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GRAMMY Legacies And Looking Ahead: How The Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter Celebrated Its 60-Year Anniversary With The City's Beloved Artists

The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter's GRAMMY Legacies And Looking Ahead event

Photo: Daniel Boczarski

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GRAMMY Legacies And Looking Ahead: How The Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter Celebrated Its 60-Year Anniversary With The City's Beloved Artists

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter hosted GRAMMY Legacies And Looking Ahead, a free concert with special performances from some of the city's finest musical acts, including Jamila Woods, Eighth Blackbird and others

Membership/Oct 29, 2021 - 11:42 pm

Last month (Sept. 16), the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter, in collaboration with the city of Chicago, celebrated its 60-year anniversary with GRAMMY Legacies And Looking Ahead, a star-studded concert at Millennium Park. Serving as the final concert of the Millennium Park Summer Series, the Chicago Chapter's 60-year commemoration featured performances from some of the city's finest musical acts, including co-headliners Jamila Woods and four-time GRAMMY winners Eighth Blackbird with guest appearances from former Chapter President and poet J. Ivy, GRAMMY winner Karim Sulayman, singer Tarrey Torae, and a special performance by pop duo Valebol.

Watch an uplifting recap of and view photos from the GRAMMY Legacies And Looking Ahead celebration below.

GRAMMY Legacies And Looking Ahead was the culmination of a year-long celebration of Midwest music creators. For more 60th anniversary content that celebrates multiple cities and genres, visit the Chicago Chapter page.

Founded in July 1961, the Chicago Chapter is the Recording Academy's third-longest-running Chapter. Despite its name, the Chicago Chapter represents artists and music industry professionals from all across the Midwest, including Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

(L-R) J. Ivy and Eighth Blackbird | Photo: Jeff Schear

Valebol | Photo: Daniel Boczarski

Jamila Woods | Photo: Daniel Boczarski

For the past 60 years, the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter has recognized and celebrated the creative accomplishments of our members across the Midwest, fought for their collective rights, and supported them in times of need. We are proud of our legacies and excited to continue looking ahead. Here's to the next 60.

The Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter Celebrates The History And Evolution Of The Blues In New Series 'Histories: Chicago Blues'

The Recording Academy & GRAMMY Museum Announce 25 Semifinalists For The 2023 Music Educator Award
Music Educator Award

Photo Courtesy of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum

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The Recording Academy & GRAMMY Museum Announce 25 Semifinalists For The 2023 Music Educator Award

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 schools.

GRAMMYs/Oct 27, 2022 - 04:09 am

Positive news for the music education world today: 25 music teachers have been announced as semifinalists for the 2023 Music Educator Award, an annual award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, that recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and demonstrate a commitment to maintaining music education in schools.

The 2023 Music Educator Award semifinalists are from 25 cities across 18 states and were selected from more than 1,205 initial nominations from across 47 states. The finalists will be announced in December, and the ultimate recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2023.

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

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

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. They will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school's music program. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching grants. The remaining 15 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.

Nominations for the 2024 Music Educator Award are now open.

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

Name School City State
Phil Aguglia Kenmore East High School Tonawanda New York
William Bennett Cane Bay High School Summerville South Carolina
Ryan Bulgarelli Loyalsock Township School District Williamsport Pennsylvania
Aaron Bush Foxborough High School Foxborough Massachusetts
Ernesta Chicklowski Roosevelt Elementary Tampa Florida
Cory Joy Craig Benton Intermediate School Benton Louisiana
Christine Cumberledge Central Junior High School Euless Texas
David Davis Park Spanish Immersion Elementary School St. Louis Park Minnesota
Pamela Dawson DeSoto High School DeSoto Texas
Antoine Dolberry P.S. 103 Hector Fontanez School Bronx New York
Jack A. Eaddy, Jr. Western Carolina University Cullowhee North Carolina
Marisa Frank Explore! Community School Nashville Tennessee
Jorge L. Garcia Elias Herrera Middle School Laredo Texas
Kevin McDonald Wellesley High School Wellesley Massachusetts
Matthew McKagan Lindero Canyon Middle School Agoura Hills California
Brian McMath Northwest Guilford High School Greensboro North Carolina
Trevor Nicholas Senn Arts at Nicholas Senn High School Chicago Illinois
Bethany Robinson Noblesville High School Noblesville Indiana 
Matthew Shephard Meridian Early College High School Sanford Michigan
Katie Silcott Olentangy Shanahan Middle School Lewis Center Ohio
Tony Small Pallotti Arts Academy Laurel  Maryland
Patrick Smith Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School New Haven Connecticut
Wayne Splettstoeszer Torrington High School Torrington Connecticut
Alice Tsui New Bridges Elementary Brooklyn New York
Tammy Yi Chapman University Orange California

5 Music Teachers Share The Transformative Power Of Music Education

Behind The GRAMMY: Why The New Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY Category Is A Global Victory For Lovers Of Language

Photo: Jathan Campbell

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Behind The GRAMMY: Why The New Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY Category Is A Global Victory For Lovers Of Language

In this roundtable with Recording Academy leaders and poetry and spoken word creatives, learn how the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY category was created - and where it's going next.

GRAMMYs/Aug 29, 2022 - 11:48 pm

It's fair to say that the Recording Academy has honored the spoken word community for some time. At the 2022 GRAMMYs, Don Cheadle won the GRAMMY for Best Spoken Word Album for Carry On: Reflections For A New Generation From John Lewis. (Cheadle won out over greats like LeVar Burton, J. Ivy and Dave Chappelle — and even former U.S. President Barack Obama.)

Still, the wider Spoken Word GRAMMY Field — which houses the Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording category, formerly known as the Best Spoken Word Album — continues to evolve. And when the growing spoken word and poetry communities spoke out about equal representation in the industry, the Recording Academy listened — and responded.

At the upcoming 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, the Recording Academy will award the first-ever GRAMMY Award for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. The GRAMMY category addition comes along with several other new categories and awards, including Songwriter Of The Year (Non-Classical) and Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games and Other Interactive Media, among many others. 

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

"For me, it was an exciting opportunity because we were also hearing a lot from the spoken word community," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said about the addition of the new Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY category. "All of our changes and reactions to what's happening are always going to be fluid; we're always going to evolve our categories. We're going to continue to make sure we're representing music in the way that it's being created," he added.

For those looking to submit their works in the first-ever Best Spoken Word Poetry Album category at the upcoming 2023 GRAMMYs, make sure to submit your works during the Online Entry Process (OEP), which is open now and closes on Wednesday, August 31, at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET. Recording Academy members and media companies can submit entries for GRAMMY consideration for this category through the OEP website. Only albums released between Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, through Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, are eligible for this category at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

What's best, the GRAMMY nominees, and ultimately the winner, in the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album category will be decided by peers within this genre. Voting members who choose the Spoken Word Field as one of the three fields in which they are peers will vote on this inaugural GRAMMY category during First Round Voting (Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 – Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022) and Final Round Voting (Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 – Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023). Anyone who's interested in becoming a new member of the Recording Academy should apply for membership by Wednesday, March 1, 2023, to be part of next year's class.

In this exclusive roundtable interview, Recording Academy leaders, including Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., as well as poetry and spoken word luminaries discuss the founding of the inaugural Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY category, why it matters to represent this artistic community, and how the Academy plans to continue celebrating and uplifting the spoken word poetry community.

Read More: Air Date For 2023 GRAMMYs Announced: Taking Place On Feb. 5 In Los Angeles; GRAMMY Nominations To Be Announced Nov. 15, 2022

Why is it important for the Recording Academy to add this category, which honors excellence and spoken word albums, specific to the performance of poetry with or without music?

Harvey Mason jr., CEO, the Recording Academy: People have been telling stories and using this spoken word art form as a means to create and communicate.

For me, it was an exciting opportunity because we were also hearing a lot from the spoken word community.

We started putting spoken word, audio books and some other things, all in one category [Best Spoken Word Album]. And as we started hearing from the spoken word community, they became more and more active.

The Awards and Nominations [A&N] committee and Board of Trustees, who passed this proposal [for the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY category addition], realized that there was space needed to recognize this group and this genre — specifically and independently of how they're being recognized previously.

All of our changes and reactions to what's happening are always going to be fluid; we're always going to evolve our categories. We're going to continue to make sure we're representing music in the way that it's being created.

And when we hear from music makers and creators, we're going to listen. When it makes sense, we'll change. And this is something that was brought to our attention that made a lot of sense. I'm thankful to the A&N committee and the proposal creators that we were able to bring this up and establish a new, important category.

Read More: Why The New Songwriter Of The Year GRAMMY Category Matters For The Music Industry And Creator Community

J. Ivy, CEO, Word & Soul, LLC; GRAMMY-nominated spoken word poet: It's important because the Recording Academy's mission is to honor the best in music. It's important because poetry is, in fact, a big part of music. It's important because spoken word poets and spoken word artists have been pushing the culture forward with their words, their ideas and their performances since the beginning of time.

Poetry has always uplifted the people, it has always inspired the people. It has motivated the masses to push through their struggles and fight to be more. Poetry has always left the world in a better place. Poetry has not only changed lives, but it has saved lives. The poet has always been and will always be a very vital part of our culture and our music, and it's only right that the Recording Academy and the music community as a whole acknowledge and honor the tremendous work poets put into the world with their spoken word poetry albums. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of this moment.

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J. Ivy. | Photo: Emmai Alaquiva

Seeing how the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album is a first-year category, why is it important for poets, artists and creators to submit their recordings into this new category for GRAMMY consideration this year?

Jalyn Nelson, Project Manager, Awards, the Recording Academy: This being a first-year category is the reason it is so important for poets, artists and creators to submit their recordings for consideration. Entries are what keep our categories strong and healthy, and with a new category, it's so important to receive those entries so that the category can sustain — and properly reflect — the vast variety of work being created in these communities.

Mason jr.: For a first-year category — or any category for that matter — the amount of submissions equates directly to the health of the category. If you're getting a low number of submissions, it's not a healthy category, and that would be a category that would be addressed by the A&N committee in subsequent years.

So, you want to make sure when you have a category — especially a newer one — that you're getting enough submissions so that it's deemed healthy and it can remain a viable category on the ballot year to year. This year, in particular, everyone will be watching. The A&N committee will be watching, the Trustees will be watching to see how the category performs, as far as submissions. 

In this first year, it is important to make sure there are enough submissions to make this category feel relevant, feel like a part of our process, be fair, and have enough entries so that we can evaluate music and award someone for their excellence.

J. Ivy: It's important for poets and spoken word artists to submit because we want to make sure the category stands the test of time. We need this category to stay, so we need the poets to submit their albums year after year. We need poets bringing home GRAMMYs year after year.

Read More: New Categories For The 2023 GRAMMYs Announced: Songwriter Of The Year, Best Video Game Soundtrack, Best Song For Social Change & More Changes

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Sekou Andrews | Photo: Sun & Sparrow Photography

Sekou Andrews, CEO, Poetic Voice; GRAMMY-nominated spoken word poet: We have opened the door and told the Academy that poets will come through it. So now it's time for poets to show up. We need to prove that spoken word poets can sustain a healthy category rich with submissions year after year. 

I would also add that we need to step up our game and make sure we are submitting GRAMMY-caliber albums. As we expand our voice and impact from local open mics to global stages, we need to take pride in maintaining high standards as recording artists who are not just amazing on stage, but who can deliver world-class, professionally recorded projects that reflect the beauty and power of our art form.

Ryan Butler, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Recording Academy: It's of utmost importance that poets, artists and creators submit their recordings in this new Best Spoken Word Poetry Album category because getting it on the ballot was just the first step. We now need the spoken word community to come together and submit their work. Representation across the music community matters, and while we heard the community and the category is officially on the ballot, it's now in the hands of the creators to submit for consideration and keep the category healthy for years to come.

Read More: How Contemporary Musicians Are Embracing The Spoken Word Album

The Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY category will be voted on by Recording Academy Voting Members who are peers in the wider Spoken Word Field. Why is it important for poets and spoken word creators to join the Recording Academy as voting members to vote in these specific categories and fields?

Andrews: The GRAMMYs are not a poetry slam. This is not a local stage where we show up and get scored by random judges who may have no connection to the artists or the art form itself. No, this is a global stage where we finally get to show up and be celebrated by our fellow peers who recognize the dopest poems, respect the dopest work, and are often the dopest poets in our genre themselves.

Black Americans are often urged to vote in political elections because our ancestors fought, bled and died to give us the right to vote. But just like with political elections, it only works if poets use their voice, place their vote, and actually engage in showing the world the best of our art form as only we know it.

Nelson: One of the most important ways to get involved with the Recording Academy is to join as a member. Members are the ones who submit for consideration and vote for our nominees — and, ultimately, our winners. What makes the GRAMMY unique is that it is peer-awarded, and having a well-represented community of poets and spoken word creators in our voting body ensures that.

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Ryan Butler | Photo: Aaron Doggett for Visyoual Media

Mason jr.: I think what makes the GRAMMY special is the fact that it's awarded by music professionals and people working in the industry, as opposed to a popular vote or fan vote, or the committee voting or advertisers deciding who will make a good TV show.

GRAMMYs are given away by your peers. To remain relevant and continue to have a significant impact, we have to make sure people who are making a specific genre of music are voting within that genre, evaluating submissions critically, and voting on which one they thought was the best for that year.

To do that, you have to have people knowledgeable in specific genres, categories and crafts. So, we need to make sure that the people that are working in the industry and creating all this amazing music and art are actually voting for who we honor every year.

Black Americans are often urged to vote in political elections because our ancestors fought, bled and died to give us the right to vote. But just like with political elections, it only works if poets use their voice, place their vote, and actually engage in showing the world the best of our art form as only we know it.

—Sekou Andrews

Butler: Representation matters! Your voice matters! Becoming a voting member and voting amongst your peers is the best way to represent the category and the community. Membership is the core of the Recording Academy. Building an active, representative and inclusive membership base that embodies our diverse music community is fundamental to everything we do.

This past June, we extended membership invitations to more than 2,700 highly qualified music professionals from wide-ranging backgrounds, genres and disciplines. Every corner of the industry was represented in this new class, from jazz to reggae, classical to spoken word, songwriters to instrumentalists, and beyond.

Read More: 2023 GRAMMYs Explained: 6 Reasons To Be Excited About The New Categories & Changes

What is the relationship between the poetry and the music communities? What bonds these two art forms?

J. Ivy: On my last album, Catching Dreams, I have a poem called "The World Needs More Poets." Within that poem, there's a phrase that says, "Poetry is the seed of every song ever written." Poetry has always been the deepest root of our creativity. Every day, we find ourselves listening to music where poetry is sung, we listen to music where poetry is rapped, and we listen to music where poetry is spoken. This beautiful art form has been an important part of our history, our ideology, our creativity, our education, our legacy, and our music.

Oftentimes, you'll see the genre of spoken word poetry cross paths with other genres. You'll see beautiful collaborations where poets work with hip-hop artists, gospel artists and R&B artists. You'll hear poets on blues, gospel, country, and house music albums because everyone has always had a deep appreciation for the unique perspective and flow that only a poet can bring. What artist isn't a poet at heart? This is why there will always be a strong bond between poetry and the music community. They're one and the same, which is why the demand for poetry and poetry & music has grown over the years. 

Read More: J. Ivy On The Art & Craft Of Spoken Word

Butler: Poetry and music have intersected for centuries. The two art forms coexist harmoniously, and much of what we hear in modern-day music is derived from poetry and spoken word. We at the Recording Academy know the significance of spoken word and listened to the community, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) department hosted a series of listening sessions, with one spearheaded by poet and recording artist J. Ivy. What resulted from this listening session was the need for spoken word to be properly represented as a GRAMMY category. The Awards and DEI teams worked with J. Ivy on creating a proposal for the Awards & Nominations Committee to review. 

Andrews: Take any beautifully written song and strip away the music; you will likely find a poem. Take any poem, add melody, and you may have created a song. I dare you to tell me that Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise" wouldn't be a hit song in the hands of Paul McCartney or Beyoncé. Try to convince me that an anthology of Prince lyrics couldn't win poetry awards. The two art forms have been siblings since metaphor found melody. Having them both honored by the Academy goes without saying … but I'm a poet, so very little goes without saying.

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Jalyn Nelson | Photo: Janae Small

What was your reaction to the development and announcement of the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY category?

J. Ivy: In the past 20 years, Sekou Andrews, Amir Sulaiman, and I have been [some of the] only spoken word poets nominated in the Best Spoken Word Album category, because audio books, which are also included in the Spoken Word field, dominated the category. As the Recording Academy, I understood wanting to award audio books, but I also knew that we could no longer compare apples and oranges. 

I'm a huge fan of audio books, but as a poet who has been performing for almost 30 years, I can tell you with confidence that the two are not the same thing. Not wanting to see this continue, not wanting the frustration to keep piling on to the poetry community, with the help of some of the brightest minds in music, I wrote a proposal asking that the Recording Academy split the category and redefine the definition of spoken word poetry so that the poets could finally have our own place at the GRAMMYs.

As a [Recording Academy] Trustee, I had the privilege of voting on the proposal and being in the Zoom room when it came up for discussion. To see [the proposal] pass after years of working on it, after countless hours spent in meetings and on phone calls, it was overwhelming, to say the least. Immediately after the vote, I spoke about how important this [change] is to the culture. I spoke about how this is a game-changer. I spoke about how many lives this will affect for generations to come. Then I cut my camera off because I couldn't help but ball my eyes out as my entire body trembled with joy. I knew that this was and is a historic moment. I'm still amazed that it's real.

The creation of this GRAMMY category reflects how much the Recording Academy truly respects and recognizes the importance of this art form … We are very excited to continue to support and celebrate these communities and their creative efforts.

—Jalyn Nelson

Andrews: My reaction to the announcement of this category was more than just excitement: It was the feeling of both pride and triumph. Pride, because my purpose in my career has been to help pioneer a mainstream industry for spoken word poetry. Having our art form properly recognized by the Recording Academy is a huge step toward that goal. Triumph, because fulfilling that purpose is a constant battle for a poet. Since we don't have a mainstream industry, poets are endlessly fighting for our place at every table.

When it comes to the GRAMMYs, my friend J. Ivy and I have probably been the two poets at the forefront of that fight over the past few years. I was fighting from outside the system, audaciously chasing a nomination against all odds, while he has been fighting from within as a Chapter President and now Trustee. I like to think that I took point on kicking down the door, and he took point on building a new door and changing the locks. Both have been critical toward making it easier, in the future, for poets to be represented in the Academy and in the music and entertainment industries at large.

What impact will this new Best Spoken Word Poetry Album GRAMMY category make on the poet and poetry community?

Nelson: Our hope is that this new category will create excitement and ultimately encourage and strengthen the poetry and spoken word communities. To know that they have their own GRAMMY category where they can be recognized, celebrated, and awarded a GRAMMY for the work they so passionately create will hopefully encourage the community to create even more, and in the long run, inspire others in this generation and the next to do the same.

J. Ivy: This is a literal shift in culture. I feel that this category will put a lot more eyes and ears on the work that poets do when it comes to our recordings and live performances. I think the more light that is shined on the craft, the more creatives will be inspired to want to become a part of it. I think in the years to come, you'll see kids growing up aspiring to be poets and seeing that they can thrive in their careers while doing it.

So many in the past have shared this passion for the art, but didn't see a way to sustain themselves or their families. I feel that we now have a chance to change the decisions and outcomes of so many artists who come into the world and have a true passion for the art of poetry. I think labels, who have historically shied away from signing poets, will be inclined to offer those record deals [to them]. I think those who choose to remain independent artists will have access to more revenue streams, which in turn will support the dreams and missions of poets across the world.

We now have a chance to change the decisions and outcomes of so many artists who come into the world and have a true passion for the art of poetry.

—J. Ivy

Andrews: A GRAMMY nomination or GRAMMY Award is one of the most respected metrics for identifying recording artists who have achieved a high level of success and respect from peers. For most musicians, that metric can translate into record deals, sales, and the ability to sustain a successful career. That is what I want for spoken word poets, and this new category is an unprecedented step toward that.

What does the addition of this new GRAMMY category say about the Recording Academy's recognition and support of the creativity and importance of the poetry genre?

Nelson: The creation of this GRAMMY category reflects how much the Recording Academy truly respects and recognizes the importance of this art form. Poets and spoken word creators have always been around making albums; their impact historically and culturally as activists and thought leaders is immeasurable. We are very excited to continue to support and celebrate these communities and their creative efforts.

J. Ivy: It says that the Recording Academy is listening to the needs of the music community and is willing to make the necessary changes. From the moment I spoke up about the need for this change, the Academy was all ears and offered so much help in making this happen. In my experience, the Recording Academy is working to be both a strong reflection of the culture and a huge support to those that create those works of art, which help the world spin in a more peaceful way. To me, seeing the change happen in real time was a huge example of the Recording Academy living up to the promise of being of service to the music community.

How would you like to see the Recording Academy continue to honor the poet and poetry community in the years to come?

Andrews: I believe in the power of words. So my version of the future sees more spoken word artists collaborating with the Academy on major entertainment and advocacy projects. I see poets giving a powerful voice to Academy initiatives in the way that only we can. I see us becoming increasingly involved in the Academy as members, Chapter leaders, Trustees, and hell, even Academy President one day.

But my greatest vision for the future of spoken word poetry in the Academy came to me a few years ago when I wrote the poem "The Music Movement," from my album that got the GRAMMY nomination. I sought to be the first poet to perform that poem at the GRAMMYs, with major recording artists from multiple genres celebrating the power of music and the ways it makes our world better. It didn't happen for me then, but it will for one of us poets one day. And a win for any of us is a win for the art form.

This is a literal shift in culture. I feel that this category will put a lot more eyes and ears on the work that poets do when it comes to our recordings and live performances. I think the more light that is shined on the craft, the more creatives will be inspired to want to become a part of it. I think in the years to come, you'll see kids growing up aspiring to be poets and seeing that they can thrive in their careers while doing it.

—J. Ivy 

J. Ivy: I would love to see this category live long past my years. I would love to see more programming centered around the art form of spoken word poetry. Yes, poets are educators, but poets are entertainers, too. The more the Academy can do to uplift and support the craft, the more poets will have opportunities to not only bring home GRAMMYs, but also be a part of GRAMMY night, the GRAMMY stage, and the GRAMMY experience. In turn, more doors will open and more honor will be brought to the art of poetry. The world needs more poets, and the more the Academy supports this beautiful art form that I love with all my heart and soul, the more poets we will see in the world.

The Evolution of Video Game Music: From 8-Bit To The Metaverse And The GRAMMYs

Inside The 2023 GRAMMYs

Ahead of the 2023 GRAMMYs, taking place Sunday, Feb. 5, read more about the current nominees and upcoming awards show.

So, How Did The Recording Academy Block Party Near SXSW 2022 Go? Judge For Yourself With This Colorful Recap.

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So, How Did The Recording Academy Block Party Near SXSW 2022 Go? Judge For Yourself With This Colorful Recap.

In a sunny clip, revisit how the Recording Academy Block Party near the 2022 South by Southwest Festival — presented by the Texas Chapter — got music makers together to enjoy tunes, drinks and company

GRAMMYs/Mar 23, 2022 - 09:55 pm

Spring is in the air, and live music is abundant once again. Why not get together for some uplifting tunes and terrific company during one of the biggest weeks in Austin, Texas?

That's what the Recording Academy — more specifically, the Texas Chapter of the RA — did while adjacent to South by Southwest this year. As the below clip attests, it was an affair filled with good vibes and great music.

Relive the exciting event in the minute-long recap, which includes snippets of speeches by Board of Trustees Chair Tammy Hurt and Texas Chapter Executive Director Christee Albino. The video also features drummers bringing the beat, young musicians expressing their excitement, and folks from all sectors of the music community simply enjoying themselves.

Enjoy the quick recap above, and keep checking back for more news about where the Recording Academy will pop up next — perhaps at a festival near you.

Gunna, Shawn Mendes & MUNA: GRAMMY U's 10 Favorite SXSW 2022 Moments

Why Is It Important To Vote For The 64th GRAMMY Awards? Here's What Leon Bridges, Monica, Kany Garcia, Taylor Hanson, Kah-Lo & Other Recording Academy Members Have To Say
Photo of GRAMMY trophy

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Why Is It Important To Vote For The 64th GRAMMY Awards? Here's What Leon Bridges, Monica, Kany Garcia, Taylor Hanson, Kah-Lo & Other Recording Academy Members Have To Say

The Recording Academy made good on its promise of transparency, instituting major changes surrounding the GRAMMY Awards voting process. That's why it's more important than ever to vote this season, these artists say.

GRAMMYs/Nov 4, 2021 - 01:57 am

Editor's Note: The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, <a href="https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/2022-grammys-awards-64th-new-air-show-date-location-las-vegas-april-3-announcement "https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/2022-grammys-awards-64th-new-air-show-date-location-las-vegas-april-3-announcement"">has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The below article was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 18, to reflect the new show date and location.

Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. stresses a few company values in particular, but one feels especially timely right now: transparency. Hence, GRAMMY nominations will now be determined by a majority, peer-to-peer vote of Recording Academy voting members.

It's now more crucial than ever for voting members to get involved this year to make this system work and lend their support to fellow musicians and creators.

To cap off the window of First Round GRAMMY Voting, which determines the nominees for the annual GRAMMY Awards and this year runs from Friday, Oct. 22, to Friday, Nov. 5, Recording Academy voting members are taking to social media to express all the reasons why it's important to get out and vote for the upcoming 64th GRAMMY Awards.

If you're a Recording Academy voting member and need an extra burst of motivation to get involved in the process, check the #Vote4GRAMMYs hashtag on Instagram and Twitter and listen to firsthand testimonies from fellow Recording Academy members about the importance of GRAMMY Voting below.

Learn More: The 64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show & Nominations

In her message, GRAMMY-winning R&B singer/songwriter Monica expresses that the value of GRAMMY voting is twofold to her. 

"Voting for the GRAMMY Awards is not just important to me because I'm an artist; it's important to me because I'm a writer and composer," she says. "That means the most to you — to be acknowledged at the greatest height the music has to offer."

Taylor Hanson of "MMMBop" stars Hanson made a heartfelt video on the subject.

"The GRAMMYs is all about artists and music makers voting for projects they believe in," the three-time GRAMMY nominee says. "To me, it's a great way to highlight projects that should be recognized."

Heavy music is represented by way of Troy Sanders, a five-time GRAMMY nominee and the leader of GRAMMY-winning metal heroes Mastodon. "There's no one more qualified to recognize music's best than you," he says in an Instagram clip. "So, I encourage each of you to set some time aside and become as knowledgeable as you can."

A representative from the classical world has spoken up, too. As Deborah Pae, the cellist in the Formosa Quartet and a Governor of the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter, puts it, "Voting allows us to make our voices heard, so this is our chance to advocate for artists that we feel are doing incredible work and are bringing something unique and important to the table."

Country singer/songwriter Lainey Wilson echoes Pae's sentiments, noting "the hours, the blood, the sweat, and the tears" that musical creatives pour into their art.

"Collaboration in music does not stop on the day it was created," Wilson stresses. "It truly is a nonstop collaborative effort in supporting each other, and one of the best ways to support other creators is through GRAMMY voting."

GRAMMY-winning soul singer/songwriter Leon Bridges contributed his own video to Instagram: "This is our opportunity to give back to some of the artists that shape our lives with their music," he says. "It's a moment to celebrate the producers and studio musicians and songwriters that really help bring these albums and songs to life."

Four-time GRAMMY-nominated salsa singer Víctor Manuelle also offers a passionate message about the importance of voting.

"Why is it important for me to vote for the GRAMMYs?" he asks in Spanish. "Because it gives me an opportunity to have a voice and to demand recognition of the music that represents us Latinos. We have a very big opportunity in our hands to decide which music we want to be awarded and nominated … So for me, it is very important to have a voice and a vote in the GRAMMYs."

And three-time GRAMMY-nominated Puerto Rican singer/songwriter Kany Garcia agrees.

"The artist sees the spotlight and is the center of attention, but there are all of those people behind the scenes that for years have been working to create a perfect, or almost perfect, sound in each of those songs," she says, also in Spanish. "That is why voting is important."

Last but certainly not least, GRAMMY-nominated Nigerian singer/songwriter Kah-Lo is right there with them.

"Make sure that who you feel should be recognized for their incredible work over the past year is honored the way they should be," she says. "Now, more than ever, everyone's voice counts because it's completely down to us. We have to do our part and make sure that after all this change, everything is worth it."

Keep checking back on GRAMMY.com and on the Recording Academy's social media channels for more important info and updates about GRAMMY voting and the upcoming 64th GRAMMY Awards!

64th GRAMMY Awards: Everything You Need To Know About First Round GRAMMY Voting