broadway plays Mamma Mia and the Producers.
"We rode by Ground Zero, and it was dreary and rainy," Jones said. "No one was on the streets–it was empty and desolate."
"It’s a small world" was truly proven Friday night at the dinner when Jones looked up and saw Pam and Robert Lanier, friends of hers in Madison. "It was wild," she said.
Jones, who went with her husband to the Grammys two years ago, said that the four of them really enjoyed the opportunity to be among the stars.
"You know, you’ve got stars like J-Lo and Celine Dion, then there’s the new rappers and stars, and you don’t even know who half of them are," Jones said. "The bottom line is they’re all just people."