Members of the Recording Academy's 2023 New Member Class: (L-R) Rap-Unzel, Duncan Daniels, OG Parker, Weyes Blood, Bedouin
Members of the Recording Academy's 2023 New Member Class: (L-R) Rap-Unzel, Duncan Daniels, OG Parker, Weyes Blood, Bedouin

Source Photos (L-R): Armani Lyons/Lyons Pride Photography; Yanran Xiong; Armen Kaleshian; Neelam Khan Vela; Ben Price; Graphic Courtesy of the Recording Academy


2023 New Member Class: Why These Artists Joined The Recording Academy: "Together, We Can Elevate The Academy To Even New Heights"

From elevating peers to acknowledging extraordinary work to pushing for inclusivity, hear why artists like Weyes Blood, Bedouin, Gera MX, and more just joined the Recording Academy.

Recording Academy/Dec 5, 2023 - 08:44 pm

Becoming a member of the Recording Academy is no mere title or honorific. Academy members directly impact the global music community for the better. Without our Membership, the Recording Academy wouldn't exist at all.

By getting directly involved with the Academy's various divisions and initiatives, artists, creators and industry professionals can expand their participation in the music world to the next level. Our newest members, who just joined the Recording Academy as part of our 2023 New Member Class, perfectly embody this spirit. This newly inducted, record-breaking class represents a diverse group of 2,400+ music creators. In a demonstration of the Academy's commitment to remaking its overall membership, 50% of the new class are people of color, 46% of this year's class are under the age of 40, and 37% are women. See the full statistics surrounding the demographics of the 2023 New Member Class and a snapshot of the Recording Academy's 2023 DEI initiatives.

To celebrate our 2023 New Member Class, we're spotlighting some of our newest Recording Academy members, including Weyes Blood, Bedouin, Gera MX, and others. Learn more about the many reasons why they joined the world's leading community of music professionals.

Learn more about Recording Academy Membership and join now.

Read More: 50 Percent Of The Recording Academy's 2023 New Member Class Are People Of Color

*Weyes Blood | Photo: Neelam Khan Vela*

Weyes Blood

What inspired you to become a Recording Academy member?

Recorded music is my lifeblood. I wanted to see and be a part of the whole process that acknowledges some of the best recorded music of our times, and the Recording Academy is the best way to recognize the contributions of the wider music community.

Now that you are an active Recording Academy member, what are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to gain from your experience?

As someone who listens to a lot of music from the past, I look forward to exploring newer records on a more regular basis. I also look forward to listening to a wider variety of genres outside of my normal wheelhouse.

With the help and guidance of the Recording Academy, what do you hope to contribute to the music community as a new member?

I hope to contribute my weird perspective. As somebody who started in the DIY experimental music scene and collecting odd records, I feel like my input would come from a passionate and progressive place.

What does being a member of the Recording Academy mean to you? Why is it important to you?

It means getting to shed light on people that pour their hearts and souls into a recording. I feel very privileged to be admitted. All my years of experiencing and transcending through music will be put to good use, and staying connected with music — not only as a songwriter and singer, but as a listener — is very important to me.

*Gera MX | Photo Courtesy of Gera MX*

Gera MX

What inspired you to become a Recording Academy member?

I feel that one of my missions as an artist is to continue contributing to the growth of new talents who may have great opportunities like the ones I have had.

Now that you are an active Recording Academy member, what are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to gain from your experience?

I look forward to continuing to meet new talents as well as experienced colleagues. Also, new professionals who can add to my vision. And, of course, maybe very soon to see a GRAMMY Award in my cabinet.

With the help and guidance of the Recording Academy, what do you hope to contribute to the music community as a new member?

I hope to continue giving you music for many more years, that it can reach new corners of the world and connect with new people.

What does being a member of the Recording Academy mean to you? Why is it important to you?

It is very important to me. It is a milestone in my career and, for me, it means having reached a new level in my career.

It is great for me to become a member of the Academy and contribute to the mission of continuing to grow the name of all Mexican and Latino artists, creatives and professionals who contribute their grain of sand to this industry every day.

*Bedouin | Photo: Ben Price*


What inspired you to become a Recording Academy member?

Becoming a Recording Academy member was fueled by the desire to immerse and align ourselves with this vibrant community of exceptionally talented musicians. The electronic music industry has grown immensely in recent years, and we're honored to be a part of that growth. We're excited that artists in our genre are finally being recognized for their contributions to the history of music. 

Now that you are an active Recording Academy member, what are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to gain from your experience?

We are so excited and honored for the opportunity to continue advocating for and shining a spotlight on the electronic music genre as Recording Academy members. Electronic music is a multibillion-dollar industry, yet it still struggles to get mainstream recognition.

As part of the Recording Academy, we look forward to being a representative of our genre and helping to further establish it alongside the other popular, more conventional genres. We hope to use this opportunity to bridge the gaps between genres, collaborating and exchanging ideas with fellow music professionals from various backgrounds.

This vibrant network provides a platform to push boundaries and redefine musical conventions.

With the help and guidance of the Recording Academy, what do you hope to contribute to the music community as a new member?

First and foremost, we hope to further champion diversity within the music industry — with a specific focus on music and musicians of Middle Eastern descent.

As a Recording Academy member, we have the unique opportunity to push for a more inclusive industry that reflects the global richness of musical traditions from all over the world. 

Additionally, we're excited to act as a representative for the electronic music space and will work to bring that community more respect, credibility and awareness overall. Electronic music is the moment, right now! And we're excited to be part of the movement that brings the genre into the spotlight.  

What does being a member of the Recording Academy mean to you? Why is it important to you?

It's a distinct privilege to be recognized alongside other professional creatives that share a deep dedication to their craft. After such a monumental year for our own artistic journey, to be accepted into the new member class of the Recording Academy is truly a capstone moment. 

Our sonic vision pulls from our diverse personal influences, Middle Eastern heritage and Western upbringing. To now receive this level of recognition from the world's leading society of music professionals — it's an honor to be not only a face for electronic music, but also for all Middle Eastern musicians.

*Rap-Unzel | Photo: Armani Lyons/Lyons Pride Photography*


What inspired you to become a Recording Academy member?

I was inspired to become an Academy member when I learned about the different ways I could get more involved in the industry through various membership opportunities. Being a part of an organization that celebrates artists and creatives is right where I want to be!

Now that you are an active Recording Academy member, what are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to gain from your experience?

I look forward to connecting with my fellow members and industry peers, as that's a way for me to continue my growth as an artist and be part of change. I feel there's always a takeaway and learning opportunity in everything I do, so I look to gain more knowledge from my experience as an Academy member!

With the help and guidance of the Recording Academy, what do you hope to contribute to the music community as a new member?

As a new member, I'm excited to have the opportunity for my voice to be heard in new rooms! I hope to advocate for the many different lanes there are for artists, especially female rappers. There are so many different sounds and styles with space for all of them in the industry. I'm here to show my lane.

What does being a member of the Recording Academy mean to you? Why is it important to you?

As a songwriter and recording artist, my words mean a lot to me, and music is one of my first true loves. So, naturally, being a member of the Recording Academy means so much! It's important to me because I stand by the Recording Academy's mission, and I want to do my part in ensuring that the music community continues to thrive!

*Duncan Daniels | Photo: Yanran Xiong*

Duncan Daniels

Now that you are an active Recording Academy member, what are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to gain from your experience?

I plan to help bring more awareness to the vast community of Afrobeats artists based in the diaspora, most especially here in the U.S. I also look forward to connecting and collaborating with my peers to make some amazing music.

With the help and guidance of the Recording Academy, what do you hope to contribute to the music community as a new member?

I would love to contribute by mentoring younger, budding musicians who intend on growing their music industry knowledge and career.

What does being a member of the Recording Academy mean to you? Why is it important to you?

It means that my peers saw my years of contribution to music as a whole and deemed me worthy to be a part of this prestigious body. It has been a great aspiration of mine ever since I started making music more than 20 years ago.

I never imagined I would get here, so it's still surreal. I also have a chance to submit my works and works of other great artists I know for GRAMMY consideration, and that's huge.

*OG Parker | Photo: Armen Kaleshian*

OG Parker

What inspired you to become a Recording Academy member?

Growing up, watching some of my favorite musicians at the top of their game [and being] appreciated and honored by their peers and music professionals within the Academy inspired me to hopefully be a part of such a coveted institution. For it to be a reality for me now, I'm extremely grateful and honored.

Now that you are an active Recording Academy member, what are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to gain from your experience?

I hope to be a trusted voice of reason and help continue the tradition of greatness the Recording Academy has created by offering my expertise and love for amazing music.

With the help and guidance of the Recording Academy, what do you hope to contribute to the music community as a new member?

Being a new member of the Recording Academy, I hope to contribute my unique talents and experience and learn from and build with the legendary veterans that have helped make the Academy what it is; together, we [can] elevate it to even new heights.

What does being a member of the Recording Academy mean to you? Why is it important to you?

I will never take for granted being a part of the organization that provides the highest honor and award in music. I've given music all I have, and to continue to have the opportunity to push and advocate for musicians as a musician [myself], especially at this level, I am truly blessed and appreciative.

*Trousdale | Photo: Raea Palmieri*


What inspired you to become a Recording Academy member?

The Recording Academy has such a long legacy of honoring music and artists that have inspired us, and we're so excited to become a part of that legacy. To be able to share the positivity that we try to spread with our music and inspire future artists is such an honor.

Now that you are an active Recording Academy member, what are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to gain from your experience?

As active members of the Recording Academy, we're really looking forward to the chance to meet new people and to share our voices within this community that shares our love of music. We are also really looking forward to the opportunity to cast our votes for the GRAMMYs in support of artists we love.

With the help and guidance of the Recording Academy, what do you hope to contribute to the music community as a new member?

The three of us have always been very proud of the fact that we write and produce and record the majority of the music we release. We really hope that as members of the Recording Academy, we can inspire other young women who are thinking about writing their own music and telling their own story.

What does being a member of the Recording Academy mean to you? Why is it important to you?

Art is how we make sense of the world and connect to other people, so it means the world to us to be able to voice the value of that art through the Recording Academy, to make sure it continues to be a pillar of connection in society.

4 Ways To Maximize Your Recording Academy Membership

A graphic announcing the Recording Academy's global expansion into Africa and the Middle East. The words "Globalizing Our Mission" are written in blue and white letters on a black background featuring the Recording Academy logo and a GRAMMY Award statue.
The Recording Academy is taking its mission to support music creators to a global scale.

Graphic Courtesy of the Recording Academy


The Recording Academy Announces Global Expansion Strategy In Africa And The Middle East

Working with entities in Africa and the Middle East, the Recording Academy is expanding internationally to support music creators on a global scale through enhanced educational resources, cross-cultural learnings, intellectual property advocacy, and more.

Recording Academy/Jun 11, 2024 - 02:01 pm

The Recording Academy, the organization behind the annual GRAMMY Awards, has announced agreements with Ministries of Cultures and key stakeholders across the Middle East and Africa to extend its efforts to support music creators on a global scale. The Recording Academy is working with the Ministries of Culture in Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Nigeria, the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture in South Africa. Additionally, MOUs have been signed with Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

Through the newly announced agreements, the Recording Academy will collaborate with its partners on a framework to bolster the Academy's presence and services in these rapidly growing music regions while taking its mission international. Through these collaborations, and in alignment with our mission, the Academy will explore several key initiatives, including: 

  • Championing music creators at all levels, providing them with a platform and advocacy. 

  • Empowering creators through enhanced training. Through its online learning platform, GRAMMY GO, the Recording Academy will look to provide educational programs and resources specifically tailored to the needs of music creators in these regions.

  • Producing original content that celebrates the rich musical heritage and dynamic emerging scenes of Africa and the Middle East.

  • Enhancing support for existing members. Cross-cultural learnings will benefit all music creators, and a presence in these rapidly growing music regions would provide numerous benefits to the Recording Academy's current and future members

  • Advocating for strong intellectual property (IP) legislation and protections for music creators.

  • Fueling the music economy by collaborating with partners to develop and strengthen the creative economy in Africa and the Middle East.

  • As a cornerstone of this initiative, the Recording Academy will publish a series of reports, highlighting the Academy's research and insights into these music markets.

For the past two years, Recording Academy leaders, including Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. and Recording Academy President Panos A. Panay, have traveled throughout these regions, participated in listening sessions, received high-level briefings, tours, and demonstrations, and obtained insight directly from both the governmental ministries and local music creators driving innovation in these markets.

"This is exciting because music is one of humanity's greatest natural resources," Mason jr. said in a statement about the Recording Academy's global expansion. "It is critical that the people who dedicate themselves to creating music have support, resources and opportunities, no matter where they are from."

"The Recording Academy is dedicated to supporting music creators around the world," Panay added in a statement. "Our expansion efforts into these fast-growing regions reflect our commitment to fostering a truly global music community, where creators at every stage of their careers and from every corner of the world have the resources and support they need to thrive."

As the first phase of plans to support music creators abroad, this expansion into the Middle East and Africa comes the same year the Academy celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards, taking place this November in Miami, and months after the Latin Recording Academy hosted the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs in Seville, Spain, marking the first-ever international GRAMMY Awards show. This year at the 2024 GRAMMYs, the Recording Academy also introduced the inaugural Best African Music Performance GRAMMY category, which recognizes recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent. Also, the Recording Academy last year partnered with the U.S. State Department on an initiative to promote peace through music.

Read additional quotes about our global expansion from Recording Academy members and our partners below:


Hon. Ababu Namwamba, EGH: "Creative Economy is among the key cogs in the wheel driving the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) in Kenya. The country has placed a premium on music, film, theatre, content creation, fashion, pageantry, and other creative industries as a pivot for job creation, revenue generation and economic growth for sustainable livelihoods. With a predominantly youthful population that is well educated, innovative and passionate in stretching the frontiers of imagination, Kenya considers the creative sector as a fitting ignition for lighting and unleashing the full potential of this enormous youth bulge. Furthermore, creatives offer a formidable platform for building cultural, social, economic, and political ties across the East African Community, the African Continent and indeed the entire African Diaspora globally. And so, it should be no surprise that Kenya is delighted to be among the four champions of this effort, alongside our sister nations of Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa. This is a historic opportunity to hoist high and celebrate Africanacity through artistic and cultural expression, while fostering innovation, creativity, fraternity, and solidarity for African peoples in Africa and beyond. Kenya is in KABISA! (absolutely). Welcome to magical Kenya, the land of Hakuna Matata!"  

United Arab Emirates:

H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi: "Abu Dhabi's music scene is soaring, driven by the vibrancy of our youthful population, and strengthened by governmental commitment to infrastructure development, exemplified by existing and upcoming venues across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Additionally, investments in educational institutions such as Berklee Abu Dhabi and Bait al Oud Abu Dhabi, underscore our dedication to fostering local talent by providing them with comprehensive music theory education. As we embrace diverse genres emerging from our rich cultural heritage, we see a dynamic wave of creators and talents shaping our musical landscape. Today, we stand ready to collaborate with the Recording Academy to amplify our artists' voices, celebrate our music, and propel MENA's music industry to new heights."

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

Paul Pacifico, CEO, The Music Commission: "We are excited to become a part of the global GRAMMYs family, working to unite a growing range of music and talent from around the world as we strive to develop an inclusive and sustainable industry which fosters a rich tapestry of music and talent from diverse corners of the globe. We eagerly anticipate the benefits we know this partnership will bring to our music community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the opportunities it will deliver for Saudi music to take its place on the global stage and contribute to a more globally representative and vibrant music industry."


Francis Gatare, CEO, Rwanda Development Board: "Rwanda embraces this vision of connecting the continent's creative minds, marking a pivotal moment in our history where our culture and spirit are celebrated and shared with the world. By fostering a unified creative platform, we not only celebrate our creativity but also forge a shared path toward economic and social prosperity. Rwanda is proud to champion this significant milestone. By promoting our diverse talents, we enrich the global creative community and affirm our place as leaders in cultural expression. This initiative underscores Rwanda's dedication to a vibrant and dynamic cultural landscape, positioning us at the heart of Africa's creative renaissance."

South Africa:

Tshepo Mahloele, Chairman of Arena Holdings: "It is an exciting era for African and particularly South African music to finally work with the Recording Academy in ways that will provide the opportunity for African music to be recognized and celebrated on the global stage. We are proud to have advanced this exciting partnership."

Afrexim Bank:

President Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah, Afrexim Bank: "With Afreximbank's support for Africa's creative industries and endorsement of the Recording Academy's expansion, we recognize the immense potential this sector has to boost GDP and create employment for the youth. We extend our heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to the Academy's founding nations and the leadership of the Recording Academy for this remarkable opportunity to blend 65 years of invaluable experience with our continent's vibrant music and creative ecosystem." 

Recording Academy Members:

John Legend: "I'm excited to see the Recording Academy taking these meaningful steps to globalize our mission and reach. Music knows no borders. It's global and transcends cultural, political and language barriers. I'm so glad that the Recording Academy, the leading organization serving music creators, is evolving to be a more global organization."

Angelique Kidjo: "The Recording Academy is accelerating its efforts to serve music people everywhere, and Africa is ready with open arms. We are a continent of music and young, passionate music makers. I'm proud to see the Academy forming partnerships with Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and no doubt, more to come!"

Kat Graham: "As a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, I've seen firsthand how interconnected our world is. I applaud the Recording Academy for expanding its activities to Africa and the Middle East, two of the fastest-growing regions. This visionary move will amplify the role music can play as a force for good in the world while showcasing diverse voices and fostering cultural unity on a global scale."

Davido: "As an African musician, I'm excited about the Recording Academy's expansion into Africa and the Middle East. It acknowledges our vibrant talent and the global influence of African music. This initiative offers a platform for creators, elevating our cultural expressions and uniting us through music."

Stay Connected To The Recording Academy With The My Academy Hub App: Access Key Deadlines, View Membership Information, Browse Official Academy Events & More

Tasha Cobbs Leonard at Nashville Chapter Block Party 2024
Tasha Cobbs Leonard performs at the 2024 Nashville Chapter Block Party.

Photo: Jason Kempin for Getty Images / Courtesy of the Recording Academy


Inside The Recording Academy Nashville Chapter's 2024 Block Party, A Tribute To Music City's Thriving Scene

With performances from Carly Pearce, Cory Wong, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Rissi Palmer, Hannah Dasher, and Brittney Spencer, this year's iteration of the Nashville Chapter's summer kickoff celebrated an array of genres and stories.

Recording Academy/May 30, 2024 - 07:30 pm

A swarm of cicadas couldn't keep Recording Academy members from celebrating the beginning of summer on May 20, when the Nashville Chapter held its annual Block Party.

Held at Nashville's 6th & Peabody, the 23rd iteration of the event was another evening of live music and joyful reunions for the Nashville Chapter (which also represents Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina) as well as members from the Memphis Chapter and other markets. Attendees enjoyed food from White Duck Taco Shop and Daddy's Dogs, and libations from Yeehaw Brewing Co, Ole Smoky Moonshine and Music Water, and furthered the camaraderie by helping each other fend off cicadas — whether in the crowd or on the stage. 

The three-hour Block Party was also a celebration of the wide array of talent the Chapter boasts. The lineup offered country, jazz/funk guitar and gospel — along with tunes in between from Nashville favorite DJ Smoke — as well as a mix of independent and major label artists, all of whom had career milestones or GRAMMY memories to share. 

Kicking things off was Brittney Spencer, a rising country star whose acclaim earned her a guest appearance on Beyoncé's COWBOY CARTER earlier this year. Her enchanting five-song set featured tracks from her debut album, My Stupid Life, which arrived in January. 

"Thank you so much to everybody that is here who is helping make artists' dreams come true every day," she said, commending the hard work that goes on in the backend of the industry. "I worked at a label for, like, a month, and I was like, 'Oh my god, no," she added with a laugh. "We appreciate y'all very much."

Independent country artists Hannah Dasher and Rissi Palmer served as emcees as well as performers, each offering two songs. Dasher teased her forthcoming new project, Don't Wanna Be An Outlaw, with its twangy title track, while Palmer celebrated the 2024 re-release of her 2007 track "Country Girl," which she recently issued on her own label.

Tasha Cobbs Leonard brought love and light to the event with her powerful gospel tunes, including "Break Every Chain," the song that won her a GRAMMY for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance in 2014. She shared that she had lost her father just one week before that momentous win ("I was on a mountaintop but I was also in a deep, dark place," she reflected). Yet, as she added, the song has helped people experience breakthroughs, and that was apparent by the impassioned reactions in the crowd.

Shortly after Cory Wong set the sunset vibes with his electric guitar grooves, Carly Pearce closed out the night with a 30-minute set that included her latest single, the Chris Stapleton-featuring "We Don't Fight Anymore," and her GRAMMY-winning hit with Ashley McBryde, "Never Wanted To Be That Girl." As she gushed to the audience, the performance was a full-circle moment in many ways. 

"I moved here 15 years ago because all I wanted to do was sing country music… Any time I play in Nashville I think of that 19-year-old girl with big dreams," she said. "I feel like I've been coming to the GRAMMY Block Party, or, like, aware of it, and wanting to be a part of it for so long, so I'm so grateful to be here."

Pearce stuck around to give hugs to fans and friends before heading out, with many other attendees doing the same as the event wrapped — a sweet sendoff to another celebration of Nashville's thriving, tight-knit musical community. 

6 Key Highlights From The Inaugural GRAMMY Hall of Fame Gala Honoring Lauryn Hill, Donna Summer, Atlantic Records & Many More

Jewish American Heritage Concert 2024 Hero
(From left): Susana Behar, Sarah Gordon, Yosef Goldman, and Yoni Battat perform at the Jewish American Heritage Concert from the Nation's Capital on May 15, 2024.

Photo: Brian Stukes/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


7 Highlights From The 2024 Jewish American Heritage Concert, An Empowering Celebration Of Music & Community

In partnership with the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Recording Academy spotlighted traditional Jewish music from around the world with a free concert in Washington, D.C.

Recording Academy/May 23, 2024 - 08:19 pm

In the heart of the nation's capital, The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts hosted an extraordinary event to commemorate Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). On May 15, the Jewish American Heritage Concert celebrated the delicate blend of cultural Jewish music worldwide, creating a spotlight for the Jewish residents in the DMV area and highlighting performers whose voices are vital to the close-knit community.

In 2006, President George W. Bush declared the month of May to be recognized as JAHM.  Since then, the following presidents have continued to acknowledge the importance of the celebration of JAHM, as well as hundreds of organizations and foundations — so it was both fitting and moving for the concert to take place just down the road from the White House.

Presented by the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Recording Academy, the hour-long concert featured Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars, Susana Behar, Yoni Battat, and Yosef Goldman — representing traditional Jewish music from Eastern Europe, Turkey, Cuba, South America, the Levant, and the Arabian Peninsula. Before the performances began, William Deroff, CEO of The Conference of President's of Major Jewish Organizations, rang in the night advocating on behalf of political leaders' continued recognition of JAHM.  

"It is a rare and hearing example of bipartisanships standing across leadership and administration, representing the commitment of this nation to celebrating its Jewish minority," he said. As Deroff asserted, this was a night to rejoice in the power of music: "Tonight we celebrate how far we've come when our government acknowledges and takes seriously the concerns of its Jewish citizens." 

Below, take a look at some of the standout moments from the Jewish American Heritage Concert.

Empowerment Through Education

Along with Deroff's opening remarks, Misha Galperin, President and CEO of The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, spoke on the meaning of the night's mission before the music started. 

Founded in 1976, The Weitzman Museum is at the center of creating and inspiring conversations about the Jewish community. As Galperin acknowledged, the Museum's work celebrates the rich history of the Jewish community and amplifies the voices of the Jewish minority throughout the nation. 

"We are dedicated to informing and educating Americans about American Jewish heritage — about the contributions, and achievements, of Jewish Americans," Galperin said. 

Susana Behar's Enchanting Vocals

Weaving the tale of her own heritage, Susana Behar is a traditional Sephardic and Latin American singer based in Miami. Through her work, she pays homage to her Jewish, Sephardic, and Cuban upbringing. 

Performing an arrangement of Sephardic songs in Alboreá, a flamenco style traditionally sung at Gypsy weddings, and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) songs, Behar's sound created an angelic movement of vocal harmony and mystical wonder.  Praising beauty and love, Bahar's bright energetic set adorned the stage in a sunset ambiance, guiding the love that was filled within the room through family and friends.

She was joined on stage accompanied by a symphony of instruments, but it was truly her voice that filled the room with emotion. "What a better way (to celebrate JAHM) than with music," she declared. 

Beautifully Blended Brass Instruments

The power and aura of brass instruments rang throughout the halls of The Kennedy Center as Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars took center stage. They performed a modern version of melodies written by Jewish ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovski and Hasidic Yiddish songwriter Yom Tom Ehrlich.  

London founded the group, bringing a uniquely profound sound of music to the Jewish community. Through the fluidity of sound on stage, it was clear that London's Allstars are truly a family at work. During the performance, the crowd found a sense of delightment, as a group sing-along echoed amongst the walls, and the smiles from the Allstars beamed throughout the building.

The Powerful Sensation Of Sarah Gordon

Powerhouse vocalist Sarah Gordon, lead singer of Yiddish Princess, accompanied London's Allstars throughout the night. Performing a melody from Beregovski, Gordon was able to put a modern spin on the traditional passover game, Who Knows One?

Creating a sharp rock sound, Gordon brought her own flair while still keeping to the traditional original of the music. 

The Heart Of The DMV Community

Impactful moments throughout the Jewish American Heritage Concert were not only highlighted through our speakers and performers, but through the powerful sentiments of its audience members.  

Local D.C. native, Stephanie Husik, was drawn to the event due to its strong message centered around music. When asked about how music can transform communities, she touched upon the emotional impact that music can foster.  

"Music gets at emotion. It taps emotions. I think much more than trying to preach to people, and talk to people, this engages them." Husky followed by stating, "It speaks to people, much better than actually speaking. It taps into feelings."  

Notes From Rabbi Yosef Goldman & Yoni Avi Battat

Rabbi Yosef Goldman intertwines Jewish harmony with prayer, connecting his Mizrahi and Ashekanzi heritage. Performing alongside Yoni Avi Battat, they uplifted and connected Jewish heritage through a blend of a delicate unchained melody.  

"This song is for all of us, Jewish or not. We have a lot of parts and a lot of aspects to our identity that we are all just finding a place for," he said. Battat followed by singing, "From the fragment of my struggle, I can know my own strength."  

Goldman followed Battat's sentiment, speaking on the importance of acknowledging on-going antisemitism in the country: "Every person's suffering is seen and known and has value." The raw and delicate emotion of the performance made it unforgettable, a powerful experience for anyone who had the privilege to witness. 

A Message Withstanding The Test Of Time

As the evening came to a close, all of the astonishing performers took the stage one last time to celebrate the pride of JAHM, and the importance it holds within the community. In beautiful three-part harmony — accompanied by authentic horn instruments — everyone on stage paid tribute to all of their individual roots, performing a melody of various traditional Sephardic, Nigin and Shabbos songs.

Like the final performance showed, the room was filled with profound pride throughout the whole event. It wasn't just a celebration of Jewish heritage through the power of music — it was a celebration of the strength and power of the community as a whole. 

Learn more about the Recording Academy's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, recent DEI achievements, and year-round work to support marginalized voices in music.

"What Doesn't Grow Is Dead': How Klezmer Musicians Are Creating For A Modern Jewish World

Inside The Recording Academy's GRAMMY GO



How The Recording Academy's GRAMMY GO Is Building A Global Online Learning Community & Elevating The Creative Class

Learn more about the vision and future of GRAMMY GO, the Recording Academy's first-ever creator-to-creator platform and online learning experience, in this exclusive interview with the visionaries behind the initiative.

Recording Academy/Apr 17, 2024 - 11:42 pm

Since its inception, the Recording Academy has remained committed to inspiring and supporting the next generation of music creators and professionals via ongoing music education initiatives. Now, we're taking that commitment to the next level. 

Today, the Recording Academy proudly launched GRAMMY GO, a new online initiative offering innovative, industry-focused courses tailored for music creators and industry professionals from all backgrounds and experience levels. Launched in partnership with leading online learning platform Coursera, GRAMMY GO is the Academy's first-ever creator-to-creator platform that offers practical courses focusing on real-time industry developments and taught by leading music professionals and creators. 

Geared toward emerging and established members of the industry alike, GRAMMY GO taps into the Recording Academy's esteemed membership base and distinguished creator network to offer users a singular online learning experience informed by current-day industry dynamics. This unique approach sets GRAMMY GO apart from other online learning platforms.

"As an organization that comprises more than 20,000 of the world's most creative music professionals, we feel there is a massive source of knowledge that we believe is part of our mission, as an Academy, to help disseminate," Recording Academy President Panos A. Panay said in an exclusive interview. "We also view it as part of our purpose to use the Academy to help elevate other creatives and help them develop the skills they need to succeed in an ever-evolving industry. We bring a different orientation and a mission-driven purpose to what we're doing with GRAMMY GO."

"We're responding to what the needs are in the moment and across the industry," Jonathan Mahoney, Vice President of Online Learning for Grammy Global Ventures, adds. "We aim to explore the industry's needs, and then we'll build our offerings to answer those needs in real-time. That's one of the key differentiators fueling GRAMMY GO."

GRAMMY GO also accelerates the Recording Academy's ongoing global mission, while also reinforcing its commitment to music education — two core pillars that define the future of the Academy.

GRAMMY GO launches with "Building Your Audience for Music Professionals," a wide-spanning industry course taught by international music/marketing executive Joey Harris and featuring firsthand knowledge from past GRAMMY winners Jimmy Jam and Victoria Monét and 10-time GRAMMY nominee Janelle Monáe. The second GRAMMY GO course, "Music Production: Crafting An Award-Worthy Song," launching later this summer, will focus on sharpening technological and audio skills for music producers of all levels. Taught by Howard University professor and GRAMMY nominee Carolyn Malachi, the upcoming specialization will include appearances by GRAMMY winner CIRKUT, three-time GRAMMY winner Hit-Boy, artist and celebrity vocal coach Stevie Mackey, five-time GRAMMY nominee and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., and 15-time GRAMMY winner Judith Sherman. Enrollment and pre-enrollment for both courses are now open.

In an exclusive interview below, Panay and Mahoney discuss the benefits and vision behind GRAMMY GO and the Recording Academy's year-round mission to bring music education and industry knowledge to creators and professionals around the world.

Learn more about GRAMMY GO and enroll now to the "Building Your Audience for Music Professionals" and "Music Production: Crafting An Award-Worthy Song" courses.

Music education is at the core of the Recording Academy's year-round mission. How does GRAMMY GO expand on this core mission?

Panos A. Panay: Learning and community are key components of the Academy. The organization has been dedicated to learning and building communities around learning and creating since its inception. GRAMMY GO is a piece in a puzzle that helps complete the picture. It creates a seamless arc between the offerings and initiatives across the Academy as a whole: from the GRAMMY Museum at the K-12 audiences through GRAMMY U's efforts with emerging professionals and creatives and all the way through the work we do with Advocacy, MusiCares, DEI, the Latin Recording Academy, Membership, and the annual GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMY GO is now the connective tissue that can create a bridge between all these initiatives across our wider organization. We aim to use it as a platform to both complete the loop and help close any gaps that may have existed. GRAMMY GO is meant to work harmoniously with everything across the Academy so that it collectively makes the organization even more impactful. 

Music creators and professionals already have several online education options available to them. What will set GRAMMY GO apart from these other platforms?

Panay: As an organization that comprises more than 20,000 of the world's most creative music professionals, we feel there is a massive source of knowledge that we believe is part of our mission, as an Academy, to help disseminate. We also view it as part of our purpose to use the Academy to help elevate other creatives and help them develop the skills they need to succeed in an ever-evolving industry.

We are entering the online music education space because we believe that there is often a gap between the more academic-oriented educational platforms that exist and the more practical-oriented knowledge for professionals to develop their careers or, even more importantly, to expand their careers in the industry. Our offerings, as a part of our partnership with Coursera, are geared toward both aspirants as well as professionals who are looking to take the next step in their careers.

The specializations are designed as learning platforms, to be taught by practitioners who are thriving in the music industry on a daily level today. What we're doing is driven by our purpose and the role that we want to be playing in both the industry and society at large as the Recording Academy.

GRAMMY GO on Coursera includes courses taught by Recording Academy members and featuring past GRAMMY winners and nominees. What does this access to the Recording Academy membership and network add to the GRAMMY GO experience?

Jonathan Mahoney: This is the Recording Academy's first creator-to-creator platform. The instructors are people who are thriving in their careers; they're doing it every day. We've got Carolyn Malachi, who's a Howard tenure track professor, but she's also an active producer who's constantly in the studio working. Joey Harris knows intimately how to succeed in the industry. He's taking his real-time knowledge and applying it to the lessons he's passing along. I see GRAMMY GO as a mentorship for and by the music community.

Panay: The Recording Academy is an organization developed by, ran by, and dedicated to the well-being of creatives. Beyond our celebration, advocacy, support, and inspiration for creatives, it's also our job to help give them the toolkits that they need to continue to succeed today. So we're taking that peer-to-peer model and applying it to the creator-to-creator model. 

Tell me more about the GRAMMY GO partnership with Coursera

Panay: Coursera is a leader in the online education space. By joining forces, we're bringing what the Academy does to a broader, global audience. Of all the partners out there, we felt Coursera best reflected our values and our approach and was the best partner for us to activate the mission of the Academy on a global level.

Imagine I'm an emerging artist or industry professional; let's say I'm a GRAMMY U member in college. Now imagine I'm an established member of the industry who's entering the 10th year of my professional career. Is GRAMMY GO for me?

Panay: Yes. I've been in the music business for 30-plus years, and I can tell you: The learning does not stop. When I completed the first GRAMMY GO specialization, there's impactful stuff that I learned. It's easy to put your head down as a professional, and you're working all day, every day. But lift your head up periodically, take stock and ask yourself, "How do I sharpen my skills? How do I invest in my skills so that I can continue to evolve at the highest possible level?" In that sense, we feel absolutely sure what we're developing is applicable to everyone.

Mahoney: We built this content with everyone in mind, including our Recording Academy membership, when we decided to make this our launch offering. We thought deeply about what would be appealing to our members. These initial offerings may work for our members, but at the same time, anyone can benefit from them.

Panay: If you've been a practitioner or a professional in some field, there is always a benefit to having somebody help you think about what you're doing instinctively in a very different way. Especially for creatives, things are so natural to them that they don't always stop to think about their own process. And sometimes you need somebody to help you unlock those different or unexplored perspectives. That's what GRAMMY GO offers.

Everybody can gain from more improvement; nobody is immune to growth. You could be Michael Jordan, but you still have a coach Phil Jackson on the sidelines to help you improve. If you're competitive, then every 1% improvement matters because that's your edge.

GRAMMY GO is like your coach in your pocket.

Panay: I like that.

Talk to us about some of the GRAMMY GO specializations being offered through Coursera. What are some of the future specializations going to focus on? And how are you selecting these forthcoming courses?

Mahoney: We're building content in an agile way so that we're responding to what the needs are in the moment and across the industry. We're taking a hard look at what we're going to build, but also how we're going to build it. We really want to be agile and quick and create valuable content that is also timely. We aim to explore the industry's needs, and then we'll build our offerings to answer those needs in real-time. That's one of the key differentiators fueling GRAMMY GO.

Panay: What distinguishes GRAMMY GO from a traditional academic institution is that we're nimble and we're able to adjust and adapt based on the various market dynamics that we, as the Recording Academy, have a front-row seat at witnessing. That's our approach: How do we use our immersion into the industry as a great gauge for the skill gaps that may exist? And how do we quickly move to fill that gap by tapping into our Academy membership?

Right now, there is complete equality around talent distribution yet complete asymmetry around the skills that are needed to help that talent reach its highest possible level. Our mission as an organization focuses on embracing and elevating all creators, irrespective of who they are, what language they speak, what passport they carry, or what music they perform.

What are some of the most valuable lessons or takeaways that users will learn from GRAMMY GO?

Mahoney: The "Building Your Audience" course is about finding your authentic self, building your brand identity around that authentic self, and figuring out who are your comparable inspirations and taking their lessons and teachings to use in your practice. 

With the "Music Production" offering, the lessons will vary for each user. If you're a beginner or completely new to music production, you're going to come away with the knowledge to be able to cut your first track. The whole goal of the "Music Production" offering is that you start out with nothing and you end up with a demo track that you can release or socialize. Now, if you are coming in as an intermediate and you've done something in the past, you'll focus on refining your craft, making it better, and enhancing it to the next level.

Panay: No matter who you are, no matter where you are — both in your journey or even your geographic location — you will get access to practical skills and impactful knowledge; there is something there that's worth investing your time and energy on. Learn as much as you want, learn on your own time, learn for however long you have, whether it's five minutes or five hours or five days. These offerings will take you from wherever you are in your journey to the next level.

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