Neil Portnow's 55th GRAMMY Awards Telecast Remarks

Recording Academy President/CEO is joined by Ryan Seacrest and Justin Timberlake to announce new Music Educator Award
  • Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
    Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow
  • Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
    Justin Timberlake and Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow
February 10, 2013 -- 8:13 pm PST

(Following is a transcript of Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow's remarks on the 55th GRAMMY Awards telecast. Portnow was joined by GRAMMY Foundation Honorary Boards Chair Ryan Seacrest and Justin Timberlake.)

Neil Portnow: What a fitting tribute to the late great Dave Brubeck. Thank you, Chick Corea, a two-time GRAMMY winner tonight, Stanley Clarke and Kenny Garrett, thank you gentlemen, for that exquisite version of "Take Five," a GRAMMY Hall Of Fame recording by the Dave Brubeck Quartet that has endured for more than half a century.

Speaking of music history, when I was six years old I saw Elvis Presley on television and immediately asked to take guitar lessons.

My first guitar teacher had the perfect name: Mr. Stan Solow. And though I didn't become a guitar god, Mr. Solow still changed my life forever.

Ryan Seacrest: The GRAMMY Foundation works year-round to encourage our next generation of music makers and I'm so proud to serve as the new honorary chairman of the Foundation in this life-changing effort.

Neil Portnow: Great artists also have a crucial part to play, devoting their own time and energy to help our next generation of musicians.

So please welcome one of those amazing artists -- you saw him perform earlier tonight -- my friend, Justin Timberlake.

Justin Timberlake: How's everybody doing tonight? Can you please make some noise for the amazing music performances we've heard tonight? Are these the best GRAMMYs ever? In music as in life, we all have lessons to learn. And like so many of these people sitting up front tonight, I will forever be thankful to those who taught me so much along the way. Teachers really are the unsung heroes of our creative community.

Ryan Seacrest: So to recognize the vital contributions music teachers make, the GRAMMY Foundation is teaming up with The Recording Academy to present a brand-new honor, the Music Educator Award, beginning next year during GRAMMY Week. We'll be recognizing outstanding classroom music teachers from kindergarten all the way through college. And we want your help to identify them. To nominate your favorite music teacher, just go to and tell us about them.

Justin Timberlake: For every GRAMMY winner on this stage tonight, there are thousands of great music educators working behind the scenes to provide the inspiration, the passion and the skills our young musicians need.

Neil Portnow: Let's all say thank you for everything these teachers do for our young musicians, and for all of us who truly love music.

As we look toward the next generation of music greats, we will never forget the legacy of those we lost this past year.

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