- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 31, 2009

A graduate of the District’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts has been nominated for a 2010 Grammy for Best Musical Album for Children.

Progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon collaborated with folk musicians Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer on a new family recording, “Banjo to Beatbox.” G2 interviewed Mr. Bacon by phone and congratulated him on the nomination.

“I’m excited!” he told us. “I’ve never been to L.A. I’ve been to San Francisco, and I’ve heard some stories and stuff. I can’t wait!”

In addition to heading to Los Angeles for the 52nd annual ceremony, Mr. Bacon also will perform at the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A.

Mr. Bacon grew up in the Condon Terrace neighborhood of Southeast Washington. “I started doing rhyming in middle school,” he said, adding that he was encouraged to develop his craft by his mother and his teachers at Duke Ellington.

Last year, he became the first hip-hop artist to be named an artist-in-residence at the Music Center at Strathmore in Rockville, where he met Miss Fink and Miss Marxer.

Mr. Bacon also said he received quite a bit of support from the community during his musical journey.

“There’s a plethora of events you can go to to express yourself - poetry, rhyming or singing. This is a good city for the performance arts.”

While some of the venues that hosted those events are no longer around because “a lot of community spaces have turned in to Starbucks” in recent years, Mr. Bacon notes, there are several establishments where artists can express themselves - including one that he notes in particular.

“I really support a place called Bloombar,” Mr. Bacon says. “It’s a community space in the Columbia Heights area. They do a lot for local artists.”

Going to the chapel

ABC News reporter Bianna Golodryga is engaged to White House budget director Peter R. Orszag, Associated Press reports.

She made the announcement Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Miss Golodryga described her fiance as “tall, dark, and he could say Golodryga and spell it after the first date. That is a winner in my book.”

According to a story posted on ABC’s Web site, the couple met in May at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Miss Golodryga, 31, joined “Good Morning America” in 2007. She has worked the economy and business beat and reported on the housing and credit crisis.

Before becoming head of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, Mr. Orszag had recently served as director of the Congressional Budget Office.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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