meta-scriptWhat Went Down At 2023 Recording Academy New York Chapter Nominee Celebration: Musical Theater, Mayor Eric Adams & Magical Company |
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What Went Down At 2023 Recording Academy New York Chapter Nominee Celebration: Musical Theater, Mayor Eric Adams & Magical Company

Last year's party was marked by the good kind of jitters, as the show got moved and the pandemic wasn't done with us yet. This year, there was a palpable sense of relief and enthusiasm — and musical theater and the mayor took the spotlight.

GRAMMYs/Jan 30, 2023 - 11:59 pm

By all means, the 2022 the Recording Academy New York Chapter Nominee Celebration was a fantastic bash, and a welcome return to in-person reverie. But on multiple levels, the party this year was just looser. Which is no knock against last year's edition; it simply reflects the times we're living in.

This brings us to the 2023 Recording Academy New York Chapter Nominee Celebration at Spring Place, a spacious, verdant, intimately lit workspace and social club in Tribeca. Adjacent to the main space was a candlelit "conversation room"; almost nobody went for it, opting to be shoulder-to-shoulder at the bar.

Sure, some opted for masks, but there was a tangible sense of relaxation. More than that, reverie — as a special appearance from New York Mayor Eric Adams underlined.

Adams began with a reflection on the pandemic's impact on NYC, with some poetic asides about the spiritual power of music. "When you sing, when you dance, when you play an instrument, you feed something inside us — [it] feeds the emotional anatomy of our spirit," he stated. He then broke the ice.

"Slick Rick, if you only knew how many shorties I met off your songs!" Adams called out to the rapper in attendance — a recipient of the 2023 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award — to raucous laughter and cheers. "Now let's bring home the GRAMMYs!"

Aside from relief at the tail-end of a long pandemic, the 2023 New York Chapter Nominee Celebration felt looser in a more profound way. While locked inside, most of us were subjected to technological hypersaturation — our phones became like new limbs. And the everything-now demand of streaming did a number not only on our attention spans, but the value of music as a commodity.

That's all changing, said one GRAMMY-winning trombonist.

"I feel like it's a musical shift," Doug Beavers, a member of Spanish Harlem Orchestra who co-produced their latest album, Imágenes Latinas, told To him, this year's GRAMMYs nominations list — said album is up for Best Tropical Latin Album — reflects an increased grounding in artistic communion, and the here and now.

"Instead of relying on our eyes, we're going back to our ears more," Beavers continues. "I feel like what's represented is good-quality, listenable music. We're going from the streaming stuff and gimme, gimme, gimme now, to: Let's sit down with this record and really enjoy what they're trying to say with it."

It's worth stressing that the General Field is not the be-all-end-all of the GRAMMYs nominations; all fields, from American Roots Music to Global Music to Best New Age, Ambient or Chant, are of the most esteemed importance. Driving this home was the preponderance of musical theater artists on the red carpet.

While you might have to scroll down 63 sections to find that field, it's essential to what Adams called "the baddest city in the world" — and to the Recording Academy.

Jason Veasey, who performs as part of the Broadway musical "A Strange Loop," cites the importance of cast recordings to those who can't readily travel to — or live in — the Big Apple. "Until I got to New York, it was the only thing that I had," he told "All these idols that I loved, I learned about through a [vinyl] album or CD."

Flash forward to the 2023 GRAMMYs, where "A Strange Loop" is nominated for Best Musical Theater Album: Veasey is touched by the honor due to the primacy of the format. "That's how half of our fans found the show," he says. "So, with that genre and art form, it's actually one of the most important things that can happen."

When considering the weight of a GRAMMY nomination, John-Andrew Morrison — who was part of the original cast of "A Strange Loop" — looks back to his childhood abroad.

"The GRAMMYs have been something that I watched since I was a little kid in Jamaica," he tells "I've seen all these brilliant reggae artists and all of these people win, and it's been the pride of Jamaica to see that every year."

Morrison notes that getting a show to Broadway is something of a superhuman feat: to him, "a million and two things have to go right at exactly the same time." "To be able to make a Broadway debut on a show that I love in an industry that I love, and then have all of that wonderful stuff happen," he continues, "to then get nominated for a GRAMMY feels like supremely rarefied air."

Read More: 2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List

Jazz singer/songwriter Nicole Zuraitis was nominated for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals at the 2019 GRAMMYs. As she looks ahead to her upcoming album, the Christian McBride-co-produced How Love Begins, in July, she considers how the nomination changed her trajectory.

"I think [husband, drummer, composer, and fellow GRAMMY nominee] Dan [Pugach] and I were at the point in 2018 where we were working so hard, but not getting very far,” Zuraitis tells "And when we got our GRAMMYnomination… there's that validation of the hard work that we put in."

"The Recording Academy makes us want to put out the best work that we possibly can," she continues. "My best work, I think, is ahead of me."

These two worlds that can be a little niche — musical theater and jazz — are not lost on the Recording Academy, and they were tremendous presences at the 2023 New York Chapter Nominee Celebration. In a hypercompetitive city, under a global culture where pop can hold something of a monopoly, seeing these worlds so happily and generously represented was moving. (This especially applied to musical theater; folks from "MJ: The Musical," "The Phantom of the Opera," "SIX," and more were on the red carpet.)

Maybe the cultural, technological and pandemic-related squeeze is giving way, it was hard not to think. Maybe we're sitting down and really listening.

This year's annual platinum event partner was The Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment, along with annual gold event partner Great South Bay Music Group, and annual silver event partners include Concord and The Orchard. GREY GOOSE® Vodka is the official spirits partner.

A Look Inside The 2023 Recording Academy Nashville Chapter Nominee Celebration, A Tribute To Its Supportive Musical Community

Beyonce 2023 GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Beyoncé at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Beyoncé's Heartfelt Speech For Her Record-Breaking Win In 2023

Relive the night Beyoncé received a gramophone for Best Dance/Electronic Album for 'RENAISSANCE' at the 2023 GRAMMYS — the award that made her the most decorated musician in GRAMMY history.

GRAMMYs/Feb 2, 2024 - 05:12 pm

Six years after her last solo studio album, Beyoncé returned to the music industry with a bang thanks to RENAISSANCE. In homage to her late Uncle Johnny, she created a work of art inspired by the sounds of disco and house that wasn't just culturally impactful — it was history-making.

At the 2023 GRAMMYs, RENAISSANCE won Best Dance/Electronic Album. Marking Beyoncé's 32nd golden gramophone, the win gave the superstar the record for most gramophones won by an individual act.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the historic moment Queen Bey took the stage to accept her record-breaking GRAMMY at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"Thank you so much. I'm trying not to be too emotional," Beyoncé said at the start of her acceptance speech. "I'm just trying to receive this night."

With a deep breath, she began to list her praises that included God, her family, and the Recording Academy for their continued support throughout her career. 

"I'd like to thank my Uncle Johnny, who is not here, but he's here in spirit," Beyoncé proclaimed. "I'd like to thank the queer community for your love and inventing this genre."

Watch the video above for Beyoncé's full speech for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Check back to for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind. 

Tune into the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb. 4, airing live on the CBS Television Network (8-11:30 p.m. LIVE ET/5-8:30 p.m. LIVE PT) and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

A Timeline Of Beyoncé's GRAMMY Moments, From Her First Win With Destiny's Child to Making History With 'Renaissance'

Kimberly Akimbo
The cast of "Kimberly Akimbo" at the 2024 New York Chapter Nominee Celebration

Photo: Cindy Ord for Getty Images


The Recording Academy's 2024 New York Chapter Nominee Celebration: Crackling Music & Company Ahead Of The 2024 GRAMMYs

On the evening of Jan. 22, GRAMMY nominees and associated talent flooded the Edge at Hudson Yards in Midtown Manhattan for drinks and good company, ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs on Feb. 4.

GRAMMYs/Jan 24, 2024 - 08:29 pm

From the 101st floor of a Hudson Yards skyscraper, Nick Cucci, the Recording Academy's Senior Executive Director of the New York Chapter, made a proclamation. Sure, their Chapter Nominee Celebration happens every year, ahead of Music's Biggest Night. But at least one thing differentiated this edition of the annual party:

"This is the highest nominee celebration that's ever existed," he said.

Which, of course, was a reference to the panoramic view at Edge at Hudson Yards, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere and the event's Presenting Partner. But at the 2024 Chapter Nominee Celebration, the caliber of talent, and company was also incredibly lofty.

As cocktail-attired guests made their way to the skydeck, they were faced with some of music's best and brightest — either nominated at the 2024 GRAMMYs, in past ceremonies, or at the Latin GRAMMYs. Some attendees were simply present to cheer on those up for golden gramophones on Feb. 4.


*The skydeck at Edge at Hudson Yards. Photo: Johnny Nunez via Getty Images*'s first step-and-repeat encounter was with jazz pianist, composer, and producer Alex Brown, who's currently up for a GRAMMY for Passion for Bach and Coltrane, a collaborative album with Imani Winds, the Harlem Quartet, poet A.B. Spellman, and more.

"I think it's a cool category that we're part of," Brown tells of the Best Classical Compendium Category. He goes on to highlight the Academy's inclusion of disparate sounds and fusions throughout the 2024 GRAMMYs nominations — and every year's.

"The piece that we played is an interesting mix of poetry and classical music and jazz; it's a really interesting combination," Brown says. "I think it's great that the Academy has a category that recognizes that kind of project."

That said, the Academy has a long road ahead, as always; its pursuit of inclusivity in all its forms never sleeps. "I think across the board, we want to see more of everything," says Bryan Carter, who's up for a GRAMMY for Best Musical Theater Album for his work on "Some Like It Hot." "I hope there's more education for jazz, and for theater, and different forms of music."

Jerry Wonda

*Jerry Wonda. Photo: Johnny Nunez via Getty Images*

At the 2024 GRAMMYs, GRAMMY-winning vocalist and composer Arooj Aftab is up for Best Alternative Jazz Album for Love in Exile, her 2023 collaborative album with pianist Vijay Iyer and bassist and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily.

The new Best Alternative Jazz Album Category represents jazz that makes inroads into other genres, often to the point that jazziness becomes something else. Commensurately ethereal, meditative and dramatic, Love in Exile might appeal to a niche slice of the listening public.

Which is what makes this nomination even sweeter. "I think that what we put out was these long-format, kind of daring, bold scenes of feelings, and the Recording Academy totally got it," Aftab says with a smile. "And I think that's awesome."

Like Aftab, fellow GRAMMY nominee Ben Wendel — a jazz saxophonist of Kneebody fame — is easygoing amid the industry mania that surrounds GRAMMY season. He's up for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album at the 2024 GRAMMYs, for last year's All One.

"Emotionally, I'm good, man," Wendel says. "I feel overwhelmed by events like this, to be honest. So I don't even know what I'm going to feel like at the GRAMMY Awards themselves, but I'm sure it's going to be even more next-level."

Read More: How Ben Wendel's All One — A Locked-Down Sax-And-Bassoon Exploration — Was Nominated For A GRAMMY

Nicole Zuraitis, however, is feeling the heat, so close to the ceremony. The jazz vocalist is nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for How Love Begins, produced by bassist extraordinaire Christian McBride.

"I'm generally in a state of either tears or hysteria or laughter," she says. "Right now, it's really peaked."

After the crowd spilled into an adjacent ballroom to indulge in delicious snacks and an open bar, a small handful of Academy heavyweights took to the mic: Cucci, New York Chapter President Torae Carr and Chief Awards & Industry Officer Ruby Marchand.

"All of the years that you put in, all of those sweatless, sleepless nights in the studio or creating or writing or playing or whatever it is that you do," Carr said, "this is to let you know that we see you and we hear you and we feel you.

"And dammit, when we get out to LA," he added, "we're going to turn up and party, yes?" On a more serious note, Carr noted that  "The nomination is a win in itself. To be able to do what you love each and every day is a win in itself."

Marchand, a New Yorker born in the Bronx, took the stage for final remarks — and they had poignancy based on her background in the Big Apple. "It's such an exciting moment to look out in this room, because we have over 200 nominees from New York," she stated. "Congratulations, congratulations."

"We're here to honor music; we're here to honor excellence," Marchand added. Obviously, that comes from all over the planet, as the GRAMMY nominations prove every single year.

But everyone knows that the music that flows from New York is something special. And to rub shoulders and break bread with those who've scaled these heights? It's a distinct privilege.

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Nominees List

This year's presenting partner was Edge at Hudson Yards, and the platinum event partner was Mastercard. The Annual New York Chapter partners include Concord, Great South Bay Music Group, Sound Royalties, The Orchard, and The Mechanical Licensing Collective. Levain Bakery was the official cookie partner for the New York Nominee Celebration.

Lizzo GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Lizzo at the 2023 GRAMMYs

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


GRAMMY Rewind: Lizzo Thanks Prince For His Influence After "About Damn Time" Wins Record Of The Year In 2023

Watch Lizzo describe how Prince’s empowering sound led her to “dedicate my life to positive music” during her Record Of The Year acceptance speech for “About Damn Time” at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

GRAMMYs/Jan 19, 2024 - 06:00 pm

Since the start of her career, four-time GRAMMY winner Lizzo has been making music that radiates positive energy. Her Record Of The Year win for "About Damn Time" at the 2023 GRAMMYs proved that being true to yourself and kind to one another always wins.

Travel back to revisit the moment Lizzo won her award in the coveted category in this episode of GRAMMY Rewind. 

"Um, huh?" Lizzo exclaimed at the start of her acceptance speech. "Let me tell you something. Me and Adele are having a good time, just enjoying ourselves and rooting for our friends. So, this is an amazing night. This is so unexpected."

Lizzo kicked off her GRAMMY acceptance speech by acknowledging Prince's influence on her sound. "When we lost Prince, I decided to dedicate my life to making positive music," she said. "This was at a time when positive music and feel-good music wasn't mainstream at that point and I felt very misunderstood. I felt on the outside looking in. But I stayed true to myself because I wanted to make the world a better place so I had to be that change."

As tracks like "Good as Hell" and "Truth Hurts" scaled the charts, she noticed more body positivity and self-love anthems from other artists. "I'm just so proud to be a part of it," she cheered.

Most importantly, Lizzo credited staying true to herself despite the pushback for her win. "I promise that you will attract people in your life who believe in you and support you," she said in front of a tearful audience that included Beyoncé and Taylor Swift in standing ovation, before giving a shout-out to her team, family, partner and producers on the record, Blake Slatkin and Ricky Reed

Watch the video above for Lizzo's complete acceptance speech for Record Of The Year at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Check back to for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind, and be sure to tune into the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb. 4, airing live on the CBS Television Network (8-11:30 p.m. LIVE ET/5-8:30 p.m. LIVE PT) and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

10 Must-See Moments From The 2023 GRAMMYs

Harry Styles AOTY GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Harry Styles at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Mazur


GRAMMY Rewind: Harry Styles Celebrates His Fellow Nominees (And His Biggest Fan) After Album Of The Year Win In 2023

Revisit the moment Harry Styles accepted the most coveted award of the evening for 'Harry's House' and offered a heartfelt nod to his competitors — Beyoncé, Adele, Lizzo, Coldplay and more.

GRAMMYs/Jan 5, 2024 - 06:00 pm

After a wildly successful debut and sophomore record, you'd think it was impossible for Harry Styles to top himself. Yet, his third album, Harry's House, proved to be his most prolific yet.

The critically acclaimed project first birthed Styles' record-breaking, chart-topping single, "As It Was," then landed three more top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Late Night Talking," "Music for a Sushi Restaurant" and "Matilda." The album and "As It Was" scored Styles six nominations at the 2023 GRAMMYs — and helped the star top off his massive Harry's House era with an Album Of The Year win.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit Styles' big moment from last year's ceremony, which was made even more special by his superfan, Reina Lafantaisie. Host Trevor Noah (who will return as emcee for the 2024 GRAMMYs) handed the mic to Lafantaisie to announce Styles as the winner, and the two shared a celebratory hug before Styles took the mic.

"I've been so, so inspired by every artist in this category," said Styles, who was up against other industry titans like Beyoncé, Adele, Lizzo and Coldplay. "On nights like tonight, it's important for us to remember that there is no such thing as 'best' in music. I don't think any of us sit in the studio, making decisions based on what will get us [an award]."

Watch the video above to see Harry Styles' complete acceptance speech alongside his collaborators Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson. Check back to for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind, and be sure to tune into the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb. 4, airing live on the CBS Television Network (8 -11:30 p.m. LIVE ET/5-8:30 p.m. LIVE PT) and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

Here Are The Album Of The Year Nominees At The 2024 GRAMMYs