5 Highlights Of GRAMMY U's Spring 2022 Mentorship Program
Tianna Groelly poses in front of the Times Square billboard she helped create

Photo courtesy of Tianna Groelly/GRAMMY U


5 Highlights Of GRAMMY U's Spring 2022 Mentorship Program

GRAMMY U's mentorship program pairs college students with music industry professionals, with the goal of becoming successful in the industry. shares the stories of five participants.

GRAMMYs/May 18, 2022 - 10:35 pm

At the beginning of each semester, GRAMMY U — a nationwide program that connects college students with music industry professionals — hosts a mentorship program. Mentors and student mentees are paired based on the interests of the student and the experience of the mentor. This year’s spring mentorship program included 2,000 participants and, for the first time, was available in every GRAMMY U chapter.

The program offers students an invaluable experience and insight about how to become successful in various aspects of the industry. For example, mentee Tess Considine had the privilege of being paired up with singer/songwriter Jordin Sparks for the program. Although this semester's program has come to a close, its core purpose continues to thrive through the connections that have been made.

Here are some of this semester’s mentorship highlights from 10 out of 2,000 participants who participated this year.

Tianna Groelly | Mentee | New York Chapter 

P La Cangri | Mentor | New York Chapter 

Tianna Groelly, a music technology and journalism student at Rutgers University, was paired with Latin artist P La Cangri. Groelly hoped that she would be paired with a mentor who would not only lend sound advice — but let her be heavily involved.

"Hands-on experience is the best thing you can get from a program like this," Groelly says. Cangri gave her exactly that. Beginning with in-person lunches, this pair developed a sincere and deep bond. P La even invited her mentee out to Miami to shoot a music video for her song, "Atrevete." Groelly threw herself into the video shoot, taking constant photos and behind-the-scenes footage. One of Groelly's pictures even ended up on a billboard in Times Square.

"As a college student, an accomplishment like this would only be in my wildest dreams, so I can’t thank everyone involved enough for letting me be a part of something like this!"  

Groelly wasn’t the only one to benefit from the program, though. Beyond her parents, Cangri said she never had any mentorship programs when she was coming up in the industry. She feels that Tianna taught her to let go, and to trust someone else’s perspective every now and then, because they may see something you don’t. While the two started out as simply a mentor/mentee pairing, Groelly and Cangri plan to continue working with and learning from each other as equals.

Valeria Alvarez | Mentee | Florida Chapter

Dr. Donna Singer | Mentor | Florida Chapter

Valeria Alvarez is a sound and music business management student at Valencia College. She was paired with Donna Singer, PhD, who is an international jazz vocalist and is also a part of Emerald Baby Recording Company LLC.  

The two virtually met with three different people in the businesses of acting, music and modeling. They met with Carlos Pinera where they learned of how he got his start in a Colombian band. Alvarez also had a chance to speak with Hunter Isbell, a GRAMMY-nominated sound engineer who created the album Bogota. Alvarez said her interview with actress Crystal Tweed inspired her to "really get into action with the things I want to do in the music industry and music in general."

Raven Hayes | Mentee | New York Chapter

Deryck Vanerbilt-Nicholson | Mentor | New York Chapter

Raven Hayes, an undergraduate music business major at NYU, was paired with Deryck Vanderbilt-Nicholson, who has significant experience in artist management, marketing, sync and licensing, A&R and creative and corporate strategy.  

Hayes says she learned a lot from Vanderbilt-Nicholson about channeling her focus to be considered a serious candidate in the digital and artist marketing space. Hayes's mentor taught her to do the work, remain patient and research.  "I have new confidence in my future in the music industry after graduation thanks to the guidance of Deryck and our mutual dedication to the GRAMMY U Mentorship Program," Hayes says.  

Vanderbilt-Nicholson even learned a few things from Hayes. He said he learned time management, and through helping Hayes with her application process, he’s learned how much the industry is changing.  

"I’ve never had a program like this. I wish I did," he admits. "I try to do my best to create visibility and representation. I enjoy this program through the Recording Academy, in partnership with GRAMMY U, because it allows me to do that. It’s important work, and I look forward to continuing impacting the new faces in music that need assistance!" 

rebecca and ryan grammy u mentorship 22

Rebecca Sanchez | Mentee | LA Chapter

Ryan Shore | Mentor | LA Chapter

Rebecca Sanchez took part in the mentorship program with hopes that she would learn ways to break into the music industry, and was paired with film score composer Ryan Shore. Sanchez said he helped her build her music portfolio and taught her better ways to pitch herself.  

One of the best opportunities Shone was able to give Sanchez was connections to other songwriters, producers and musicians. He connected her with individuals working in pop and K-pop, such as artist/songwriter Celeste Scott. Sanchez says that because of her mentor, she is ending this program with a better sense of networking and collaborating with other industry professionals to further her career in the music industry.  

"If there’s someone like me out there who doesn’t know how to break into the music industry or is trying to break through all on their own, GRAMMY U and its mentorship program is the right step in the right direction," Sanchez says.

Amir Duke | Mentee | Atlanta Chapter

Tyronne Sanders | Mentor | Atlanta Chapter

Amir Duke is a rising senior at Morehouse College majoring in economics with a desire to be in A&R. He was paired with Tyronne Sanders, who has 10 years of experience in A&R, promotions and artist management. Amir said he came into this program simply hoping to learn a little more about the music business and how it operates. However, he walked away with much more.  

Through the help of Sanders, he grew his network outside of college students to executives at companies such as 300 Entertainment, Motown Records, Mezzo Agency and more. Duke got an amazing opportunity to assist Sanderse in having a private listening party for rap artist Big Boogie, signed to the label CMG. The event hosted over 400 guests. Duke jumped in and assisted with setting up a marketing plan for fans, visuals for activation, and the run of show for the event.

Sanders wanted to teach Duke to follow up on your word, be efficient, and to be one of the "good guys."  "The biggest thing I wanted to teach him is that his work directly affects the dreams and livelihood of artists. So, he shouldn’t take what he does lightly," Sanders says, adding that he didn’t have a program like when he was starting out in the industry.  

"Overall, the advice I've received throughout this program has prepared me for the next step in my music industry career," Duke adds. "I believe that the A&R advice I received from Ty allows me to approach new artists with an opportunity that can take them to the next level."    

Stories like these are the heart of the program, and inspire music industry professionals to pay it forward, so that the next generation can flourish. These one-of-a-kind relationships are not only a memorable part of a student's journey, but provide hands-on experience that sometimes cannot be provided anywhere else.  

The GRAMMY U Mentorship program hosts around  1,000 participants each semester, offering an exclusive benefit for GRAMMY U members who are looking to find genuine and inspiring relationships during their collegiate journey in the music business.  

GRAMMY U will open its mentorship program again this fall, with applications opening in late summer/early fall 2022. Each semester has proven to be even better than the last due to the growth and success of the program. If you are interested in participating as a mentor or mentee next semester, please follow us on Instagram @grammyu for updates.   

10 Takeaways From GRAMMY U’s 2022 Conference Featuring Conan Gray


GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.

In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.


Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year


Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

 Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. 

The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 and will be broadcast live on the Univision Television Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. 

"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list. 

At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself  but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the album release of that concert, Juan Gabriel En Vivo Desde El Palacio De Bellas Artes, broke sales records and established his iconic status. 

After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.   

In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.   

Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized. 

For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or

Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Grizzled Mighty perform at Bumbershoot on Sept. 1

Photo: The Recording Academy


Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Alexa Zaske

This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.

The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.

Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."

Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.

Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed. 

Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.

My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.

For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.

(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)

Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images


Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Feb 11, 2019 - 10:58 am

As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.

Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.

"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."

Full Winners List: 61st GRAMMY Awards