Neil Portnow at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.com
The Recording Academy Mission
(The following were Recording Academy President/CEO and "Glee" star Matthew Morrison's remarks on the 53rd GRAMMY telecast on Sunday, Feb. 13.)
Matthew Morrison: As a kid, I always dreamed about being on the GRAMMYs. Well tonight, it really happened. I also signed up to be a member of The Recording Academy. And now, I've learned how much good work they do besides giving out GRAMMY Awards tonight — work that's very close to my heart.
So, to tell you about that, and to make sure I get invited back next year, it's my pleasure to introduce the President/CEO of The Recording Academy, and my friend, Mr. Neil Portnow.
Neil Portnow: Thanks Matthew, and keep up all the great work you do! While we celebrate this year's GRAMMY Awards tonight, The Academy focuses on the future all year-round. Our GRAMMY Foundation supports music education in high schools all across the country. This year, our GRAMMY Camp expands from Los Angeles and adds a New York experience. Visit GRAMMYintheSchools.com and apply — who knows, one day you may appear on our GRAMMY stage too!
As you can see, the future of music is in great hands — so let's hear it for Best New Artist winner tonight, Esperanza Spalding, along with some amazing high school musicians from our GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles and GRAMMY Camp Band!
Matthew Morrison: I may play a teacher on TV, but nurturing the next generation of talented music makers is a very real goal The Academy and I have in common.
Neil Portnow: And you should know that our MusiCares Foundation will continue its mission of charity to help every music person in times of need or crises, including addiction and recovery, thanks to our 20th Anniversary Campaign, which has raised over $10 million this year!
Our GRAMMY Museum right here in L.A. Live has become one of the most entertaining cultural and educational institutions in the world — check it out!
Matthew Morrison: I'm a proud member of the Museum, anybody can be! It's giving me great insight about the history of music and what we are working towards today.
Neil Portnow: I knew I liked this guy…. Now, rest assured, in the future, The Academy will continue to fight for all music makers to be compensated for their work. We will support the new broadcast services like satellite and Internet radio that actually pay creators for their work. And everyone can help give artists the ability to create the music you love by using any of the many easy and legal ways to enjoy music. We will also continue to stand for the rights of free speech for artists to express themselves through their music.
And on behalf of The Academy, I'd like to acknowledge David Geffen, who was honored last night with The Recording Academy's Industry Icon Award. Congratulations, David.
Just one more thought: At a time when we've experienced one of the most devastating economic downturns of modern times, one thing has not changed: You can always count on the commitment and determination of our creative community to keep the music playing now and forever!