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SXSW 2014 : Highlighting New Talent

Continuing its successful run since its debut in 1987, the immensely popular South by Southwest (SXSW) is set to happen on March 8-17 in Austin, Texas. Music lovers will especially be interested in the event's program from March 11-17 which features hundreds of new artists presenting a wide variety of sounds with loads of enthusiasm. More than 25,000 music industry professionals will be attending six nights of concerts performed at over 100 venues by more than 2,000 acts from 55 countries. Make sure you're among them.

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Country Music Legend Willie Nelson

The recent 56th annual Grammy Awards saw country legends Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, along with younger vintage country star Blake Shelton, take to the stage to entertain the audience and millions of people watching online and on television – the majority of whom knew the words to every song. Among the tunes performed by the group were the classics Highwayman, Okie from Muskogee and Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.

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MOC: Delivering a Dose of Music

With its headquarters in New York and branches in Nashville, Miami, Los Angeles and Washington DC, Musicians On Call is a nonprofit organization dedicated to delivering the healing power of music to patients who are confined to their beds or undergoing treatments in healthcare facilities. With the aid of a network of volunteers Musicians On Call (MOC) has been operating since 1999, during which time volunteer musicians have performed for more than 400,000 patients and their families, with encouraging results.

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Southern California Holiday Season Concerts

Music venues throughout Southern California are preparing to serve up a musical feast this holiday season, starting with the 82nd Hollywood Christmas Parade on December 2. With proceeds going to Toys for Tots, the parade will be hosted by Hollywood celebrities Eric Estrada, Dean Cain, Laura McKenzie and Montel Williams, with astronaut Buzz Aldrin serving as the parade's Grand Marshall. Headliners slated to perform at the event include Leann Rimes, Stevie Wonder, The GooGoo Dolls, Kenny Loggins, Richi Sambora, Daughtry, McClain and Billy Ray Cyrus. The Hollywood Christmas Parade starts at the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, continues left into Vine Street and left again into Sunset Boulevard. Grandstand seating offering an unrestricted view of the parade can be booked via ticketmaster.

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The Therapeutic Power of Music

It has long been acknowledged that music can transcend barriers between people - such as race, nationality and culture - and is often more powerful than language in forging social connections. The impact of music on human emotions and behavior continues to be a topic for research, with interesting and encouraging results. It has been found that certain types of music can be very therapeutic for people who have mental health problems, autism, dementia and depression, as well as patients who have suffered a stroke, brain injury or who are battling with a life-threatening or terminal illness. With this in mind, music charity Nordoff Robbins is dedicated to using music therapy to touch the lives of vulnerable individuals of all ages across the United Kingdom.

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