Washington, D.C. Represented at the GRAMMY€s

Simon Breedon | 1/22/2009, 1:16 a.m.

€People unfamiliar with the Washington area are often surprised when they realize just how much musical talent is present here,€ said Shannon Emamali, executive director of the Washington, D.C. GRAMMY chapter.

This year, more than 17 Washington, D.C. GRAMMY Chapter members have been nominated for achievements by the recording academy, many of whom are African American.

The Washington, D.C. Chapter of the GRAMMY's started in 1998. Members consist of prominent artists and breakthrough musicians from the District, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. This year€s 51st annual Grammy nominees, who represent the D.C. chapter, include singer Raheem DeVaughn (Best and R&B Song €" Customer,) singer Wayna featuring D.C.-resident Kokayi in a first-time Grammy nomination for best urban alternative performance for €Loving You,€ producer Timbaland (Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals - 4 Minutes with Madonna and Justin Timberlake,) Trey Songz (Best Male R&B Vocal Performance €" €Can't Help But Wait,€) J. Holiday (Best Contemporary R&B Song - €Back Of My Lac'€,)
All together, the Washington D.C. Chapter members have been nominated for 18 awards in 14 different categories this year, and the Annual GRAMMY Awards Telecast Viewing Party will be held at the Hard Rock Caf on Feb. 8.

€The Washington, D.C. GRAMMY chapter€s Professional Development program provides up and coming musical artists access to professionals and seminars on owning the rights to their work,€ Emamali said. €For one to become a member, they simply need to have produced six tracks commercially in the past five years.€

The chapter€s GRAMMY U program is an outreach to college students with aspirations of entering the music industry in the hopes of preparing them for the trials of their future careers. The chapter, in collaboration with Howard University, Bowie State University, James Madison University, and the University of Maryland College Park established the GRAMMY U branch of the chapter which provides students with many of the perks offered to The Academy€s voting, associate and affiliate members, at a fraction of the cost for membership. GRAMMY U members are required to pay $50 until they graduate or $25 for a one-year registration.

Upcoming events for the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the GRAMMYs include the Feb. 8 telecast party at the Hard Rock Caf, and scheduled events in preparation for Gospel Music Heritage Month in September. For more information regarding the Washington, D.C. Chapter€s programs or services contact the Chapter office via e-mail at washingtondc@grammy.com.