2023 Music Educator Award: 207 Quarterfinalists Announced
Music Educator Award

Photo Courtesy of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum


2023 Music Educator Award: 207 Quarterfinalists Announced

A total of 207 music teachers from 180 cities have been announced as quarterfinalists for the 2023 Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum.

GRAMMYs/Jun 8, 2022 - 06:29 pm

A total of 207 music teachers from 180 cities have been announced as quarterfinalists for the 2023 Music Educator Award, a joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum. In total, nearly 1,500 initial nominations were submitted. In addition to the quarterfinalists, 125 legacy applicants from 2022 will also be eligible to win the award this year. The semifinalists will be announced in September.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators — kindergarten through college, public and private schools — who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2023, which takes place ahead of the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The 10th annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 65th GRAMMY Awards and a range of GRAMMY Week events. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

The 2023 GRAMMY nominations are officially here. See the complete list of nominees across all 91 GRAMMY categories.

Fifteen semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants. The matching grants provided to the schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Museum’s Education Champion, Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.

The Music Educator Award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

Learn more about the Music Educator Award.

See the full list of the 2023 Music Educator Award quarterfinalists below:


Name School City State
Phil Aguglia Kenmore East High School Tonawanda New York
John Aguilar Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Seattle Washington
Heather Akers Central Middle School Dover Delaware
Calandria Allen West Feliciana Middle School Saint Francisville Louisiana
Eric Allen Western Middle School for the Arts Louisville Kentucky
Abigail Alwin Clague Middle School Ann Arbor Michigan
David Amos Heritage Middle School Painesville Ohio
Bonnie Anderson Miller’s Point Elementary School Converse Texas
Justin Antos Dwight D. Eisenhower High School Blue Island Illinois
Rich Armstrong Waxahachie High School Waxahachie Texas
Luke Aumann Appleton North High School Appleton Wisconsin
Elizabeth Baker Ilima Intermediate School Ewa Beach Hawaii
William Bares UNC Asheville Asheville North Carolina
Andre Barnes Science Park High School Newark New Jersey
Conesha Washington-Barron Lanier High School Jackson Mississippi
Lyndra Bastian Woodstock High School Woodstock Illinois
William Bennett Cane Bay High School Summerville South Carolina
Randell Bertsche Conner Middle School Hebron Kentucky
Heather Bice Ridgeview High School Orange Park Florida
Mario Boccali Cabrillo Middle School Ventura California
Cherie Bowe Pascagoula High School Pascagoula Mississippi
Charlie Bradberry Iowa Park High School Iowa Park Texas
Justin Britt Kingston Public Schools Kingston Oklahoma
William Brown FJ Turner High School Beloit Wisconsin
Ryan Bulgarelli Loyalsock Township High School Williamsport Pennsylvania
Shantavia Burchette East Side High School Newark New Jersey
John Burn Homestead High School Cupertino California
Alexander Busby Oviedo High School Oviedo Florida
Aaron Bush Foxborough High School Foxborough Massachusetts
Meg Byrne Pleasant Valley High School Bettendorf Iowa
Leonard Al Campbell Jr. Westbury High School Houston Texas
Brett Carroll Burbank High School Burbank California
Elizabeth Carter Snowden School Memphis Tennessee
Philip Carter O'Fallon Township High School O'Fallon Illinois
Francis Cathlina University of Memphis Memphis Tennessee
Amberleigh Cellak Starbuck World IB Middle School Racine Wisconsin
Tiffany Chiang Mark Twain I.S. 239 Brooklyn New York
Ernesta Chicklowski Roosevelt Elementary Tampa Florida
Michael Coelho Ipswich High School Ipswich Massachusetts
Leah VanDoran Cohen Ewa Makai Middle School Ewa Beach Hawaii
Cory Joy Craig Benton Intermediate School Benton Louisiana
Christina Crivelli South Fayette Intermediate School McDonald Pennsylvania
Christine Cumberledge Central Junior High School Euless Texas
Austin Cunningham KIPP Austin Brave High School Austin Texas
Pamela Dawson DeSoto High School DeSoto Texas
Kelly DeHaan Mountain Ridge High School Herriman Utah
Maria Del Valle Brin The Equity Project Charter School New York New York
Heather Dipasquale Todd County Middle School Elkton Kentucky
Antoine Dolberry P.S. 103 Hector Fontanez School Bronx New York
Jack A. Eaddy, Jr. Western Carolina University Cullowhee North Carolina
Dominique Eade New England Conservatory of Music Boston Massachusetts
Benjamin Easley Nolensville High School Nolensville Tennessee
Brandon Elliott Moorpark College Moorpark California
Jasmine Faulkner Polaris Expeditionary Learning School Fort Collins Colorado
Daniel James Felton DeLaSalle High School Minneapolis Minnesota
Nicholas Fernandez Bentonville High School Bentonville Arkansas
Kelly Ford Siena Heights University Adrian Michigan
Cathryn Fowler Health Careers High School San Antonio Texas
Marisa Frank Nashville Classical Charter School Nashville Tennessee
Jasmine Fripp KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School Nashville Tennessee
Jorge L. Garcia Elias Herrera Middle School Laredo Texas
Jacob Garcia Tennyson Middle School Waco Texas
Tina Gibson Jefferson County Traditional Middle School Louisville Kentucky
Alex Gittelman Haverford Middle School Havertown Pennsylvania
Guillermo Gonzalez James A. Garfield High School Los Angeles California
John Gordon Odessa High School Townsend Delaware
Mansa Gory Denzel Washington School of the Arts Mount Vernon New York
Deanna Grandstaff Cecil Intermediate School McDonald Pennsylvania
Jessica Gronberg Hawkes Bluff Elementary Davie Florida
Melanie Gunn Whitman Middle School Seattle Washington
Amanda Hanzlik Edwin O. Smith High School Storrs Connecticut
Marvin Haywood John Ehret High School Marrero Louisiana
Colette Hebert Yonkers Public Schools Yonkers New York
Kristin Howell Syosset High School Syosset New York
Emmanuel Hudson Booker T. Washington High School Shreveport Louisiana
Karla Hulne Blair-Taylor Middle & High School Blair Wisconsin
(Andrea) Dalene Husky Chandler Traditional Academy-Liberty Campus Chandler Arizona
Mia Ibrahim Health Opportunities High School Bronx New York
Luis Ingels BASIS Independent Brooklyn Brooklyn New York
Justin Janer Pinewood School Middle Campus Los Altos California
Daryl Jessen Dakota Valley School North Sioux City South Dakota
Mary Johnson Jardine Elementary Topeka Kansas
De’Evin Johnson Duncanville High School Duncanville Texas
Amir Jones Thomas W. Harvey High School Painesville Ohio
Jean-Marie Kent Roosevelt High School Seattle Washington
Brandon Kiesgen Perry High School Gilbert Arizona
Allison Kline Northwestern Lehigh High School New Tripoli Pennsylvania
Rod Kosterman Rockwall-Heath High School Rockwall Texas
Joshua Krohn Brent Elementary School Washington District of Columbia
Sarah Labovitz Arkansas State University Jonesboro Arkansas
Eli Lambie Washington Lands Elementary School Moundsville West Virginia
J. Alan Landers Lakenheath High School Lakenheath New Jersey
David Leach Pioneer High School Ann Arbor Michigan
Jeffrey Leager Central Middle School Dover Delaware
Heather Leppard Girls Academic Leadership Academy Los Angeles California
Hope Lewis Charles O. Dickerson High School Trumansburg New York
Angie Liss Howe High School Howe Texas
Christopher Little Jim Hill High School Jackson Mississippi
Meredith Lord Burncoat High School Worcester Massachusetts
Christian Lozano Canyon Springs High School Moreno Valley California
Brendon Lucas Nyack Middle School Nyack New York
Christian Lucas Mariners Christian School Costa Mesa California
Andrew Macaione Benavides STEAM Academy Aurora Illinois
Kurtina Cyntel Maholmes Sykes Elementary School Jackson Mississippi
Thomas Mann W. Charles Akins Early College High School Austin Texas
Jessica Martin Crosby Park Elementary School Lawton Oklahoma
Jesus Martinez Sam Houston High School Arlington Texas
Alison McCarrey Romig Middle School Anchorage Alaska
Angie McDaniel Forest Creek Elementary Round Rock Texas
Kevin McDonald Wellesley High School Wellesley Massachusetts
Matt McKagan Lindero Canyon Middle School Agoura Hills California
Brian McMath Northwest Guilford High School Greensboro North Carolina
Phillip McMullen Silver Creek Central Schools Silver Creek New York
Tracy Meldrum Verrado High School Buckeye Arizona
Xochilt Melendez Munguia Gainesville Middle School Gainesville Virginia
A.J. Merlino Albright College Reading Pennsylvania
Kris Milby Greenup County High School Greenup Kentucky
Jasper Miranda Coleman ISD Coleman Texas
Ashleigh Moffit Gateway Science Academy Middle School Saint Louis Missouri
Dana Monteiro Frederick Douglass Academy New York New York
Shelby Montgomery George Jenkins High School Lakeland Florida
David Moore Inspire Charter Academy Baton Rouge Louisiana
Marcus Morris Dorman High School Roebuck South Carolina
Ryan Moseley Appoquinimink High School Middletown Delaware
David Moss West Hopkins School Nebo Kentucky
Deborah Muhlenbruck-Fleischer Barry and June Gunderson Middle School Las Vegas Nevada
Jenny Neff The University of the Arts Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Ailisa Newhall Inglemoor High School Kenmore Washington
Trevor Nicholas Senn Arts at Nicholas Senn High School Chicago Illinois
Vicki Nichols Grandview Elementary Grandview Texas
Heather Niederer Navarrete Elementary Chandler Arizona
Adam Nobile Big Spring High School Newville Pennsylvania
Benjamin Noyes Hillsboro High School Hillsboro Oregon
Tanner Oglesby Bryant High School Bryant Arkansas
Jeremy Overbeck Century High School Bismarck North Dakota
John Pachence Penn State University, Abington College Abington Pennsylvania
Donald Edward Padgett Hartford Conservatory School of Music Hartford Connecticut
Jennifer Page Niles North High School Skokie Illinois
Robert Pate Jr. L.W. Higgins High School Marrero Louisiana
Carrie Pawelski Jefferson Middle School Jamestown New York
Jordan Peters Dr. E Alma Flagg School Newark New Jersey
Sedric Pinkney O. Henry Middle School Austin Texas
Brendan Pitts Berrien High School Nashville Georgia
Matthew Pitts Robert JC Rice Elementary School Gilbert Arizona
Coutney Powers South Philadelphia High School Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Natalie Pratt Brentwood High School Brentwood Tennessee
Harvey G. Price Jr. Muskogee High School Muskogee Oklahoma
William Rank Oak Prairie Junior High School Lockport Illinois
Brett Rankin Wilde Lake High School Columbia Maryland
Annie Ray Annandale High School Annandale Virginia
Tracy Resseguie Staley High School Kansas City Missouri
Bethany Robinson Noblesville High School Noblesville Indiana
Marcos Rodriguez Avant Garde Academy of Broward Hollywood Florida
John Ross Appalachian State University Boone North Carolina
Nikia Russell Success Preparatory @ Thurgood Marshall New Orleans Louisiana
Giovanni Santos La Sierra University Riverside California
Mathew Schick Crescenta Valley High School La Crescenta California
Kyle Schoeller Northside Elementary Rogers Arkansas
Ruth Schwartz Chugiak High School Chugiak Alaska
Laura Shapovalov Walden III Middle School Racine Wisconsin
Jim Sheffer Medford Memorial Middle School Medford New Jersey
Matthew Shephard Meridian Early College High School Sanford Michigan
Shahniz Shirazi Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics Phoenix Arizona
Katie Silcott Olentangy Shanahan Middle School Lewis Center Ohio
Dylan Sims York Middle School York South Carolina
Thomas Slater Chestnut Oaks Middle School Sumter South Carolina
Michele Slone Urbana Elementary and Jr. High School Urbana Ohio
Tony Small Pallotti Arts Academy Laurel Maryland
Benjamin Smith Escalante Middle School Durango Colorado
Andrew Smith Charlotte Central School Charlotte Vermont
Ashleigh Spatz Burgess Peterson Elementary Atlanta Georgia
James Spence Berta Cabaza Middle School San Benito Texas
Wayne Splettstoeszer Torrington High School Torrington Connecticut
David Starnes Kennesaw Mountain High School Kennesaw Georgia
Elizabeth Steege Case High School Racine Wisconsin
Jonathan Steltzer Wayne County High School Jesup Georgia
Lawrence Stoffel California State University, Northridge Los Angeles California
Tyler Swick Robert and Sandy Ellis Elementary Henderson Nevada
Cami Tedoldi Foxborough High School Foxborough Massachusetts
Kylie Teston Leonardtown High School Leonardtown Maryland
Timothy Thomas Basic Academy of International Studies Henderson Nevada
Kaitlynn Tobias Lake Asbury Elementary School Green Cove Springs Florida
Jonathan Todd Crestdale Middle School Matthews North Carolina
Michael Tosh Chapel Hill ISD High School Mount Pleasant Texas
Matthew Trevino Roan Forest Elementary San Antonio Texas
Susan Trost Gateway Elementary Conneaut Ohio
Alexis True Thomas Downey High School Modesto California
Alice Tsui New Bridges Elementary Brooklyn New York
Gregory Urban Dunedin Highland Middle School Dunedin Florida
Jon Usher Hidden Springs Elementary School Moreno Valley California
Michael Vasquez Charles L. Kuentz Jr. Elementary Helotes Texas
Aaron Vogel Mountain Ridge High School Glendale Arizona
Derrick Walker Cedar Hill High School Cedar Hill Texas
Timothy Wallner Juan Navarro Early College High School Austin Texas
Antwuan Walters Heights High School Houston Texas
Bryen Warfield Homestead High School Fort Wayne Indiana
Sarah Wehmeier Aparicio Waukesha South High School Waukesha Wisconsin
Tammy White Kiser Middle School Greensboro North Carolina
Christopher White Hickory Ridge High School Harrisburg North Carolina
Alexander Wilga Davenport Central High School Davenport Iowa
Tyron Williams New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities IV Far Rockaway New York
Krista Williams Chastang-Fournier Mobile Alabama
Kelly Winovich Northgate Middle & Senior High School Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Hayley Winslow Snow Canyon Middle School St. George Utah
John Woodrome Permian High School Odessa Texas
Tammy Yi Chapman University Orange California
Ronnie Ziccardi Avonworth Elementary School Pittsburgh Pennsylvania


Name School City State
Keely (O’Hara) Abeln Parkway South Middle School Ballwin Missouri
Adrian Adams Richland Northeast High School Columbia South Carolina
Shirene Agahi-Patterson Denver South High School Denver Colorado
John Aguilar Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Seattle Washington
David Allinder Shades Valley High School Birmingham Alabama
Kathryn Ananda-Owens St. Olaf College Northfield Minnesota
Jeanne Andrews Pauline Petway Elementary School Vineland New Jersey
Tristianne Asbury Noble High School Noble Oklahoma
Michelle Bade West View Elementary Muncie Indiana
Andrew Bennett Fredonia High School Fredonia New York
Gregory Bennett Middletown High School Middletown New York
Brandon Benson J. U. Blacksher School Uriah Alabama
Gary Bernice Springfield High School of Science and Technology Springfield Massachusetts
Robert Bertke St. Francis School Louisville Kentucky
Monica Bertran St. Charles East High School St. Charles Illinois
Justin Binek Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City Kansas
Michael Blostein Averill Park High School Averill Park New York
Darrell Boston Loretto High School Loretto Tennessee
Andrew Bowerly Tenino High School & Middle School Tenino Washington
Jonathan Boysen Eastside Catholic School Sammamish Washington
Sedalia Brown Christel House Watanabe Manual High School Indianapolis Indiana
Matthew Brusseau Davie County High School Mocksville North Carolina
Ben Burge Jones College Ellisville Mississippi
Teresa Cameron Eastside Elementary School Lake City Florida
Jessica Campbell Legacy Traditional School - NW Tucson Tucson Arizona
Jennifer Canales Weeksville Elementary Elizabeth City North Carolina
Helen Capehart Bridgeport Middle School Bridgeport Texas
Marcos Carreras Springfield Conservatory of The Arts Springfield Massachusetts
Josh Chapel Deerfield Windsor School Albany Georgia
Christopher Clark Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Ohio
Kessler Cuffman Howard Connect Academy Chattanooga Tennessee
Nicole Davidson Susan E. Wiley Elementary School Copiague New York
Beth Davies Franklin Middle School Cedar Rapids Iowa
Robert DeSantis Millville High School Millville New Jersey
Shelby Dickey Gorzycki Middle School Austin Texas
Thomas DiNuoscio Northeastern High School Springfield Ohio
Heather Dipasquale Todd County Middle School Elkton Kentucky
Doris Doyon Mt. San Antonio College Walnut California
Dale Duncan Henderson Middle School Atlanta Georgia
Cuauhtemoc ("Moc") Escobedo Eckstein Middle School Seattle Washington
Wayne Fanning Niu Valley Middle School Honolulu Hawaii
Jordan Ford Norwood Elementary School Birmingham Alabama
Nicholas Gaudette Edina High School Edina Minnesota
Julie Gentry Westover Hills Elementary School Richmond Virginia
Andrew Gibb-Clark Kirkwood High School Kirkwood Missouri
Ryan Gonzales James Monroe High School Los Angeles California
Vivian Gonzalez Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer Miami Florida
Robert Green Lakeland High School White Lake Michigan
Keith Griffis Walter L. Sickles High School Tampa Florida
Shanti Gruber Glenwood Springs High School & Middle School Glenwood Springs Colorado
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds O'Fallon Township High School O’ Fallon Illinois
Matthew Hammong Lawrence County High School Louisa Kentucky
Montgomery Hill Marion High School Marion Arkansas
Michael Huebner Kennesaw Mountain High School Kennesaw Georgia
Gene Hundley Swainsboro Middle School Swainsboro Georgia
William R. Jenks South Charleston Middle School South Charleston West Virginia
Natalie Kerr Bloomfield High School Bloomfield New Jersey
Robin King Fountain International Magnet School Pueblo Colorado
Scott Krijnen Castillero Middle School San Jose California
Marissa Kyser Spokane R-VII Spokane Missouri
John Alan Landers Lakenheath High School APO U.S. Armed Forces –
Jacqueline Langley Haverford Middle School Havertown Pennsylvania
Brandon Larsen Herriman High School Herriman Utah
Derek Larson St. Regis School St. Regis Montana
Matthew Leder Gadsden State Community College Gadsden Alabama
Monica Leimer DeLand High School DeLand Florida
Michael Linert Westminster High School Westminster Colorado
Kevin Longwill Abington School District Abington Pennsylvania
Wes Lowe The King's Academy West Palm Beach Florida
Pamela Lowell Cranston High School East Cranston Rhode Island
Matt Martindale Shelby County High School Columbiana Alabama
Jesus Martinez Sam Houston High School Arlington Texas
Atsuko Haarz Richwoods High School Peoria Illinois
Emily Maurer Slidell Junior High School Slidell Louisiana
Margaret Maurice Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Charlotte North Carolina
Eric McAllister Las Vegas Academy of the Arts Las Vegas Nevada
Richard McCready River Hill High School Columbia Maryland
Angela McKenna Classen SAS @ NE High School Oklahoma City Oklahoma
Bob Mecozzi Amos Alonzo Stagg High School Palos Hills Illinois
A.J. Merlino Albright College Reading Pennsylvania
Amberle Mitchell Washington High School Fremont California
Wanda Mitchell Hampton High School Hampton Virginia
Charles Moorer McArthur High School Hollywood Florida
Lauren Morabito Hendrick Hudson High School Montrose New York
Alicia Mulloy Liberty Middle School Madison Alabama
Christopher Nicholas West Adams Preparatory High School Los Angeles California
Jason Noble Scarsdale High School Scarsdale New York
Laura O’Konski Liberty High School Bealeton Virginia
Meredith Olson Elmwood Elementary Elmwood Park Illinois
Todd Oxford Texas State University School of Music San Marcos Texas
Brian Parrish Parkway West High School Chesterfield Missouri
Robert Pettigrew Westside High School Anderson South Carolina
Daniel Philpott-Jones Mohonasen High School Schenectady New York
Ær Queen Braddock Elementary School Annandale Virginia
Michael Rais Frost Middle School Livonia Michigan
Marc Ratner Mineola UFSD Garden City Park New York
Christopher Redd Dover High School Dover Ohio
Kathleen Riser Scott Central Attendance Center Forest Mississippi
Raymond Roberts Milwaukee High School of the Arts Milwaukee Wisconsin
Sarah Ruff Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts Miami Florida
Caitlin Schmidt JL Long Middle School Dallas Texas
Dustin Shrum Central Visual and Performing Arts High School St. Louis Missouri
Andrew Smigielski Forrest County Agricultural High School Brooklyn Mississippi
Michael Francis Smith Bourne Intermediate School Bourne Massachusetts
Derek Smith Hickory Ridge Middle School Harrisburg North Carolina
Patrick Smith Cooperative Arts & Humanities Magnet High School New Haven Connecticut
Jordan Stehle Matthew Whaley Elementary School Williamsburg Virginia
Cindy Stone Belgrade Middle School & High School Belgrade Montana
Elizabeth Taylor La Crosse Elementary School La Crosse Virginia
Laura Taylor Unity Junior High Cicero Illinois
Bill Tiberio Fairport High School Fairport New York
Sarah Todd Mary Lyon Elementary School Chicago Illinois
Michael Tosh Chapel Hill High School Mount Pleasant Texas
Julie Trent Glendale High School Glendale Arizona
Patrick Van Arsdale Ben Davis High School Indianapolis Indiana
EJ Villanueva Orange Grove Elementary School Anaheim California
Derrick Walker Cedar Hill High School Cedar Hill Texas
Heaven Watson-Weary Hunter Huss High School Gastonia North Carolina
Christopher Weatherly Christopher Weatherly Washington District of Columbia
Carissa Werner Ries Elementary Las Vegas Nevada
Tammy White Kiser Middle School Greensboro North Carolina
Brian Willett Monrovia High School Monrovia Indiana
Jacquelin Witherspoon J C Magill Elementary School Loganville Georgia
Arthur Wright, III Berkmar High School Lilburn Georgia
Jayme Zimmerman Bellefonte Elementary School Bellefonte Pennsylvania

Meet The 2022 Music Educator Award Recipient: Stephen Cox On His Philosophies & Strategies For Teaching

 The 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, returns to Los Angeles' Arena on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.

The eligibility period for the 65th GRAMMY Awards is Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 – Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. All eligible awards entries must be released within this timeframe.

The Recording Academy and do not endorse any particular artist, submission or nominee over another. The results of the GRAMMY Awards, including winners and nominees, are solely dependent on the Recording Academy’s Voting Membership.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Take Over The GRAMMY Museum
Ryan Lewis, Zach Quillen and Macklemore

Photo: Rebecca Sapp/


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Take Over The GRAMMY Museum

Hip-hop duo discuss their career beginnings and creating their GRAMMY-nominated album The Heist

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

Current seven-time GRAMMY nominees Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, along with their manager Zach Quillen, recently participated in an installment of the GRAMMY Museum's A Conversation With series. Before an intimate audience at the Museum's Clive Davis Theater, the hip-hop duo and Quillen discussed the beginning of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' career, having creative control over their work and recording their GRAMMY-nominated Album Of The Year, The Heist.

"I met somebody [who] had the same dedication as me, [who] put everything into the music, everything into the craft," said Ben Haggerty (aka Macklemore) regarding meeting Lewis. "I wanted a career and Ryan was somebody [who] had the same discipline and sacrificed everything."

"I think it took a little while before it became clear to me who [Macklemore] was going to be," said Lewis. "I think the first indication of that was with the song 'Otherside' from the VS. Redux EP]. … That song … embodied so much. It was a story nobody was telling. … It was just somebody who was dying to be on the mike and to say something."

Seattle-based rapper Macklemore and DJ/producer Lewis have been making music fans take notice since they released their debut EP, 2009's The VS. EP. They followed with VS. Redux, which reached No. 7 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart. The duo made waves in 2011 with the release of their hit single "Can't Hold Us" featuring Ray Dalton. The next year Macklemore was featured on the cover of XXL Magazine's coveted freshman class issue, and Rolling Stone dubbed the duo an "indie rags-to-riches" success story.

Released in 2012, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' debut studio album, The Heist, reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, propelled by the No. 1 hits "Can't Hold Us" and "Thrift Shop," the latter of which reached multi-platinum status and remained on top of the charts for six weeks. The album garnered a nomination for Album Of The Year and Best Rap Album at the 56th GRAMMY Awards, while "Thrift Shop" earned a nod for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. The duo's Top 20 hit "Same Love" featuring Mary Lambert earned a nomination for Song Of The Year and has been adopted by some as a pro-equality anthem. The duo garnered additional nominations for Best New Artist and Best Music Video for "Can't Hold Us."

Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include Icons Of The Music Industry: Ken Ehrlich (Jan. 14) and A Conversation With Peter Guralnick (Jan. 15).

Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures Exhibit Will Showcase The Surf-Rock Icons' Impact On Pop Culture

The Ventures


Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures Exhibit Will Showcase The Surf-Rock Icons' Impact On Pop Culture

The exhibit, opening Dec. 7, will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run" and more

GRAMMYs/Nov 22, 2019 - 01:44 am

Influential instrumental rock band The Ventures are getting their own exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles that will showcase the band's impact on pop culture since the release of their massive hit "Walk, Don't Run" 60 years ago. 

The Rock Hall of Fame inductees and Billboard chart-toppers have become especially iconic in the surf-rock world, known for its reverb-loaded guitar sound, for songs like "Wipeout," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Walk, Don't Run." The Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures exhibit opening Dec. 7 will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run," a Fender Limited Edition Ventures Signature guitars, rare photos and other items from their career spanning six decades and 250 albums. 

“It’s such an honor to have an exhibit dedicated to The Ventures at the GRAMMY Museum and be recognized for our impact on music history,” said Don Wilson, a founding member of the band, in a statement. "I like to think that, because we ‘Venturized’ the music we recorded and played, we made it instantly recognizable as being The Ventures. We continue to do that, even today."

Don Wilson, Gerry McGee, Bob Spalding, and Leon Taylor are current band members. On Jan. 9, Taylor's widow and former Fiona Taylor, Ventures associated musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and others will be in conversation with GRAMMY Museum Artistic Director Scott Goldman about the band's journey into becoming the most successful instrumental rock band in history at the Clive Davis Theater. 

"The Ventures have inspired generations of musicians during their storied six-decade career, motivating many artists to follow in their footsteps and start their own projects," said Michael Sticka, GRAMMY Museum President. "As a music museum, we aim to shine a light on music education, and we applaud the Ventures for earning their honorary title of 'the band that launched a thousand bands.' Many thanks to the Ventures and their families for letting us feature items from this important era in music history."

The exhibit will run Dec. 7–Aug. 3, 2020 at the GRAMMY Museum

2020 GRAMMY Awards: Complete Nominees List

Julia Michaels Deconstructs "Issues," Writing Songs | "Required Listening" Podcast

Scott Goldman and Julia Michaels

Photo: Rebecca Sapp/


Julia Michaels Deconstructs "Issues," Writing Songs | "Required Listening" Podcast

Go inside the bright mind of one of pop's most promising singer/songwriters and learn about her songwriting process, her transition to the spotlight and the three female artists she admires

GRAMMYs/Feb 8, 2018 - 11:57 pm

Julia Michaels' career has soared within the past year. Already a talented songwriter with writing credits such as Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran, and Fifth Harmony to her name, Michaels took a leap of faith with the release of her third solo EP, 2017's Nervous System.

Listen Now: "Required Listening," Episode 3 With Julia Michaels

Though Michaels has admitted to being nervous about moving to the forefront as an artist in her own right, the gamble paid off. The single "Issues" went gangbusters all the way to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and her EP cracked the Top 50. Plus, the Davenport, Iowa, native scored two nominations for the 60th GRAMMY Awards: Song Of The Year for "Issues" and Best New Artist.

What makes Michaels tick musically, how did she overcome her trepidation and why does she rely on feelings to guide her songwriting?

You'll learn the answers and so much more on the latest episode of "Required Listening," the new music podcast by HowStuffWorks and the GRAMMY Museum in partnership with the Recording Academy.

"It depends on the person. A lot of the times I'll just talk to them [first]," said Michaels regarding collaborating with other artists. "I mean we're all human. We all cry the same. We all bleed the same. So I try to make people feel as comfortable as possible to be able to tell me things, even if the artist that I'm with doesn't write, just having them talk is lyrics in itself. You know, them explaining their day or expressing how they feel. It's like, "That's amazing ... if that's how you're feeling we should write that.'"

As a matter of fact, Michaels told the host of "Required Listening," GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Scott Goldman, that she lets her feelings pilot her songwriting instead of traditional conventions — a process that has yielded gems such as "Issues."

"I'm not that calculated when I write," said Michaels. "I'm all heart when I write so I don't think about the algorithm of a song or the mathematics of a song. I just think, 'This feels good to me,' and just kind of go with that."

When peppered by Goldman with a question about coming into the limelight as a recording artist, Michaels was quick to point out that she has benefitted from plenty of help and encouragement.

"I think a lot of people have helped me get there," said Michaels. "My manager, Beka Tischker, she's been with me for six years. She's always believed in me. … And this year a lot of people have come into my life. I mean even my band — Dan Kanter, who's my guitar player … he's been with me since the beginning of the artist transition. I can't even do it without him at this point. ... There's a lot of people in my life, especially this year, that have made me feel comfortable and confident."

Speaking of confidence, Michaels has taken cues from plenty of her self-assured peers. She cited three artists, in particular, who have inspired her career path.

"I'm not that calculated when I write. I'm all heart." — Julia Michaels

"[Pink is] a bad*," said Michaels. "I love Fiona Apple. I love a lot of artists that are not afraid to say what they want to say. I love artists that write their own music. Laura Marling — she's very much from her point of view, very much whatever she wants to do. And plus her voice is so haunting and beautiful."

"Required Listening" launched on GRAMMY Sunday, Jan. 28, with the first episode featuring an in-depth conversation with GRAMMY winners Imagine Dragons and the second detailing "The Defiant Ones" with Allen Hughes and Jimmy Iovine.

Future guests will include Sean "Diddy" Combs, Dan Auerbach, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, and Lindsey Buckingham and Christie McVie of Fleetwood Mac, among others.

Attention Music Fans: Take The GRAMMY Challenge Now On Kik And Facebook Messenger


GRAMMY Museum To Launch Cheap Trick: I Want You To Want Me! Sept. 12

Exhibit to feature artifacts from the private collection of the iconic power-pop band

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Sept. 12 the GRAMMY Museum will launch Cheap Trick: I Want You To Want Me! — a one-of-a-kind exhibit offering visitors an in-depth look at the more than 35-year career of power-pop progenitors Cheap Trick.

Located in the Museum's Mike Curb Gallery on the fourth floor, artifacts on display will include guitars played by Rick Nielsen, including his 1952 Fender Telecaster used during a performance at Budokan in Tokyo; costumes worn on the album cover of 1979's Dream Police; and original lyrics, photographs, and tour ephemera, among other items.

In conjunction with the launch of the exhibit, on Sept. 12 Cheap Trick will visit the GRAMMY Museum's Clive Davis Theater to participate in a question-and-answer session and perform a brief set as part of the Museum's An Evening With series.

Cheap Trick: I Want You To Want Me! will be on display through June 2014.