meta-scriptGRAMMY Museum Receives Official Proclamation: Nov. 18 Is Latin GRAMMY Day |
GRAMMY Museum Receives Official Proclamation: Nov. 18 Is Latin GRAMMY Day

Left to right: Jasmine Lywen-Dill (GRAMMY Museum Communications Manager), Nick Vega (GRAMMY Museum Director of Curatorial Affairs), Rita George (GRAMMY Museum COO), LA City Council President Herb Wesson, Kaitlyn Naider (Director of Community Engagement); Photo Credit: Betsy Annas, Los Angeles City Council


GRAMMY Museum Receives Official Proclamation: Nov. 18 Is Latin GRAMMY Day

The proclamation is in honor of the Museum's Nov. 18 launch party for the Museum's new exhibit, Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years Of Excellence

GRAMMYs/Nov 14, 2019 - 01:15 am

The GRAMMY Museum has received an official proclamation from L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson announcing that Nov. 18 is hereby Latin GRAMMY Day. 

The proclamation is in honor of the Museum's Nov. 18 launch party for the Museum's new exhibit, Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years Of Excellence, which showcases a variety of iconic moments and performances from two decades of the prestigious Latin GRAMMY Awards. 

Read More: 2019 Latin GRAMMYs Viewer's Guide: Here's How, When & Where To Watch

From the tuxedo Juan Gabriel wore during his memorable 40-minute performance at the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards to the outfit Luis Fonsi wore during his performance of "Despacito" at the 18th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years Of Excellence is the Museum's inaugural exhibit on its newly constructed third floor.

Taking visitors on a walk through two decades of unforgetable moments that shaped our culture, the exchibit will also feature instruments played by Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY winners, including Lila Downs, Alejandro SanzJulieta Venegas, and more, plus the paint-stained shirt Ricky Martin wore at his performance with the Blue Man Group at the 8th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards.

Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years Of Excellence will open to the public on Nov. 20 and run through spring 2020. For tickets and more info, visit the Museum's website.

GRAMMY Museum To Celebrate 20 Years Of Latin GRAMMY Excellence With New Exhibit

Watch: "A History Of L.A. Ska" Panel At The GRAMMY Museum With Reel Big Fish, NOFX & More
(From Left) Nina Cole, Matt Parker, Scott Klopfenstein, Karina Denike, Paul Hampton, Greg Narvas and Oliver Charles speak with moderator Junor Francis during "A History Of L.A. Ska" part four

Photo: Sarah Morris/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


Watch: "A History Of L.A. Ska" Panel At The GRAMMY Museum With Reel Big Fish, NOFX & More

Featuring musicians, DJs, curators and more, the multi-part series "A History Of L.A. Ska" explores the genre's deep history in Southern California. The latest installment included members of Hepcat, Ocean 11 and others.

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2023 - 04:42 pm

Ska — as any lover of the genre will tell you — is far from dead.

In fact, the genre that burst forth in Jamaica at the time of the nation's independence in the early 1960s (and, crucially, is the musical seed from which reggae grew) is alive and well around the globe. Call it a fourth wave, a revival or a scene of stalwarts, but the horn-heavy, grooving and uptempo music continues to march forward — and the GRAMMY Museum is all-in on the celebration.

For several years, the GRAMMY Museum has hosted "A History Of L.A. Ska" — a discussion and performance series featuring local musicians, DJs, journalists, and others. Panelists reminisce about their early years in ska, working with legends, and the important role Southern  California has played in the development of the culture. The most recent panel was held on Nov. 7 (but more on that later).

Although born in Jamaica, ska migrated to the UK in the latter half of the '60s and, the following decade, mixed with burgeoning punk sounds to create the genre's second wave: Two Tone. Bands such as the Specials, Madness and the Selecter struck a chord with local audiences as well as those in Southern California — which saw its first ska band, the Boxboys, debut in 1979. Then by the late ‘80s, California-based bands such as the Untouchables, Fishbone, Hepcat and Let’s Go Bowling were building a distinct scene.

As the ‘90s began, Southern California was the focal point of ska's third wave. Helmed by bands like Reel Big Fish, the Aquabats and, early on, No Doubt, a new generation further enmeshed punk and ska to become faster, catchier and more memeable. While third wave groups of the era came from all corners (see New Jersey's Catch-22, Florida's Less Than Jake and Boston's Mighty Mighty Bosstones), Southern California remained a stronghold for ska music and was buoyed by a strong subculture of mods and non-racist skinheads. 

Today, Los Angeles remains a hotbed for a new generation of ska acts — many of which harken back to the sounds of the '60s. Southern California has also played host to ska legends, including Derrick Morgan (whose song "Forward March" became an independence anthem), Pat Kelly, the Pioneers and more.

"When I was first introduced to ska in Southern California, I was blown away by the level of musicianship and the love that these young talents had for the music that I grew up listening to in Jamaica,” shares Junor Francis, a moderator and veteran radio DJ/emcee who co-curates the "A History Of L.A. Ska" series with Eric Kohler. The two also host a video interview series of the same name. [Editor's note: Author Jessica Lipsky has appeared on this series.] 

"While many fans of American third wave ska were introduced to the sound in the 1990s, more casual listeners may not be aware that ska in Southern California dates back four decades," notes Kohler. "To that end, Junor and I have made it our mission to celebrate and highlight the scene’s rich history, vibrancy and uniqueness."

Part four of the series — and the most recent — featured seven panelists representing a broad swath of L.A. ska history: Hepcat drummer Greg Narvas (Hepcat), singer Karina Denike (Dance Hall Crashers, NOFX), keyboardists Matt Parker (the Donkey Show) and Paul Hampton (the Skeletones), DJ and drummer Nina Cole (the Cover Ups), drummer Oliver Charles (Ocean 11, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Gogol Bordello), and multi-instrumentalist Scott Klopfenstein (Reel Big Fish, the Littlest Man Band). The panel was moderated by Junor Francis.

The four-part series is available to view on the GRAMMY Museum's website, or you can immerse yourself in the "History Of L.A. Ska" panel by panel below:

The History Of L.A. Ska Part One (2017)

Featuring: Greg Lee, Persephone “Queen P” Laird, Joey Altruda, Brian Dixon and Luis Correa

The History Of L.A. Ska Part Two (2019)

Featuring: Angelo Moore, Chris Murray, Darrin Pfeiffer, Kip Wirtzfeld, Tazy Phyllipz

Top Rankin': The O.N. Klub & Birth Of The L.A. Ska Boom (2021)

Featuring: Jerry Miller, Chuck Askerneese, Ivan Wong,  Greg Sowders, Norwood Fishe, Greg Lee, Bill Bentley, Howard Paar, Marc Wasserman, Karena Sundaram Marcum, Laurence Fishburn

If the excitement on display during the "History Of L.A. Ska" panel sessions isn't enough to convince you of the genre's staying power, consummate emcee Junor Francis shares words of affirmation:

“After being baptized into this scene and welcomed with open arms, I realized this was absolutely the right place for me!”

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

Looking for more GRAMMYs news? The 2024 GRAMMY nominations are here!

He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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25 Semifinalists Announced For The 2024 Music Educator Award
Music Educator Award

Photo Courtesy of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum


25 Semifinalists Announced For The 2024 Music Educator Award

Twenty-five music teachers, from 25 cities across 17 states, have been announced as semifinalists for the 2024 Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum. One ultimate recipient will be honored during GRAMMY Week 2024.

GRAMMYs/Oct 11, 2023 - 01:59 pm

Twenty-five music teachers have today been announced as semifinalists for the Music Educator Award, an annual award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, that supports and celebrates music education and music educators across the U.S. The 25 semifinalists, who hail from 25 cities across 17 states, were selected from a pool of more than 2,000 initial nominations from across all 50 U.S. states. Finalists will be announced in December, and the ultimate recipient of the 2024 Music Educator Award will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2024, days ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Nominations for the 2025 Music Educator Award are now open.

Read More: Meet The 2023 Music Educator Award Recipient: How Pamela Dawson Helps Her Students Achieve Healing And Catharsis

Presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the Music Educator Award recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the music education field and demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The Award is open to current U.S. music teachers. Anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators — while teachers are also able to nominate themselves; nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

Each year, the recipient of the Music Educator Award, selected from 10 finalists, receives a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school's music program. The nine additional finalists receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching grants. The remaining 15 semifinalists, among the group announced today, will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.

The Music Educator Award program, including honorariums, is made possible by the generosity and support of the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation. 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.

Read More: 5 Organizations And Scholarships Supporting Music Education

The full list of the 2024 Music Educator Award semifinalists is as follows:

Name School City State
Dawn Amthor Wallkill Senior High School Wallkill New York
Jeremy Bartunek Greenbriar School Northbrook Illinois
William Bennett Cane Bay High School Summerville South Carolina
Meg Byrne Pleasant Valley High School Bettendorf Iowa
Ernesta Chicklowski Roosevelt Elementary Tampa Florida
Michael Coelho Ipswich Middle and High School Ipswich Massachusetts
Drew Cowell Belleville East High School Belleville Illinois
Marci DeAmbrose Lincoln Southwest High School Lincoln Nebraska
Antoine  Dolberry P.S. 103x Hector Fontanez  Bronx New York 
Jasmine Fripp KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School Nashville Tennessee
J.D. Frizzell Briarcrest Christian School Eads Tennessee
Amanda Hanzlik E.O. Smith High School Storrs Connecticut
Michael Lapomardo Shrewsbury High School Shrewsbury Massachusetts
Ashleigh McDaniel Spatz Rising Starr Middle School Fayetteville Georgia
Kevin McDonald Wellesley High School Wellesley Massachusetts
Coty Raven Morris Portland State University Portland Oregon
Trevor Nicholas Senn Arts at Nicholas Senn High School Chicago Illinois
Vicki Nichols Grandview Elementary Grandview Texas
Annie Ray Annandale High School  Annandale Virginia
Bethany Robinson Noblesville High School Noblesville Indiana
Danni Schmitt Roland Park Elementary/Middle School Baltimore Maryland
Kevin Schoenbach Oswego High School Oswego Illinois
Matthew Shephard Meridian Early College High School Sanford Michigan
Alice Tsui New Bridges Elementary Brooklyn New York
Tammy Yi Chapman University Orange California

Learn more about the Music Educator Award and apply to the 2025 Music Educator Award program now.

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Inside The GRAMMY Museum’s New Exhibit, "Hip-Hop America": From Dapper Dan To Tupac’s Notes
A display at the GRAMMY Museum's new exhibit, 'Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit'

Photo Courtesy of the Recording Academy™️/photo by Rebecca Sapp, Getty Images© 2023.


Inside The GRAMMY Museum’s New Exhibit, "Hip-Hop America": From Dapper Dan To Tupac’s Notes

Open now through September 2024, "Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit" commemorates the genre’s 50th anniversary through interactive installations and displays of everything from photos to fashion.

GRAMMYs/Oct 10, 2023 - 02:27 pm

You can get up close and personal with the Notorious B.I.G.’s red leather peacoat or test out your turntable skills at Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit, open now at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. A retrospective look to mark the genre’s 50th anniversary, Hip-Hop America brings together elements of fashion, music, dance, graffiti, business, activism, and history — all with the aim of capturing the sweeping, global impact of hip-hop.

"It's something that started as a genre that people considered a fad, as a novelty," says  GRAMMY Museum Chief Curator Jasen Emmons, "but it has become not only a global musical force, but a global cultural force. So many young people have grown up with hip-hop and take it for granted, but its ability to evolve and continue to be relevant is pretty powerful."

The 5,000-square foot exhibit space is packed with artifacts, interactive elements, and curated video, as well as photo ops. Here are six things we learned walking through the installation, which runs through Sept. 4, 2024.

There Were Always Women In Hip-Hop

Grammy Museum Hip-Hop America exhibit Saweetie

Saweetie┃Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Entering Hip-Hop America, you’ll get a look at a few standalone cases featuring everything from an essay Tupac Shakur wrote in junior high, to a gorgeously over the top set of custom nails made for Saweetie by celebrity nail artist Temeka Jackson. The exhibit’s main space showcases what life was like in the Boogie Down Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop music and culture. On display are pieces like a leather vest made for a junior member of the Young Nomads street gang and pieces of graffiti art from Edwin "HE."

Also on display are various paint caps used by Lady Pink, an artist known for her work in New York in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. She would go on to star in 1983’s Wild Style, which is widely regarded as the first hip-hop movie.

The inclusion of influencers and acts like Lady Pink was a very intentional move on the part of the exhibit’s creators, Emmons says. Quite often, when people think about hip-hop’s origins, they think of acts like the Sugar Hill Gang, Cold Crush Crew, and Fab 5 Freddy, and they were all there — and are all featured in the exhibit — but they grew and prospered alongside a number of female acts, and with the help and support of women like Sylvia Robinson, the founder of Sugar Hill Records who produced "Rappers Delight." Her confidence and the success of that track helped birth a wealth of small, independent labels that helped give the new sound a platform.

Hip-Hop And Soul Have Intermingled From The Beginning

Grammy Museum Hip-Hop America exhibit takeaways bboy

Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

In the middle of the exhibit, there’s an interactive video display dedicated to the marriage of the hip-hop and soul genres. Hip-hop, it says, "is an omnigenre that incorporates many music traditions." The relationship between hip-hop and R&B is complex, the exhibit continued:

"From the earliest days of hip-hop, artists created new grooves using melodic breaks and drum patterns from records by R&B stars like James Brown and the Ohio Players." 

While early rappers tended to avoid R&B-friendly topics like love and loss in favor of what the exhibit calls "braggadocio," by the 1990s rappers and R&B stars were working together in harmony. The resulting hip-hop soul gave songs like Janet Jackson and Q-Tip’s "Got ‘Til It’s Gone" and Mariah Carey and Jay-Z’s "Heartbreaker" a permanent place in the cultural lexicon.

Hip-Hop Has A Mind For Business

Grammy Museum Hip-Hop America exhibit takeaways business

A history of entrepreneurs┃Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

One of Hip-Hop America’s exhibits focuses on the commercial aspects of the genre, highlighting people like the aforementioned Robinson and acts like the Wu-Tang Clan, who refused to sign all of their members to one label. They instead insisted that each member have an individual deal with one of the six majors, meaning that, come album release time, each label would have a vested interest in promoting the material and the group. That’s smart thinking. 

The exhibit also calls out artist-entrepreneurs like Master P, Jay-Z, Diddy, and Drake, all of whom have thought outside the confines of a tracklist to creating businesses built on hip-hop culture.

A Lot Of Rappers Have Great Penmanship

Grammy Museum Hip-Hop America exhibit takeways lyric sheet

Handwritten lyrics for "Fight The Power"┃Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

There are a number of handwritten pieces in Hip-Hop America, from Shakur’s junior high essay about citizenship to Lil Wayne’s letters home from prison and Wyclef Jean’s lyrics for the Fugees’ "Ready Or Not." Everything is remarkably legible and these pieces offer unique insight into the mind and lives of some of hip-hop’s biggest acts. 

Take, for instance, a case featuring the late Shock G’s hand-drawn album cover art for "The Humpty Dance." He leaves copious notes on the drawing and in accompanying materials explaining not only what samples he wants cleared for the record but noting that in his cartoon visage, "Humpty’s gums are not white or red," saying the artist should use "the same brown used for the skin." Looking at these pieces, it’s clear that Shock G took his art and his image very seriously, and that though "The Humpty Dance" may have become a party classic, a lot of work went into creating something so fun. 

B.I.G. Was Big, Big, Big

Grammy Museum Hip-Hop America exhibit takeaways biggie jacket

Biggie's peacoat and other distinctive jackets┃Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

For someone to earn the moniker "the Notorious B.I.G.," they probably have to be pretty large in either stature or scale. At Hip-Hop America, you’ll get a sense of how big the artist born Christopher Wallace. actually was, thanks to a mannequin sporting his iconic 5001 Flavors red leather peacoat and Karl Kani jeans. 

Worn in an appearance on "MTV News," for a feature in Vibe, and in the Junior M.A.F.I.A. video for "Player’s Anthem," the coat was one of Biggie’s favorites and has the scuff marks, wear, and creases to prove it. 

Ryan Butler, the VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Recording Academy and an advisory board member for the exhibit, says that Biggie’s coat is one of his favorite pieces in the exhibit, in part because it’s placed (per the Shakur family’s request) next to the white suit that Tupac wore in his last music video. 

Grammy Museum Hip-Hop America exhibit takeaways timbs

Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

"To really see the impact that hip-hop has had on fashion is just so incredible," says Butler. 

That impact is made clear throughout the exhibit, which features items like Andre 3000’s fringed green pants from the 46th GRAMMY Awards, MC Lyte’s bamboo earrings, and the chain and padlock worn by Naughty By Nature's Treach before he could afford something a little more swank. 

"The rugged accessory suggested strength and proved useful as a defensive weapon when the trio faced potential violence in clubs," the exhibit notes, continuing that, "It was also meant to show solidarity with those locked up." 

Also on display are multiple pieces made by the legendary designer Dapper Dan, who’s been fashioning hip-hop looks since the very beginning. There’s a look at the beginning of the exhibit that he made for old school DJ Busy Bee that’s pretty sharp even now, as well as a longer black leather motorcycle jacket he customized for Melle Mel to wear at the 1985 GRAMMY Awards, where he rapped the intro to Chaka Khan’s "I Feel For You."

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