Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Luis Fonsi
Photo: Mike Coppola/WireImage.com
Jason Mraz, Luis Fonsi, Sara Bareilles Among Creators At 2018 GRAMMY Weekend Congressional Briefings
Each year, GRAMMY Weekend brings policymakers and music creators together to highlight the importance of music within our communities and give Members of Congress a deeper look behind the music and its creators.
This year, a bipartisan group of members of Congress and key staff started Saturday backstage at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the home of the 60th GRAMMY Awards. They received an exclusive tour to learn about the technology required to produce the telecast directly from the producers, engineers and other tech professionals that make the show happen. Attendees also learned about how the show uses wireless microphones and relies on spectrum frequency coordination, an issue recently brought to the attention of the FCC.
Next, members of Congress took part in an afternoon briefing — Up Close with GRAMMY Nominees — at Glass House Tavern. They heard from Songwriters of North America Executive Director and songwriter Michelle Lewis, followed by performances from GRAMMY winner Lisa Loeb ("Stay (I Missed You)") and GRAMMY nominee Shelly Peiken ("B****").
The assembled group then headed next door to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, home of the GRAMMY-nominated hit musical "Waitress." Stars of the show Sara Bareilles (who composed the score) and Jason Mraz were on hand, along with Mraz's record producer John Alagia to answer questions and discuss the realities of being a recording artist in the digital age and the songwriting process while also expanding on their love of working on Broadway before proceedings concluded for the evening.
On Sunday, members of Congress attended a final briefing, Behind the Scenes at the GRAMMYs, where they had the chance to see some of today's biggest artists at soundchecks for Music's Biggest Night while also hearing from the Academy's Executive In Charge of Production & Chief Business Development Officer Branden Chapman on the production of the show. To cap off a weekend of seeing live music in action, "Despacito" singer/songwriter Luis Fonsi stopped by to check in with Members of Congress.
The legislators left New York with a greater understanding of the challenges of today's music makers, from the top stars to those who work behind the scenes.