GRAMMY Museum Announces New York City Program Series, Kicking Off With Jon Batiste & Presented By City National Bank

Jon Batiste

Photo courtesy of Verve

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GRAMMY Museum Announces New York City Program Series, Kicking Off With Jon Batiste & Presented By City National Bank

The six-program series in partnership with the City of New York kicks off with Jon Batiste at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on June 17.

Recording Academy/May 26, 2022 - 07:56 pm

The GRAMMY Museum has announced a New York City program series titled “A New York Evening With…” presented by City National Bank, which includes bringing a slate of their renowned education and Public Programs to the East Coast in partnership with the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. The New York City series kicks off with GRAMMY winner Jon Batiste at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center on Friday, June 17. The Museum will present six programs through the end of 2022 at various venues throughout the city.

The partnership with the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment also includes bringing the Museum’s education programming to the city with two Summer Sessions, which are free five-day songwriting workshops for students currently enrolled in high school. The program provides valuable resources to help build a solid foundation in songwriting. The Summer Sessions will be presented the weeks of July 11 and July 18 and will have 40 slots available for students. Each week-long session will take place at CUNY Graduate Center and is free of charge to students. More information on applications and sign-up are available here.

“The GRAMMY Museum prides itself on our unique and exceptional approach to celebrating music through our Public and Education Programs,” said Michael Sticka, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Museum. “I’m thrilled that in partnership with the City of New York and Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, we can begin this new journey of what we aim to be a long-term programmatic presence in New York.”

"I am thrilled to welcome the GRAMMY Museum's well respected educational and Public Program series to New York City this summer, kicking-off with none other than Jon Batiste," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "These efforts align perfectly, not only with our vision to support future musicians who might one day contribute to New York City’s creative economy, but also with our city's own New York Music Month initiative, offering concerts, workshops and free rehearsal space throughout the month of June."

“City National Bank has long supported the entertainment industry and the arts – from music, to film, to Broadway and more,” said Linda Duncombe, Chief Marketing, Product and Digital Officer of City National Bank. “We are proud to partner with the GRAMMY Museum and City of New York to offer programs like ‘A New York Evening With...’ to grow the music community of New York City.”

Tickets for “A New York Evening With Jon Batiste” go on sale Weds, June 1. More artists and dates to be announced soon. For more information regarding advanced ticket reservations, please visit HERE.

Since the Museum first opened in 2008, it has offered more than 1,200 Public Programs with a diverse list of celebrated artists, both in its intimate 200-seat Clive Davis Theater in Los Angeles and viewed for free on the Museum’s official online streaming service, COLLECTION:live.

GRAMMY Museum Appoints Jasen Emmons To Chief Curator & VP Of Curatorial Affairs

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

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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*

Bedouin

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*

Rap-Unzel

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*

Trousdale

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

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

Image courtesy of the Recording Academy

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

As part of the organization's 2023 New Member Class, more than 2,400 diverse music creators have joined the Recording Academy. As per the Academy's ongoing resolve to render its membership more inclusive, 50 percent of the new class are people of color.

Recording Academy/Nov 30, 2023 - 01:59 pm

The Recording Academy's commitment to remaking its membership isn't just dogged and ongoing: it's the kind of thing that breaks records.

More than 2,400 diverse music creators have joined the Recording Academy as part of the organization's 2023 New Member Class. In a demonstration of the Academy's commitment to remaking its overall membership, 50 percent of the new class are people of color, 46 percent of this year's class are under the age of 40, and 37 percent are women.

Full statistics surrounding the demographics of the new class can be found here, and a snapshot of the Recording Academy's 2023 DEI initiatives can be found here.

Like the GRAMMYs — which return Feb. 4 — the Recording Academy's membership model is community-driven and peer-reviewed to create a more diverse and engaged membership base that represents all corners of the music industry.

Since the Academy's 2019 implementation of the new member model — which refined the new member submission process — membership among people of color has swelled from 24 percent to 38 percent. The percentage of women members has also increased, from 26 percent to 30 percent.

The Recording Academy is happy to report that it's 98 percent of the way to reaching its goal of adding 2,500 women Voting Members by 2025. The Academy is set to achieve this milestone a year ahead of schedule, in 2024.

"I'm proud as our organization continues to evolve and build a membership body that reflects the diverse talents and backgrounds that make up our music community," Harvey Mason jr., the CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. "Our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, however, is an ongoing effort.

"While we celebrate our progress, we also acknowledge that there's still more work that must be done," Mason continued. "Our members play a crucial role in everything we do, so representation is integral to our mission of supporting and uplifting music makers. I'm thrilled to welcome this year's new class and look forward to watching them engage with our Academy for years to come." 

The Recording Academy offers three types of membership: Voting Membership for recording creators, Professional Membership for music businesspeople, and GRAMMY U for the next generation aspiring to a career in the music industry.

The final round of voting for the 2024 GRAMMYs is open from Dec. 14, 2023  Jan. 4, 2024, and determines the winners of the GRAMMY Awards across all 94 categories. Voting Members, including those welcomed in the 2023 new class, are eligible to vote for the GRAMMY Awards.

In addition to voting in the GRAMMY Awards process, members can submit product for GRAMMY Awards consideration, propose amendments to GRAMMY Awards rules, run for a Recording Academy Board position or Committee, vote in Chapter elections, support fellow musicians through advocacy efforts and MusiCares, engage with our Producers & Engineers Wing, Songwriters & Composers Wing, Black Music Collective, and more.

For more information on the Recording Academy's membership process and requirements, visit here — and stay tuned as more exciting news regarding membership comes down the pike!

Here's What Went Down At The Recording Academy's New York Chapter GRAMMY Career Day

GRAMMY Museum Grant Program Awards $200,000 For Music Research & Sound Preservation
Front entrance of the GRAMMY Museum

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy

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GRAMMY Museum Grant Program Awards $200,000 For Music Research & Sound Preservation

The funds will directly support programs that deal with archiving and preservation, as well as research initiatives that analyze the impact of music on human development.

Recording Academy/Nov 28, 2023 - 03:59 pm

Year-round, the GRAMMY Museum commits itself to emphasizing how music enhances the human experience. As such, it just committed significant funds to this continuous inquiry.

On Nov. 28, the GRAMMY Museum Grant Program announced that $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 14 recipients in the United States to further a spectrum of research on a multitude of subjects, as well as support numerous archiving and preservation programs.

"This year marks the 36th year that the GRAMMY Museum and Recording Academy have partnered to provide much deserved funding for music research and preservation projects across the United States and Canada. During that time, we have awarded more than $8.3 million to 479 grantees," Michael Sticka, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Museum, said in a statement.

"It is our vision to lead in creating a world in which shared love of music sparks curiosity, creativity, and community," Sticka continued. "We are honored to help these incredible projects continue to inspire the music, science, and technology world of tomorrow."

Graciously funded by the Recording Academy, the GRAMMY Museum Grant Program provides funding annually to organizations and individuals, supporting efforts that advance the archiving and preservation of the recorded sound heritage of the Americas for future generations, as well as research projects related to the impact of music on the human condition.

In 2008, the GRAMMY Museum Grant Program expanded its categories to include assistance grants for individuals and small to mid-sized organizations to aid collections held by individuals and organizations that may not have access to the expertise needed to create a preservation plan.

The assistance planning process, which may include inventorying and stabilizing a collection, articulates the steps to be taken to ultimately archive recorded sound materials for future generations. 

A list of beneficiaries can be found below, and more information about the program can be found at www.grammymuseum.org.

Scientific Research Grantees

Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience - Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School — Boston, Massachusetts

Awarded: $19,848

Children with ADHD display vulnerabilities in rhythm perception and motor production that interfere with everyday activities. This project will characterize behavioral and neurophysiological profiles of auditory-perceptual difficulties in pediatric ADHD and their associations with motor performance. Findings have the potential to inform the individualized treatment of auditory-motor difficulties in pediatric ADHD, including a music-based intervention.

New York University — New York, New York

Awarded: $19,953

Increasing use of smart devices and social media among teenagers has led to concerns regarding their impact on mental health and cognition. This project aims to use digital art-based interventions (music, visual arts) to transform adolescent social media usage into stimulating activities, to mitigate negative effects of excessive 'passive' use of these platforms. We hypothesize that these will promote plasticity in brain networks previously described as impaired by social media overuse.

Northwestern University — Chicago, Illinois

Awarded: $20,000

This project will examine the use of singing and breathwork as an intervention for mitigating stress and increasing the psychological and social well-being of children globally. Using biomedical sensors, psychological measures and behavioral analysis to holistically evaluate effects, the goal is to improve understanding around and provide evidence for how music can serve as an accessible, low-cost response to mental health concerns across diverse cultural contexts.

University of Toronto — Mississauga, Ontario

Awarded: $20,000

When words are put to song, they are neurally tracked more accurately than spoken words — but no studies have related neural tracking to real-world outcomes like comprehension. Using mobile electroencephalography (EEG) in the classroom, this project will determine how neural tracking of song and speech relates to comprehension, intelligibility and memory. The results will inform basic science, classroom instruction and interventions for individuals with dyslexia.

Preservation Assistance Grantees

Colin Morgan — Sedro-Woolley, Washington

Awarded: $5,000

This project will implement the archive of Wadada Leo Smith, an established and well known creative musician, composer and trumpet player. An early member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and one of the leading forces in music and education since the 1960s, Mr. Smith has advanced a wide variety of styles and techniques in the contemporary arena. The archive will be a definitive repository of Mr. Smith's work in music.

Painted Bride Art Center, as fiscal sponsor for Philadelphia Jazz Legacy Project — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Awarded: $5,000

The Philadelphia Jazz Legacy Project, through its fiscal sponsor Painted Bride Art Center, will plan the digitization and dissemination of 77 interviews with Philadelphia jazz musicians. Conducted from the early 1980s to early 2020s, the interviews are a treasure trove of jazz history, documenting the lives and careers of both world-famous and locally based Philadelphia jazz musicians.

Regan Sommer McCoy — New York, New York

Awarded: $5,000

The Mixtape Museum will begin planning, assessment and preparation to archive and preserve its recorded sound collections. These recordings contain some of the earliest sounds of hip-hop and one-of-a-kind mixtapes by fans and practitioners. The goal is to make these recordings available for research and use by the public.

Rico Washington — New York, New York

Awarded: $5,000

This project will preserve the sound recordings of Johnnie Mae Matthews, an influential African American entrepreneur in Detroit's music industry who shaped the careers of future stars such as the Temptations, Diana Ross and Motown mogul Berry Gordy. By digitizing the master tapes of her solo recordings and her record label catalog, this project corrects the erasure of African American women's contributions, highlighting their vital role in shaping music history.

Preservation Implementation 

Cape Breton University, Beaton Institute — Sydney, Nova Scotia

Awarded: $16,699

Founded in 1949, the Rodeo Records/Banff Collection is the most comprehensive example of significant regional and national Canadian commercial recordings in existence. This project will complete the digitization of at-risk master recordings and 78 rpm records, improve preservation methods for the physical collection, and provide greater online access for researchers.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum — Nashville, Tennessee

Awarded: $20,000

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will assess, catalog, re-house, and make accessible a collection of approximately 8,160 radio transcription discs containing historically significant recordings. Select recordings from the collection will then be prioritized for digitization in the second phase of the project, based on preservation needs. The collection features interviews and performances with a variety of country music artists.

East Tennessee State University — Johnson City, Tennessee

Awarded: $20,000

The Archives of Appalachia at ETSU will clean and digitize 246 recordings from the Folk Festival of the Smokies in Cosby, Tennesee (1967-1999) and the Grayson County Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention in Independence, Virginia (1968-1979). These recordings contain unique performances that highlight old-time and traditional Appalachian music.

Kronos Performing Arts Association — San Francisco, California

Awarded: $12,500

This project will preserve and provide public access to content from the Kronos Hour and Radio Kronos broadcasts (1984-1991). Distributed by American Public Media, the programs feature recordings of new work by Kronos Quartet and guest artists, along with interviews of many prominent musicians and composers. The collection captures a unique view of the late 20th 

century cultural landscape across many musical genres.

University of Iowa Libraries — Iowa City, Iowa

Awarded: $11,000

The University of Iowa Libraries will digitize, preserve, transcribe, and translate Czech music and recitations on cylinder dating from 1903-1908 from two labels: Ed. Jedlička and Columbia. The Jedlička recordings constitute some of the earliest recordings made for a specific ethnic group, and include music, poetry, stories, and comedy. The Columbia recordings are rare European issues of Czech music and comedy.

University of North Texas — Denton, Texas

Awarded: $20,000

This project will digitally preserve an estimated 150 hours of interviews, conducted or collected by former NPR host and producer Tim Owens. The collection includes major jazz artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Percy Heath, Hampton Hawes, Milt Jackson, Arif Mardin, Tony Bennett, Jay McShann, and others. Once digitized, these items will be preserved in and accessible via the UNT Digital Library.

Revisit The 2023 Texas Chapter's Creators Summit: Discussions, Performances & More

The Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter Celebrates The NEXT Class Of 2023: Building Community For Future Leaders
Participants of the Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter's NEXT Class of 2023

Graphic Courtesy of the Recording Academy; Source Images Courtesy of Participants

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The Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter Celebrates The NEXT Class Of 2023: Building Community For Future Leaders

Founded by the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter in 2014, the NEXT Class program provides real-life experiences to rising creators and industry professionals.

Recording Academy/Oct 18, 2023 - 10:12 pm

The Recording Academy has been devoted to supporting the progression of musical excellence for more than six decades. Through its NEXT Class program, founded in 2014 by the organization's Los Angeles Chapter, voting and professional members 21-35 years of age are provided real-life experiences to foster their budding careers as they begin their paths as future leaders of the music industry. 

The NEXT Class of 2023 featured 15 accomplished participants from various industries, backgrounds and professional experiences. The students participated in multiple Mentoring Circles with esteemed Recording Academy members and gained networking opportunities to grow a deeper understanding of the industry. Areas of focus included music business, music licensing & music supervision, music marketing & technology, production & engineering, and songwriting. 

"Here is the NEXT Class of 2023, innovative, devoted, globally sound and readied for future success. What an honor to congratulate our NEXT Class of 2023 on their participation and announcement. I look forward to attracting even more stellar talent in the future," Qiana Conley Akinro, Sr. Executive Director of the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter, said.

"At the Recording Academy, we are in a unique position that allows us to build community and connect professionals in the music industry that might not usually have the opportunity to do so. The NEXT Class of 2023 is a prime example of this community building in action," Luke Savage, Operations Manager of the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter, said. "Up-and-coming creators and professionals were able to network and learn from each other in intimate Mentor Circles, inspiring future collaborations and even friendships among the classmates and mentors." 

To celebrate the NEXT Class of 2023, the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter is highlighting some of this year's participants and mentors. Get to know the NEXT Class of 2023 in their own words.

"There is nothing that I enjoy more than sharing my industry knowledge, experience and perspective with the next generation. At the same time, I have learned so much from them and it has helped guide me and my company as we look to embrace trends that will connect our artists with their fans in a deeper way." – Jonathan Azu, NEXT Class of 2023 Mentor

"When I received the acceptance email into the NEXT Class program, my 'self-value' went up! Definitely felt excited and grateful that my work in the music community was being appreciated by the Recording Academy. Within the NEXT Class program, I had the opportunity to be mentored by JoJo Villanueva in the music supervision division. What a pleasure! Big love to the staff at the Los Angeles Chapter: Luke Savage, Qiana Conley, Samantha Takemori, Anngela Hanks. Looking forward to doing more, because when we learn, we create value, and we share that with others we connect with." – Jared Oluwa, NEXT Class of 2023 Participant

"NEXT Class provides connection between fellow creatives across the wide gamut – from developing to established – opening up a wide dialogue and fostering relationships, which are invaluable. Throughout my career thus far, I have found visibility and access to be two highly significant commodities in the current music industry landscape. NEXT promotes both as part of its mission. So happy to have been welcomed into the NEXT Class community!" – Alexandra Petkovski, NEXT Class of 2023 Participant

"I thoroughly enjoyed the chat that I had as a mentor during the NEXT Class program. My hope was to have a group of mentees who were eager to hear about my experience as well as share some of their own experiences. The group was very engaging, asked a lot of questions, and were in tune with wanting to learn, even outside of their particular industries. I left the chat feeling inspired, and I hope the mentees did as well." – Kendra Ellis, NEXT Class of 2023 Mentor

"Being a part of NEXT Class of 2023 was an incredibly special experience for me. I learned a lot from unique insights from incredible songwriting mentors like JP Saxe and Eric Bellinger, and I got to connect with exceptionally talented, like-minded peers across many genres. As a fairly recent addition to the Recording Academy, the experience left me feeling warmly welcomed into the GRAMMY family. I would highly recommend anyone who is thinking of applying for the program to do so!" – Mike Casey, NEXT Class of 2023 Participant

"Being a part of the NEXT Class of 2023 has broadened my mind and my network. Not only did I get to meet like-minded individuals in my cohort, but I had the privilege of speaking with an industry leader in the sync placement and music licensing world, and that connection has led to other connections that have created opportunities for my organization and the musicians we support. My goal in applying for the NEXT Class program was to learn new things and meet people that can help me further my mission of providing opportunities to and creating avenues for success for neurodivergent musicians. This goal was exceeded, and I'm looking forward to participating in other programs and initiatives that the Recording Academy, specifically the Los Angeles Chapter, has to offer." – Ifunanya Nweke, NEXT Class of 2023 Participant

"The NEXT Class program gave me a mentor who immediately changed my life. We've walked a very similar path, and his success has motivated me to keep pushing toward every goal I've set. I'm blessed to continue working with the Recording Academy on so many different levels." – Cameron Parsons, NEXT Class of 2023 Participant

The Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter congratulates the NEXT Class of 2023 participants and mentors!

Meet the NEXT Class of 2023 Participants:

  • Shalev Alon

  • Pamela Charbit

  • Eddy Kenzo

  • Cameron Parsons

  • Courtney Passikoff

  • Brittany Perry

  • Brandon Holman

  • Ifunanya Nweke

  • Jared Oluwa

  • Tia P.

  • Randy Slaugh

  • Mike Casey

  • Kate Diaz

  • Alexandra Petkovski

  • Rhea Raj 

Meet the NEXT Class of 2023 Mentors:

  • JP Saxe – Singer/songwriter

  • Eric Bellinger – Singer/songwriter

  • Jonathan Azu – Founder and CEO at Culture Collective

  • Jojo Villanueva – SVP, Music Creative Affairs at Sony Pictures Entertainment

  • Kendra Ellis Johnson – VP of Marketing for Music, Film & TV Soundtracks at Atlantic Records

  • Brian Lucey – Mastering engineer and owner at Magic Garden Mastering

  • Kizzo – Record producer, songwriter, and music entrepreneur

  • Dale Becker – Engineer at Becker Mastering

Voting and Professional Members within the age range of 21-35, at the time the application goes live, are eligible to apply to the NEXT Class program. NEXT Class of 2024 application details will be available to LA Chapter Members in November 2023.

Learn more about the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter and its initiatives.

The Recording Academy Proudly Invites Nearly 3,700 Music Creators & Professionals To Join Its 2023 New Member Class