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GITS Fest 2023

A Worldwide Celebration of Music & Music Education

Beginning Monday, March 6, 2023; GRAMMY In The Schools® Fest (GITS Fest) presented by the GRAMMY Museum, is a four-day festival celebrating music and music education during the first week of Music In Our Schools Month.

Featuring artist performances along with engaging, educational panels, workshops, and clinics by artists, educators and other music professionals, GITS Fest will truly localize the GRAMMY experience in cities and schools nationwide. Woven throughout the festival will be lessons and other valuable information provided by top practitioners across the broad spectrum of music, music education and its connection to other school subject areas. Lesson plans and study guides will be made available free of charge to all teachers around the country who register their students to participate.

Participants will be able to ask direct questions to the panelists during the in person sessions. All GRAMMY In The Schools Fest sessions will also be live streamed across the country. To ensure easy access to the sessions, each one will be re-posted the following morning in their entirety on our GRAMMY Museum Streaming Platform; COLLECTION:live. Please note, no matter what session(s) you are able to attend or not attend in person, you will have access to each the very next morning as well.
A Worldwide Celebration of Music & Music Education

Re-live the magic from the GRAMMY Museum’s inaugural GITS Fest featuring engaging discussions, performances, and lessons from students and top professionals. GITS Fest truly localized the GRAMMY Week experience in cities and schools nationwide. Woven throughout the virtual festival are free lessons and other valuable information provided by top practitioners across the broad spectrum of music, music education and its connection to other school subject areas.

Watch Past Sessions Here
program schedule

There will be four 1-hour sessions per day that include performances, Q&A sessions, and compelling interviews from artists, students and educators beginning at 9:00AM Pacific Time (11:00AM Central, 12:00PM Eastern).

Day 1
Monday, March 6th 2023
Day 2
Tuesday, March 7th 2023
Day 3
Thursday, March 9th 2023
Day 4
Friday, March 10th 2023
Session and Speaker
9:00am - 10:00am PST
Women in Music Career Panel
11:00am - 12:00pm PST
Music in Film & Television Panel
1:00pm - 2:00pm PST
Mentorship with GRAMMY U
3:00pm - 4:00pm PST
Guest Artist Session ft. Chase Atlantic
9:00am - 10:00am PST
LGBTQ Panel In Partnership With The Ally Coalition
11:00am - 12:00pm PST
Guest Artist Session ft. Catie Turner
1:00pm - 2:00pm PST
Educator Professional Development Clinic
3:00pm - 4:00pm PST
History of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Experience Panel
9:00am - 10:00am PST
Engineering / Recording / Producer Panel
11:00am - 12:00pm PST
World Beat Rhythms Workshop
1:00pm - 2:00pm PST
Shakira Exhibit Tour & Non-Profit Spotlight - Fundacion Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Foundation)
3:00pm - 4:00pm PST
Guest Artist Session
9:00am - 10:00am PST
From Songwriting to Performance
11:00am - 12:00pm PST
Music Therapy Panel
1:00pm - 2:00pm PST
Guest Artist Session ft. Justin Tranter
3:00pm - 4:00pm PST
Music Educator Award 10th Anniversary Celebration
guest artists
These artists will be joining us for an exclusive conversation to kick off Music In Our Schools Month at the GRAMMY Museum.
Ambar Lucid
Born to a Dominican mother and Mexican father in New Jersey, 21-year-old Ambar Lucid grew up watching her dad get deported to Mexico when she was a little kid, a traumatic experience that cast a shadow over her childhood. Seeking an escape from the daily hardships of life, she found refuge in pop artists such as Lady Gaga, Kesha, Bruno Mars, and her “idol” Selena Gomez. “All I really had to entertain myself was pop culture,” she says of years spent watching pop music videos, artist interviews, and concert footage on YouTube. Ambar knew at a young age that she wanted to make music professionally someday, something that gave her a sense of comfort and hope when she needed it most. However, her complicated upbringing and where she came from, as she tells it, made it seem like a “very unrealistic thing to want to be an artist.” At school she joined clubs such as chorus and band, and started learning how to play the ukulele and piano. At age 11, she started teaching herself how to play the guitar. Not long after, she began uploading her original songs to SoundCloud—folk-tinged, bilingual indie pop and R&B tracks tackling the hopelessness and sadness that teens often face in today’s complex world. Songs such as “A letter to my younger self” and “Mar de Llanto'' allowed Ambar to navigate her struggle with depression and the feeling that even her loved ones thought she was “crazy” for following her dreams. Coupled with what Ambar refers to as a “conscious spiritual journey,” this psychedelic discovery sparked a new evolution in Ambar’s sound and aesthetic, creating a whole new world for the dynamic artist: a rainbow-hued cosmic realm of flowers, mushrooms, faeries, and butterflies, all enveloped in a soundscape of soulful vocals, trippy psych-rock, and lush electronics as heard on her transcendent Garden of Lucid album, released in 2020. Ambar has since embraced a new alter ego, Estrella, that was birthed while working on her forthcoming sophomore album of the same name. Lucid describes Estrella as “the bold and confident woman I am becoming, fully embracing and owning my fluidity, identity, and self-confidence.” In this new era, she has released two singles, “girl ur so pretty” a pop song that embraces Lucid’s sexuality and “La Torre”, heavily influenced by the tower tarot card signifying dramatic and necessary change. Inspired by her alter ego, Ambar’s next single, “Timeless,” continues her journey into that prismatic world. With more new music on the way, including her upcoming album Estrella due out later this year through 300 Elektra Entertainment, Ambar is on a mission to touch as many souls as she can through her inimitable sonic storytelling.
Baby Tate
Fueled by self-love and manifested dreams, Baby Tate is forever evolving. The Atlanta-based artist, formerly known as Yung Baby Tate, has a new, concise moniker, but the 25-year-old’s sound remains sprawling. Within a single body of work, you’ll hear summery pop, amorous R&B, and hard-hitting hip-hop. Baby Tate’s debut project, 2015’s ROYGBIV, saw her exercising full creative control, as a singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and engineer—independent skills she’s been honing since she was 13 years old. By 2018, Baby Tate had locked into executing concept albums, releasing the thematic BOYS EP, followed by her breakthrough project, GIRLS, in 2019. With both collections, Baby Tate expanded her musicality and songwriting processes, connecting strongly to women and femme audiences through kaleidoscopic beats and highly relatable lyrics. At the center of Baby Tate’s endeavors is an intentional interweaving of female empowerment and joy, as evidenced by her cohesive, yet varied 2020 EP After the Rain, the home of her viral, confidence-boosting hit “I Am.” A genuine heroine for any person who’s ever faced intrapersonal challenges, the multi-hyphenate artist offers both gentle and assertive reminders that all we need is faith, fortitude, and fearlessness. With each release, Baby Tate provides her fans with potent anthems and inspiring bars, unveiling new facets of her technicolor character in the process.
Catie Turner
You don’t ever have to worry about what Catie Turner is thinking. She will tell you within seconds. Besides being a singer and songwriter, she prides herself as “an overly emotional and anxious attachment-style musician with a lot of over-sharing to do."  However, that over-sharing continues to click with listeners. The Langhorne, PA native went from placing 7th on American Idol in 2018 to releasing “teenage crisis”  anthems such as “Prom Queen” and “i luv him.” in 2019. Beyond piling up over 120 million streams, she’s reeled in critical acclaim from TIME, Billboard, American Songwriter, People and more. She took all of her heartbreak from a breakup and turned it into the bops, ballads, and confessions on her 2021 EP, Heartbroken and Milking It, introduced by the single “Therapy.” She describes her ex’s response to these bops as “not appreciative.” Most recently, Catie has been touring the US with the likes of Valley and LEON and releasing music like high-energy bop “Nothing,” emotionally-charged “God Must Hate Me” and the quirky and playful “Step Mom.” With new music on the way, she just hopes you think she’s pretty cool, because she doesn’t have a plan B.
Chase Atlantic
Representing the missing link between anesthetized woozy trap, nocturnal R&B, and psychedelically-spun alternative, Chase Atlantic blur boundaries between genres through fearless experimentation and innate melodic inclinations. The band has amassed over 2.8 billion Spotify streams, and has received acclaim from Billboard, OnesToWatch, mxdwn, PopCrush, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, and Rock Sound of which they graced the cover. The Australia-born and Los Angeles-based trio—Mitchel Cave, Clinton Cave, and Christian Anthony—boldly push forward on their prolific creative journey while signed to Fearless Records. The band unleashed a string of EPs—Dalliance [2014], Nostalgia [2015], and Paradise [2017]—before their self-titled full-length debut, Chase Atlantic. They put up serious numbers on the likes of “Friends” [400 million Spotify streams], “Swim” [406 million Spotify streams], “Into It” [276 million Spotify streams], and “Okay” [91 million Spotify streams] to name a few. In 2019, their sophomore album, PHASES, attracted widespread praise. OnesToWatch predicted, “while we would say the sky is the limit for Chase Atlantic with a showing this strong, chances are they would just break out of the stratosphere in the year to come.” More recently, their single “OHMAMI” hit an impressive 96 million streams in only 6 months. Along the way, they canvased multiple continents, headlined across the US, UK, and Europe, and sold-out venues such as Webster Hall in New York, Kentish Town Forum in the UK, and The YouTube Space in Los Angeles in addition to gracing the stages of Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Reading and Leeds.
Hailing from the Bay Area, California rapper DreBae emerged as one of the most viral sensations in 2018 with a slew of homerun singles. His first feature release Baby Boy put everyone on notice, quickly. Combining his astonishing sense of wit, polished punches, and natural charisma to ride a beat, DreBae introduced himself to the world with a ferocious heart towards the premiere of his first single Elegant, and cross audience single No Pressure with Mega thee Stallion. His jubilant & juggernaut social media presence has connected with many of today's hottest artists such as Megan thee Stallion, City Girls, and Nicki Minaj. Kehlani invited DreBae during her main stage time of San Francisco Pride 2018 where Dre performed his hit lead single Elegant to the tune of 50,000 spectators in his hometown. Being a positive role model by exuding confidence, self-care practices, and hardworking dedication has allowed DreBae to continue to have an influence over his young audience. DreBae prides himself on being true and free-spirited through his work and activism through the LGBT community.
Short for Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge, IDK is as much a moniker as it is a mission. The Prince George’s County, Maryland, artist has long dedicated his life and art to presenting big ideas in accessible ways. Using witty lyricism, percussive flows, and a chameleonic musicality, IDK turns life lessons and philosophical musings into utter bangers. In the process, he’s become one of rap’s most inventive practitioners. His new album, USEE4YOURSELF, is his richest work yet, a sprawling meditation on love, materialism, masculinity, and the effects of a troubled upbringing. It’s also a culmination for the man born Jason Mills, who began his musical journey behind bars about a decade ago. Through albums like Subtrap (2015), IWASVERYBAD (2017), and Is He Real? (2019) IDK built a proper body of work. And he uses that foundation as a jump-off point for not just music, but action that enriches the world: his inquisitive Radio Clue Apple Music radio show; No Label Academy, his music biz course in collaboration with Nike and Harvard University; and his Clue Records, which in 2020 released IDK & FRIENDS 2, a soundtrack for Kevin Durant’s Basketball County: In the Water documentary full of DMV-area artists. In 2021 he dropped confessional and guest-laden album USEE4YOURSELF, which featured Young Thug, Offset, Swae Lee, the late great DMX, and more. The critically acclaimed offering received praise from NPR, Billboard, Office, i-D, NME to name a few. His most recent project Simple. with Kaytranada finds both artists in peak form, pushing each other to new limits.
Justin Tranter
Justin Tranter is one of the most in-demand songwriters in music today, an ACLU Bill of Rights Award-winning activist, and founder of Facet Records & Facet Publishing. With over 50 million single sales, 50 billion streams on Spotify and YouTube alone, multiple diamond-certified songs, and dozens of honors including GRAMMY® and Golden Globes® nominations, 15 total BMI Pop Awards and two consecutive “Songwriter of the Year'' titles at the BMI Pop Awards, Tranter has lent their talents to several of the most iconic songs and albums in recent memory, including Imagine Dragons & JID’s #1 single “Enemy” featured in the acclaimed Netflix series Arcane: League of Legends, Maneskin’s chart-ascending new single “Supermodel”, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next (2019), Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia (2020), Lady Gaga’s Chromatica (2020), The Chicks’ Gaslighter (2020) and Selena Gomez’s Rare (2020), as well as Justin Bieber’s Purpose (2015). Tranter’s unparalleled creative fingerprint can be felt across music, film, TV and theater, as they have written regularly with some of the biggest names in music including Miley Cyrus, Sam Smith, Kim Petras, The Jonas Brothers, Leon Bridges, Janelle Monae, Cardi B, King Princess, and more. They co-created the heralded musical Wild with Idina Menzel, directed by Diane Paulus, written by V (formerly Eve Ensler). Tranter has several major film and TV projects freshly released and in development including executive producing and writing more than 30 original songs for the highly anticipated forthcoming Grease prequel series Rise of The Pink Ladies that will be arriving on Paramount+ in April 2023. In addition to co-writing several original songs for Netflix’s runaway summer hit Purple Hearts, they also served as executive music producer for Billy Porter’s brand new directorial debut Anything’s Possible, and served as the executive producer for the soundtrack to Happiest Season, Hulu’s record-breaking holiday film. Tranter’s songwriting career thus far spans generational songs ranging from the diamond-certified smash “Sorry” (Justin Bieber) and “Believer” (Imagine Dragons), to Selena Gomez’s “Good For You” [feat. A$AP Rocky], Halsey’s “Bad At Love,” Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries,” DNCE’S “Cake by the Ocean,” and Maroon 5’s “Cold”, to name just a few.
His name is MAJOR., and his impact the same. The American Soul singer's star fiercely struck at the debut of the now Platinum hit love song, "Why I Love You". As Stevie Wonder projected, lovers from all over the world have commissioned the breakout ballad as the perfect soundtrack for their own love stories. MAJOR. is a powerful storyteller on stage & screen who leans into authenticity as his superpower. Amazingly, he has become a trusted artist for many while inspiring hearts with his relatable message of life laced in that signature falsetto! His joy is infectious and as a "Hope Dealer", he leads unapologetically with the very HOPE in LOVE his music professes. With half a billion digital streams, 4 independent solo projects, network TV shows, movies, legendary cosigns, national tours, & The MAJOR.HOPE Foundation - MAJOR. is far from done. His powerful reimagining of the classic “Whole World In His Hands” and the newly released love anthem “Baby Will You Love Me” are proof… The GRAMMY, 2x Soul Train, and 8x NAACP Image Award nominated entertainer promises so much more to come. And it can only be as mighty as the name his mama gave him: MAJOR.!
Marq Hawkins (DJ Cli-N-Tel)
Marq Hawkins (DJ Cli-N-Tel) has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment business as a musician, director, writer, and educator. He received his undergraduate degree in Afridan and Ethnic Studies from California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, CA; a graduate degree in Education from the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ; and is currently a student at Northcentral University in La Jolla, CA. He has lectured on Entertainment and Hip Hop culture at USC, Cal State, Northridge, Monroe College, Southwest College, and Santa Monica College.
Moore Kismet
At the helm of the next generation of emerging electronic music artists, Moore Kismet is in a class of their own. Born Omar Davis in Southern California, the non-binary and pansexual 17-year-old musical prodigy has become an advocate for LGBTQ+ teens and represents the beauty of what it means to be who you are. Moore Kismet has been included on Billboard’s 21 Under 21 annual list two years in a row (2020, 2021) and become the youngest artist to perform at Lollapalooza and EDC Las Vegas in 2021 — Moore Kismet demonstrates how to be unlike anyone else by being unapologetically yourself. Omar Davis grew up in the outskirts of Los Angeles and started showing off their precocity from a very early age. At just 7 years old, Omar began their musical journey by taking the family laptop and downloading Fruity Loops. Through years of YouTube tutorials and self-taught practice, Moore Kismet developed a production style that, in addition to their youth, has set them apart from other electronic music artists. Always ahead of people their own age, Omar contacted the prestigious Full Sail University at only 6 years old to enquire about enrollment. The alias Moore Kismet, meaning “more than fate,” is a representation of Omar that expresses their creative self, one that sees Omar excel as a multimedia creator, with a focus that also includes visual arts and graphic design. As a musician, Moore Kismet was just 14 years old when they captured the hearts and minds of electronic music enthusiasts, and by the age of 15, Omar began to play their first DJ gigs, beginning with their debut DJ set at Florida’s Asteria Arts & Music Festival. Moore Kismet has performed in some of the world’s most iconic venues and festivals, including Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, EDC Las Vegas, and Lollapalooza, and toured as a supporting act for top names in the genre like Illenium and Alison Wonderland. In January of 2022, Moore Kismet released their single co-written with Tate McRae, “Parallel Heartbreak,” featuring vocals by Pauline Herr. The single will be part of Moore Kismet’s debut album, UNIVERSE, due this June and will feature a handful of collaborations with notable artists. Along with an arsenal of upcoming music, the new year will see Moore Kismet expand their worldwide presence with a European tour, including performances at Lollapalooza Paris.
Nle Choppa
Despite being just 20 years old, NLE Choppa, one of the most electric rappers of his generation, has worked hard to become a pillar of his community. So while there are plenty of numbers that could quantify his success—his 13 RIAA-certified plaques and more than 5 billion global streams—it’s possible he prefers another one: 26 million. That’s how many words the kids at one Memphis elementary school read this year as part of his Needs Learning Everyday challenge. Raised on the city’s East side, Choppa broke through in 2019 with the Platinum-certified “Shotta Flow,” a muscular blend of menace and sheer personality that became his trademark. Since then, he’s garnered acclaim from the New York Times, Forbes, GQ, and Billboard, among other outlets, including XXL, which put him on its 2020 Freshman list. Choppa’s is a unique cocktail of cutting-edge street rap with a pop sensibility, and he drops music at a breakneck pace. But this hardly means he’s stuck on the same ideas. As he’s continued to serve Memphis (see his This Can’t Be Vegan food company), his music dives into his past and psyche, growing more poised and thoughtful seemingly by the month. His latest project, Me Vs. Me, is his most richly detailed yet, tracing the tragic and triumphant arcs he’s seen around him from 21st-century Memphis back to Biblical times. While his serrated style might seem at odds with his open-heartedness off the mic, they are simply different embodiments of the same drive and lust for life.
Casting an alternative haze over pop, renforshort conjures emotionally charged anthems punctuated by her intimate delivery and unfiltered lyricism. Born and raised in Toronto, she initially gravitated towards influences as diverse as Nirvana and Amy Winehouse, learning how to sing and write songs. During high school, the 20-year-old artist quietly honed her craft with countless performances in local bars in between dropping original tunes online. Her 2020 debut EP, teenage angst, lived up to its title as it bottled coming-of-age confusion and catharsis into chantable anthems with no shortage of punk spirit. The single “fuck, i luv my friends” reacted with over 15 million Spotify streams, paving the way for her off saint dominique EP in 2021. Along the way, iconic Linkin Park co-founder and co-vocalist Mike Shinoda jumped at the chance to collaborate, while YUNGBLUD, Avril Lavigne, MGK and others invited her to share the stage with them. She ignited 2022 with the single “moshpit” as it arrived to widespread acclaim from Billboard, Teen Vogue, OnesToWatch, NME, and more as EUPHORIA. proclaimed, “the songstress is reinventing traditional pop music as we know it.” Her debut album dear amelia arrived in the summer of 2022 and sees renforshort join forces with her longtime collaborator Jeff Hazin as well as producers/co-writers like David Pramik, Alexander 23, Andy Seltzer, John Ryan, Tia Scola, Nick Long and Y2K, narrating an up-close and thrillingly honest journey through the darkest parts of her psyche. Tackling raw accounts of depression and disassociation, anxiety and self-erasure renforshort crystallized the concept for her full-length debut after creating its spellbinding final track, a vocoder-enhanced epic called “amelia.”
Panelist Bios
Adam Zimmon
Adam Zimmon is a guitarist, musician, composer, producer, and band member who has worked with Shakira, Ziggy Marley, Iggy Pop, Colbie Callait, and Vida Blue, among many others. He studied music at the University of Miami and played with a number of Latin and pop artists before relocating to Los Angeles in 2009. He is currently on tour with Ziggy Marley.
Anne Buchanan
Anne Buchanan is the Senior Vice-President, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Guitar Center Company. In her role she leads the HR organization for all the company’s brands which includes, Guitar Center Stores, Music & Arts Stores, as well as Business Solutions, the smart home, smart venue and smart business arm of the company. She assumed the role in June 2018 and is responsible for the organization’s human resources strategy and enabling the Guitar Center Company to attract, motivate, develop, and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. Anne previously held the role of Senior Vice President of Global Brands Group (GBG), where she was responsible for driving and implementing the human resources strategy for the fashion and retail business which included BCBG, BCBGeneration, BEBE, Herve Leger, Joe's Jeans, and Juicy Couture. Before her role at GBG, Anne served as the SVP of Human Resources for BCBG Max Azria Group and held various Human Resources roles with Smile Brands and Cadence Design Systems. Systems. Anne is a passionate leader with a proven history of building high-impact organizations that are aligned with corporate strategy and objectives. Her innate ability to cultivate relationships and drive accountability in all directions contributes to her success. A well-published expert in Human Resources, Anne is also a member of the Human Resources Round Table at UCLA and the Society of Human Resource Management.
Brian Vickers
With over a decade of wide-ranging experience in the music industry, Brian Vickers has been able to make a name for himself in front the camera as well as behind the scenes. Brian’s extensive career experience ranges from music performance & audio engineering to music supervision & licensing. He has held positions with an array of familiar companies in the entertainment industry that include The Recording Academy (NARAS), Bunim / Murray Productions, BMG Production Music, Hidden Beach Recordings, and one of Hollywood’s top trailer houses, Trailer Park, Inc. As a performer, Brian performed with the group Afro-Blue on season 3 of the NBC show “The Sing-Off” – finishing fourth place behind the GRAMMY Award-winning group, Pentatonix. He has also performed alongside such musical legends as Smokey Robinson and Bobby McFerrin. Currently, Brian works as a Music Supervisor for The Walt Disney Studios’ in-house theatrical marketing team, The Hive. He’s worked on a number of blockbuster film campaigns that include both Avengers: Infinity War & Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Last Jedi & The Rise of Skywalker, and more recently, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Avatar: The Way of Water, Turning Red, Encanto, and many more. Brian Vickers is a proud native of Birmingham, Alabama and a proud alumnus of both Howard University and Full Sail University.
Christopher Sampson
Chris Sampson has enjoyed a diverse and multi-faceted career as an educator, producer, performer, songwriter, and administrator. Chris is professor of songwriting and Founding Director of the Popular Music program at the USC Thornton School of Music. Chris is a Lifetime Voting member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has produced events and presented seminars with Sir Elton John, Brian Wilson, Steve Miller Band, Sting, Lamont Dozier, Chaka Khan, John Fogerty, Randy Newman, David Foster, Smokey Robinson, Linda Perry, and Lindsey Buckingham, among many others.
Ed Roscetti
Ed Roscetti is a Drummer, Composer, Author & Clinician. His Hal Leonard published catalog includes 7 book/audio titles. As master clinician and lecturer, utilizing original content, engaging students from elementary to university level he has presented concerts, clinics, workshops, master classes and/or music camps at NYU, The Grammy Museum, PASIC, MoMM/NAMM, IAJE, TMEA and at Berklee School of Music and continues to do so at universities and schools across the country. Recording and performing musician for influential artists including Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample; Composer for TV and Film including Fox Sports, ESPN, Disney, Saturday Night Live, WWE and The History Channel. Ed’s steady immersion in the music industry continues to inform his teaching repertoire as he consistently incorporates his up-to-date professional experience, keeping his in person and live virtual clinic programs current and relevant to today’s music marketplace. He endorses DW, PDP, LP, IP, Remo, Paiste, Shure & Direct Sound.
Gil Robertson
For nearly three decades, writer/author Gil L. Robertson IV has used the written word to enlighten, empower and uplift. The one-time political organizer initially made his mark in entertainment journalism, penning over 50 national magazine covers and contributing bylines to a wide range of publications that include the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta Journal- Constitution, Billboard, Fortune, Essence and Ebony. He is also the founder and creator of the nationally syndicated Arts & Lifestyle column, The Robertson Treatment, which began twenty years old with an interview with Samuel L. Jackson for Eve’s Bayou. Today, The Robertson Treatment has a reach of nearly two million. As an author, Robertson has specialized in books that empower his readers, beginning first with the self-published Writing as a Tool of Empowerment (2003), a resource guide primarily aimed at young people interested in journalism. From there, he edited the groundbreaking 2006 anthology Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community where he gathered a diverse mix of voices that include Oscar winner Mo’Nique, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, legendary singer Patti LaBelle and former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, all addressing one of the most pressing public health and social challenges of our time. His subsequent anthologies—Family Affair: What It Means to Be African American Today (2008) and Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African American Community (2013)—ignited a national conversation about identity and love and relationships in the 21st century. In addition, Robertson has been a regular contributor to The African American Almanac (Gale Press). Accolades for his work include “Pick of the Week” selection by Publisher’s Weeklyfor Family Affair and a NAACP Image Awards nomination for Not in My Family. In 2003, Robertson rolled up his sleeves and got to work as the cofounder of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the largest collection of Black film critics in North America. As its president, Robertson oversees the annual AAFCA Awards, which has become a recognized fixture of the Hollywood awards season.
Grecco Buratto
Grecco Buratto is a Brazilian-born artist, musician and record producer. He began playing guitar at the age of 8 and relocated to Los Angeles to attend the Musicians Institute in 1995. Since graduating, he has toured, performed and recorded with a long list of artists including k.d. lang, Shakira, Gwen Stefani, Enrique Iglesias, Snatam Kaur, Mandy Moore, Leehom Wang, JJ Lin, Earth Wind & Fire, Sergio Mendes, BTS, Luis Fonsi, P!nk, Boyz II Men and Backstreet Boys. Recent projects included a Live CD/DVD recording with Brazilian icon Roberto Carlos at Abbey Road Studios, k.d. lang’s Ingenue 25th Anniversary Tour, recording on the Latin Grammy Award Winner for Best Contemporary Tropical album Brazil305 by Gloria Estefan, select dates with American singer-songwriter LP and musical icon Lionel Ritchie. Grecco has written music for the television shows Dawson’s Creek, Jack and Bobby, Everwood, and Brothers and Sisters, and has had a song placed in the feature film Last Vegas (co-written with Lucy Woodward and Grammy Award-winning songwriter Itaal Shur), and has recorded with film composers Gustavo Santaolalla, James Newton Howard, and Blake Neely for major motion picture soundtracks including Miami Vice, RV, First Daughter and Woman on Top.
Haleigh Bowers
Haleigh Bowers, a self-proclaimed word nerd based in Los Angeles, California, is in the midst of taking the world by storm. Inspired by authors and musical artists, she channels her passion for language and storytelling into potent lyricism that prods at the human psyche. She uniquely combines vulnerable introspection and evocative melodies to transcend the boundaries of modern folk rock – undoubtedly leaving you wanting more. Her skillset as a collaborative writer has resulted in an extensive list of accolades including placements on over 100 episodes of television shows spanning 10+ networks. Fueled by strong coffee and her local library card, Bowers is set to release her much anticipated debut solo album, “I’d Gladly Do It All Again” in the fall of 2022. In the meantime, she’s kicked things off with the release of her singles “Jealous” and “Not Your Girl,” out now on all streaming platforms.
Ifunanya Nweke
Ifunanya Nweke is the Founder and Executive Director of an award-winning innovative 501c3 nonprofit organization called Jazz Hands For Autism that provides tech-enabled avenues for success for neurodivergent musicians. Ifunanya has a Bachelors in Anthropology, a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership & Management and is currently finishing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at USC Rossier School of Education. She has been recognized by California Congresswoman Karen Bass, California Senator Holly Mitchell, California State Assemblyman Mike Gatto, 43rd District and was recently honored as one of 40 Emerging Civic leaders in Los Angeles County by the Empowerment Congress Ifunanya serves as a professional member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy and as co-chair of the curriculum subcommittee within the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Ifunanya is also a published author who recently released her debut self-help book, “20+ Lessons From My 20s” and was talent orchestrator for the historical Hollywood Bowl show headlined by GRAMMY award winning artist Burna Boy in October 2021.
Jack Demeo
Jack DeMeo is a multi-instrumentalist and a Singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. He released his first single “Most Honest Liar” in 2018, and currently plays guitar in Remi Wolf’s band. He has been playing with Remi and touring around the country since 2021. He started playing electric guitar at around 8 years old and attended an arts high school where he was introduced to R&B, Jazz, and Funk as his genre inspiration. He is mainly inspired by David Lindley, TK Kelly, Blake Mills, and describes his style as delicate, expressive, emotive, colorful, understated, and vocal.
Jade Bacon
Jade Bacon is the Los Angeles GRAMMY U Representative at the Recording Academy. She studies Jazz Voice and Music Industry at the University of Southern California.
Jared Cassedy
Jared L. Cassedy is the K-12 Performing Arts Coordinator for Lexington Public Schools in Lexington, Massachusetts where he oversees and supports all music and dramatic arts programming and curriculum development in collaboration with the performing arts teachers, and also conducts the LHS Wind Ensemble. He is also the conductor of the Junior Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble at New England Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory School. Jared is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious GRAMMY Music Educator Award furnished by the GRAMMY Museum (formerly Foundation) and The Recording Academy and has most recently been named a 2022 National Music Teacher of Excellence by the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation. He is currently the chairperson for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Northeastern District and serves on the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Equity Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and the Council of Music Program Leaders. Jared also serves as a teacher leader for the Connected Arts Network (CAN) and prior to coming to Massachusetts, was the President-Elect for the New Hampshire Music Educators Association (NHMEA).
Jasen Emmons
Jasen Emmons is the Chief Curator and Vice President of Curatorial Affairs at the GRAMMY Museum. He’s the co-curator of the museum’s new exhibit, Shakira, Shakira, and has curated more than a dozen other exhibits. Prior to his time at the GRAMMY Museum, Emmons was the curatorial director at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle from 2007-2019.
Jeffery Redding
Jeffery Redding, the 2019 GRAMMY Music Educator Award Recipient, is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Dr. Redding has led his choirs in performances at national, regional, and state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His choirs have earned first place awards at Heritage Festivals of Gold in California, Chicago, New York and at the Festival of Spirituals in Washington D.C. While participating in the International Music Festival in Verona, Italy, his chorus from West Orange High School received the Gold Award for best choir, with Dr. Redding honored as top director. Nationally, Dr. Redding is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician. He has conducted the ACDA National High School Honor Choir, the Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, and the North Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, the Eastern Division ACDA Honor Choir, the Southern Division ACDA Honor Choir and All- State and Honor choirs in approximately forty-five states. In 2014, Dr. Redding was the only American adjudicator at the International Choral Festival, Verona, Italy. Additionally, he conducted at the TAISM Festival of Choirs in Muscat, Oman. He was the Artistic Director for Limerick Sings International Choral Festival in Limerick, Ireland in 2018. In 2019, he conducted the Alaska All-State Treble Choir, the NAfME Central Regional Elementary Honor Choir, the Morehead State University Honor Choir, and the Honors Young Adults Choir, at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. Previously Director of Choral Activities at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida, and West Virginia University (WVU), Dr. Redding has been featured as guest conductor at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, and Orchestra Hall on numerous occasions.
Jeffrey Murdock
Dr. Jeffrey Allen Murdock is internationally known as a conductor and clinician. He currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas. He is the 2016 Connor Endowed Faculty Fellow in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Science, and 2019 Most Outstanding Faculty at the University of Arkansas. He is the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year. Dr. Murdock has conducted regional and state honor choirs, and headlined conferences in 26 states and 5 countries. With research interests including of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in the Choral Classroom, Music in Urban Schools, and Social Justice in Music Education, he has presented at state, regional and national conferences of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the International Society for Music Education (ISME), and the American Choral Director's Association, where he serves as president of the Southwestern Division, past-president of Arkansas ACDA, and serves on the national diversity subcommittee. Choirs under Dr. Murdock’s direction have performed at the Arkansas All-State Conference and the Southwestern Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association. In addition to being an accomplished conductor of western choral music, Dr. Murdock is also a skilled gospel musician and conductor. He has served on the conducting staff of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., has collaborated with numerous world-renown Gospel recording artists.
Jessica Vaughn
Jessica Vaughn is a rarity: a songwriter who understands artists, an artist who understands business, and an entertainment industry executive who understands––and empathizes with––it all. Jessica was still a teenager when she first turned heads as Charlotte Sometimes, a recording artist whose full-length debut on Geffen Records found a spot on the Heatseekers Chart and prompted VH1 to name her a “You Oughta Know Artist.” Later, Jessica became a fan and critic favorite on Season 2 of The Voice and inked a deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, before moving on from her Charlotte Sometimes persona altogether to write and perform under a new alias, LACES. Still defined by the honesty and cashmere voice that originally set her apart, Jessica’s work as LACES is subtly brilliant alt-pop for adults. Under her own name and as founder and leader of multi-service hive Head Bitch Music, Jessica continues to pen songs for other recording artists; write, produce, and sing music for Hasbro cartoons such as Jem & the Holograms, Baby Alive, Littlest Pet Shop, Equestria Girls, and more; and secure placements on series and specials on the CW, Netflix, ABC, and others, as well as films. Jessica lives and works in Los Angeles.
Joe Ayoub
Joe Ayoub is a Los Angeles musician, writer, arranger, producer, and musical director who has worked closely with Shakira. His main instruments are electric and acoustic bass, and he’s performed or recorded with a broad range of artists, including Enrique Iglesias, Leonard Cohen, Nikka Costa, Liz Phair, Sara Bareilles, and many others.
Jon Greasley
Jon Greasley is a Los Angeles based, Brit-transplant sound designer, re-recording mixer, and general maker of noise. His more recent credits (Your Honor, The Orville, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, Cosmos) have skewed science fiction, science fact, and horror, which is great because he enjoys all of those things. With a history in sound going back to the 1990s, Greasley has recorded in studios both sides of the Atlantic with his previous band, Apartment 26 (named for a David Lynch reference), and is now fully devoted to film sound. Greasley brings a sense of musicality and rhythm to his sound design work, and still plays guitar and drums when schedules allow, occasionally releasing music under the moniker WinstonDeath.
Through dynamic, diverse, and diaristic songwriting, JORDY amplifies the back-and-forth of his internal conversation as loudly as possible. Penning plainspoken lyrics and belting them with no shortage of personality, he ponders what to say to a crush, the ups and downs of mental health, the trials and tribulations of being a third wheel, the inevitability of getting older, and why it’s okay to move on. In 2018, he broke through with the independent single “Just Friends,” tallying 18M+ streams and counting. He maintained his momentum with “Close To You,” reeling in another 13+ million streams. His 2021 full-length debut, Mind Games, spawned the relatable “Long Distance,” which lit up TikTok. In its wake, he made his television debut with a showstopping performance on The TODAY Show and later earned a nomination at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in the “Social Star” category. In 2022, he also graced the stages of Lollapalooza, BottleRock Napa Valley, Washashore Festival in Provincetown, MA, and various Pride performances across the U.S. – culminating with a sold-out show at LA’s famed Troubadour at the end of the year. Piling up north of 100 million streams and earning acclaim from Rolling Stone, PAPER, Billboard, People, The Huffington Post, Consequence of Sound, and more, JORDY holds nothing back on his second full-length album, BOY [out Friday, 4/21]. He initially heralded the album with a trio of standouts songs in 2022 – “Dry Spell,” “IDK SH!T,” and “i get high.” BOY’s lead single “Story of a Boy” flips the story and sound of a familiar anthem—Nine Days’ “Story of a Girl”—with a fresh, fiery, and inclusive spirit that hints at much more to come. Ahead of BOY’s release, JORDY delivered a stellar performance of the song on The Kelly Clarkson Show and landed nominations at the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in the “Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist” category, as well as the 11th Annual Queerty Awards for “Best Music Video” – underscoring a bright future ahead.
Julie Mutnansky
Julie Mutnansky is the Museum Foundation’s Director of GRAMMY in the Schools, overseeing many of the education programs including GRAMMY Camp, GRAMMY Camp: Weekend, GRAMMY Museum Summer Session, GRAMMY Signature Schools, and GRAMMY In The Schools Fest. In this role, she manages each program from start to finish, organizing a team of volunteers and music industry professionals and coordinating with all student participants and their parents. She has over twelve years of experience working in the music industry and non-profit world. Beyond the Museum, Mutnansky is a volunteer with Musicians On Call and a member of the LA Soundboard with Notes For Notes, an organization dedicated to providing youth with completely free access to music instruments, instruction, and recording studio environments. Producing, marketing, and managing events is her passion while cultivating relationships amongst industry professionals, vendors, sponsors, donors, students, and teachers.
Katherine Wing
An avid drummer, touring musician, and the youngest vice president on the Roland Americas team, Katherine Wing inspires women everywhere. If you’ve met or worked with her, you'll know it’s her incredible insight into people—whether peers, the c-suite, or members of her team—that has garnered her so much respect from everyone in her professional life. Katherine, better known as Kat, is a natural leader, a great communicator, and a respected colleague. After graduating from Arizona State University, Kat launched her career at a marketing agency in Phoenix on a team responsible for developing public relations campaigns. From there, she went on tour playing drums in the band The Green Lady Killers and followed that by landing several positions at Guitar Center, ultimately leading her to Roland’s U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles. The team there was thrilled to hire Kat as Roland’s first channel marketing specialist for the region. She has quickly risen to her current position at Roland Americas, where she leads a marketing team of 23 people across the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. A love of music inspired primarily by her mother led Kat to learn to play drums at 16. What makes her accomplishments in the musical instruments industry and her rise at Roland even more significant is that she accomplished it while regularly performing and recording with bands like The Green Lady Killers and Blood Candy. Her confidence in her musicianship, stage presence, and relationship with her bandmates and audience have contributed to her success in marketing communications and her corporate role. But even with her success as a performer and in the corporate realm, she stays humble.
Katrina Lee
Katrina currently serves as the Operations Manager for Jammcard, Inc. She attended Cal State Fullerton and was the Director of Social Events for the American Marketing Association, Fullerton Chapter while interning at Atlantic Records, followed by Interscope Records. After graduation, Katrina attained a role as Promotions Assistant at CBS Radio followed by a position at the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs where she worked for 5 years as an Executive Assistant & Project Manager to the Chief Industry Officer and Vice President of Membership and Industry Relations. Katrina worked on major GRAMMY week events including Person of the Year and the Clive Davis Pre-GRAMMY Gala. She also helped coordinate the backstage media area for Music’s Biggest Night, the GRAMMY Awards for three straight years. Katrina has 8+ years’ experience in production and live events. She is a Professional Member at the Recording Academy, GRAMMY U Mentor and serves as a Board Member for the Juke Joint Foundation where she continues her efforts to empower the next generation of women of color in the music industry.
Keith Hancock
Keith Hancock is in his 21st year teaching this year, all at Tesoro High School. Mr. Hancock was recently named the Grammy Music Educator Award winner and a top 50 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize. He was also named one of the 10 CMA National Music Teachers of Excellence and one of the 100 Most Influential People of Orange County by the Orange County Register. In addition, the Tesoro HS music program was named a Grammy Signature School of Excellence. Mr. Hancock is a frequent collaborator with Grammy-award-winning Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, arranging, conducting and recording for his album, Know, and performing with him at the Hollywood Bowl and the FivePoint Amphitheatre. Ensembles from Tesoro have also performed, recorded with and/or opened for a growing list of A-list performers including Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, Johnny Mathis, Five for Fighting, Take 6, Quentin Tarantino, Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders), Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, Gordon Goodwin, Ruben Studdard, Natalie Weiss and Raining Jane. The THS Madrigals under Mr. Hancock’s direction have accepted invitations to perform at two ACDA Western Division Conferences. Tesoro choirs are multiple winners of the Golden State Choral Competition and they have performed twice in Carnegie Hall and at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and Staples Center in Los Angeles. Mr. Hancock holds a M.A. in Education and a B.M. in Music Education and Choral Conducting (Summa cum Laude) from Chapman University, where he was a Presidential Scholar and was awarded the Choral Conducting and the Music Education Awards.
Kent Knappenberger
Kent Knappenberger is a music educator at Westfield Academy and Central School in Westfield, NY and has been so for the past 34 years. The students at Westfield High School have opportunities to study performance on vocal and band instruments in the traditional band or choir. But, through the secondary general music class, they are able to study traditional instruments such as guitar, mandolin, Celtic harp, bass, and hammered dulcimer among others. They also learn various styles of improvisation, song-writing, technology based composition, musical theatre, music theory and music history. Ensembles under his direction have performed as guests of the New York State School Musical Association(NYSSMA) on numerous occasions (chamber choir, tenor/bass choir, Celtic/American traditional music ensemble, and handbell ensemble) as well as the several National Association for Music Education Eastern Division conferences. Many young musicians from Westfield High School have been selected for all-state honors as singers and composers and have been performers in NAfME and ACDA(American Choral Directors Association) Eastern Division choirs and the ACDA and NAfME National Honors choirs. Kent is a graduate, summa cum laude, of the SUNY-Fredonia School of Music, where he was heavily influenced by the teaching philosophy of Dr. Thomas Regelski. He also holds a M. M. in Harp Performance and Literature and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. He has performed with Broadway star, Lucie Arnaz and jazz great Michael Brecker, on harp, with pop stars "Los Lonely Boys" on mandolin, and fiddle player, John Kirk, on Celtic harp and Irish whistle. Kent is the recipient of the inaugural Grammy Music Educator Award, the National Association of Music Merchants "I Support Music ' award, the NYSSMA Distinguished Service award, and was the gold medalist in the journeyman division of the National Scottish Harp Competition in 2018, among other honors.
Larrance Dopson
Larrance Dopson, Grammy Award Winning producer and instrumentalist is most recently known for his production on Roddy Rich's single "The Box" which spent 11 weeks at the top spot of the US Billboard. As well as his production on “Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai which led R&B charts for 13 weeks straight at number one. The song was nominated for two Grammys, bringing home a Grammy for ‘Best R&B Song’ (61st Annual Grammy Awards). Rance has a long history of hit songs - In 2019, he was also nominated for Justin Timberlakes, “Say Something” for Best Pop Duo, and Nipsey Hussles “Victory Lap”, for Best Rap Album. His very first hit gained production credit when he was just 18 - for Bobby Valentino's, “Gangsta Love” in 2003. Within the last few years, Rance has musical directed for Jay-Z and says the first song that he was truly proud to be part of was “Show Me What You Got” released in 2006, which opened many doors for the multi-instrumentalist and changed the sound of the hip-hop game. Dopson was also musical director for Usher (2017) and Khalid (2018), Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Migos, Rick Ross, and many others. He has made several appearances on television broadcasts such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Show with David Letterman, Last Call with Carson Daly and Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Rance has shared the stage with many top tiered acts from all over the world and has led the Soul Train Awards as Musical Director since 2015. Dopson co-produced “Pray” from Sam Smith’s the Thrill of it All, “Filthy” from Justin Timberlake’s Man of The Woods, charted “Say Something” by Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton as the #1 Pop/Country song and continues to work alongside a magnitude of artists. He has written and composed on several records including Mi Declaración (Feat. Timbaland & SID) (Prod. By Larrance Dopson, Timbaland & Angel López) which resulted in Maluma’s first Latin Grammy for ‘Best Pop Contemporary Pop Vocal Album’ (19th Latin Grammy Awards), Mariah Carey’s newest single, “Whatever You Want” by Meek Mill Ft. Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign, “Rodeo” by Travis Scott, “Free TC” by Ty Dolla Sign, “Still Brazy” by YG, “Far Away” by Marsha Ambrosius and musical direction for the album “Cole World” by J. Cole. He was nominated for Grammys on "Far Away" by Marsha Ambrosius and Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1—further winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration on “These Walls” by Kendrick Lamar and Best Rap Album “To Pimp A Butterfly”. Lately, he's worked with powerhouse vocalists Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Meek Mill's (Championships Album) and many more.
Laura Rodriguez
Laura Rodriguez is the Director of Social Media Marketing at the Recording Academy / GRAMMYs and has been with the organization since 2013. As part of the early social media team, Rodriguez was integral in the development of the voice and strategy. For the last 9 years, Rodriguez has crafted social media campaigns and sculpted the social media presence of how the GRAMMY Awards, the top most social televised special, connects with music fans on Music’s Biggest Night and year-around. She leads the charge on increasing engagement through earned media, developing strategy and campaigns that create brand affinity and awareness among the Recording Academy’s core audiences. Working with various departments in the organization, she streamlines brand strategy, sets company objectives, and defines the brand’s core messaging across platforms through analytics. Rodriguez grew up in El Monte, California, and is a first-generation college graduate that holds a B.A in Communications from California State University Fullerton, where she also guest-lectures on social media marketing. During her spare time, she mentors college students through GRAMMY U, a Recording Academy college program that is geared towards college student who are pursuing a career in the music industry. Aside from mentoring, Rodriguez stays active in her community by volunteering her time to speak with Latinas in high school and college about social media personal branding while empowering them to fulfill their potential and become confident, college-bound, career-focused young women through HOPE–– a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that focused on empowering communities through advocacy and leadership training.
Lee Sanders
Over the last two decades, Lee Sanders has secured his reputation as a composer for media, working on projects in Hollywood and around the world. His musical style is intense and immediate, drawing from deep experience in orchestral, electronic, and world music. Lee has won eight BMI Film & Television Awards for his work. His credits include the multiple Emmy® Award-winning series The Amazing Race (US and international versions); the current Sony Pictures Home Entertainment logo theme; the award-winning films Old Stone and Principles of Curiosity; and the children's web series Storyline Online for SAG-AFTRA Foundation. As a conductor, orchestrator and additional composer, Lee has also contributed to shows such as Family Guy, Charmed, The Fairly Oddparents, Disney’s House of Mouse, and dozens more. Outside the studio, Lee has served as instructor at the UCLA Extension Film Scoring Program and at Occidental College. He has also lectured at the USC School of Cinema-Television, Eastman School of Music, Loyola Marymount University, and other schools across the country.
Lyndsey Parker
Lyndsey Parker is the music editor at Yahoo Entertainment and the host of WMG's successful podcast series Totally '80s. Considered an expert in music and pop culture, she is a 2022 She Rocks Awards and Southern California Journalism Awards winner and an Online Journalism Award and L.A. Press Club Award nominee. Additionally, Lyndsey is a recurring cast member of AXS TV’s The Top Ten Revealed and Music's Greatest Mysteries; hosted the SiriusXM radio show "Volume West" from 2018 to 2022; is a regular moderator at the Grammy Museum; and has appeared in Netflix's The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story, A&E's I Want My MTV, and various other documentaries. She is the co-author of the autobiography of legendary muse and former GTOs member Miss Mercy, Permanent Damage: Memoirs of an Outrageous Girl, and the author of Careless Memories of Strange Behavior: My Notorious Life as a Duran Duran Fan. Parker has also written for Elle, MOJO, Rolling Stone, NME, and Guitar, among other publications.
Maddy Lauritzen
Maddy Lauritzen is the Coordinator of GRAMMY In The Schools at the GRAMMY Museum Foundation, working on programs like the Music Educator Award, GRAMMY Camp, GRAMMY Museum Summer Session, GRAMMY Signature Schools, and GRAMMY In The Schools Fest. As someone who credits music and the arts as being formative to her own adolescence, she is passionate about bringing music education initiatives to students and teachers across the nation. Prior to her role at the Museum, Maddy worked on film education programs at Warner Bros. Entertainment and on marketing campaigns at 20th Century Fox. She is also a proud alumna of the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), where she studied Communication and Theatre (and spent the majority of her free time singing in musicals and her acapella group). Maddy enjoys combining her love for music and program building in her role at the GRAMMY Museum and is excited to introduce students to the wide variety of careers like hers that are available to them.
Manny Marroquin
Manny Marroquin is one of the music industry’s preeminent mixing engineers. Having graced over 300 million albums worldwide, he has earned over fifty #1 albums and one hundred Top 10 albums on The Billboard 200, plus twenty Hot 100 #1 singles and over fifty singles in the Top 10. He has won nine GRAMMYs, including Best Engineered Album for John Mayer's “Battle Studies” in 2011 and most recently Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You". Over the course of two and a half decades in the business he has mixed and engineered countless classics for artists including Post Malone, Rihanna, Portugal. The Man, The Weeknd, Eminem, Linkin Park, John Legend, Imagine Dragons, Mac Miller, Bastille, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Charlie Puth, Camilla Cabello, Alessia Cara, Sia, Future, Thirty Seconds to Mars and The Rolling Stones.
Maria Martinez
Drummer, percussionist, core curriculum author, clinician, composer, and educator; Performs concerts and conducts clinics, master classes, and workshops at universities, schools, and retail venues across the country. Has shared both stage and studio with a diverse list of artists worldwide, including artists such as Barry White, El Chicano, Klymaxx, Rita Coolidge, Nel Carter, Angela Bofill, Emmanuel, Johnny Paycheck, Maia Sharp, Jay Dee Maness and Tim Weisberg among others. Performed in some of the most prestigious venues, theatres, and festivals such as Radio City Music Hall, Blue Note (New York & Japan), Kodak Theater (Los Angeles), New Orleans Super Dome, Blues Alley (Washington D.C.), New Orleans Jazz Festival, Universal Amphitheatre (Los Angeles), Rainforest World Music Festival (Borneo), Viña del Mar International Song Festival (Chile).
Melanie Lynn Stevenson
Melanie Lynn Stevenson (she/her) is an artist advocate, mentor, and serves as Artist Relations Manager for Roland Americas. She’s built a solid reputation as a forward-thinking, people-driven leader in the music and technology space. A multi-instrumentalist since the age of three, Melanie currently rocks her Trevor James flute and Roland Aerophone Pro utilizing her favorite BOSS effects pedals and loop station. Melanie excels in the art of transforming how MI brands and artists can work together to problem-solve in today’s rapidly shifting industry. She invites conversations on creating positive social change and increasing access and transparency. Recognizing the profound impact of music lessons in her own life, Melanie believes that everyone should have access to music education from a young age. In her role at Roland Corporation, Melanie oversees the Artist Relations team for Roland, BOSS, and V-Moda in the Americas region. Her team has worked on successful artist campaigns for new product releases and supported major tours across the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Melanie graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music in Boston, earning a dual Bachelor of Music in Music Business and Music Production & Engineering. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her two rescue dogs, Kaia and Luna.
Melissa Salguero
Melissa Salguero is an award-winning music educator who currently serves as the Music Director at Wings Academy High School in Bronx, NY. With over a decade of experience, she has a proven track record of making a positive impact on students' lives and fostering their love of music. As the Chorus Director of the Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble, and Music Director at P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake and Martinez Middle School, she has successfully developed music programs that have received recognition at the local, national and international level. Melissa is a firm believer in the power of Patience, Trust and Kindness as core teaching principles. Her dedication and hard work have resulted in her being a finalist for the Global Teacher Prize in 2019 and the recipient of the 2018 GRAMMY Music Educator award. Additionally, she has received numerous other awards and accolades, including the Big Apple Award and Lincoln Centre Arts Teacher of the Year. Her passion for music education is evident in her ability to raise over $300,000 for her music programs and her tenacity in finding resources for her students. She has even been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2012 after someone broke into her school and stole instruments. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of South Florida and a Master of Music Education from the University of Bridgeport. She is a dedicated and inspiring educator who is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of her students. You can follow her on social media @salgueromusic or visit her website at
Nakeya Fields
Nakeya T. Fields is a mental health entrepreneur, author, educator, and speaker. Nakeya is an alumna of the University of Southern California where she received a BA in Communication, a Master's in Social Work and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Social Work and Child Welfare & Attendance. She is licensed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of California. Nakeya is also a certified field instructor and clinical supervisor. Nakeya is a 200 HR TT Yoga instructor, certified in trauma informed restorative yoga and Mini Yogis Yoga for Kids yoga. She is a 2020-21 UCLA-DMH Early Childhood Intervention Fellow and serves as faculty in the Tseng School of Graduate, International and Midcareer Education at California State University, Northridge. Nakeya has over 14 years’ experience in developing and running mental health related community focused programming. She is the Founder and Chair of the Board for The Therapeutic Play Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers a healthier, more resilient world through education, mindfulness, art, and play. Nakeya is the bestselling author of “Mental Health Entrepreneur - Gain Freedom and Escape the 9-5 Grind: How To Treat Mental Illness and Monetize Your Expertise”, released In April 2018. Her second book, The “Manifest It! Action Planner: An Accountability Tool for the Powerful” will be available soon. Nakeya is also active in the community as the Chair of the Black Mental Health Task Force which seeks to empower community members of Black and African Heritage through advocacy and policy reform. Further, Nakeya acts as a program development and staffing consultant to develop progressive health and wellness programs that incorporate creative modalities within educational, corporate and community driven organizations. She also provides in-service seminars and is available for book signings, expert panels, speaking engagements, and consultation. Nakeya’s passion for empowerment of others comes from her lived experience as a Black woman in America and her exposure to the pain of others as a mental health provider and advocate.
Noah Goldstein
Noah Goldstein is a Grammy Award winning producer, composer, recording engineer, and mixer. Mr. Goldstein served as a producer, A&R representative, and engineer for Kanye “Ye” West and his label G.O.O.D. Music between 2010 and 2018, during which he collaborated on award-winning projects including My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus, The Life of Pablo (Kanye West), Watch The Throne (Kanye West & Jay-Z), Blonde & Endless (Frank Ocean), Hopelessness (Anohni), Daytona (Pusha-T), Rodeo (Travis Scott), and More Life (Drake). Mr. Goldstein served as the SVP of A&R for Columbia Records, and has most recently produced and composed records for Rosalía, FKA Twigs, Omar Apollo, Denzel Curry, and Yves Tumor. He is currently the Founder & CEO of Ark Productions, INC. and Ark Publishing, INC
Nurit Siegel Smith
Nurit Siegel Smith is a social sector executive and creative strategist dedicated to developing and advancing sustainable organizations that positively impact the world around us. She has spent the past two decades in roles in arts and entertainment non-profits at the intersection of education, performance, and philanthropy. With extensive knowledge of the social and entertainment industry sectors, she has managed positions within varied organizations including Blue Man Group, Highways Performance Space, SAG-AFTRA Foundation, and Grand Performances. Currently she is Executive Director of Music Forward Foundation, a national 501c3 organization part of the Live Nation Entertainment family with a mission to transform young lives, inspire careers and champion a more inclusive music industry.
Pamela Dawson
Pamela Dawson began studying music at the age of seven on the piano. She continued in music throughout her education and was greatly influenced by her God-Sister, Dorothy Ashby, a well-renowned Jazz Harpist. She graduated from Cass Technical High School as a Vocational Music Major and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications & Theater with an emphasis in music from Eastern Michigan University. She began her teaching career in 1995 in Detroit, Michigan and was the Head Choral Director at several schools in the metropolitan area. Pamela is currently in her 27th year of teaching and her 16th year in Texas at DeSoto High School. Choirs under her direction have consistently earned numerous sweepstake ratings in Contest and Sight-Reading, Best in Class, and Outstanding Performance awards at festivals on the local, state, national and international levels, including a tour and performance in London, England. Pamela is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, American Harp Society, Texas Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and has previously served as the Chair for the DeSoto Arts Commission for six years. In 2022, she was inducted into the DeSoto School ISD Hall of Honors for special achievements and honors in her career, making an impact in the community and the district and service to education and the DeSoto ISD. And finally, she was a top ten Grammy Finalist for Music Educator of the Year in 2021.
Phillip Riggs
Phillip Riggs, 2016 Grammy Music Educator of the Year, retired after teaching more than 30 years in North Carolina. He is a music instructor emeritus at the NC School of Science and Math, Durham, NC. Phillip is a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award and the Exceptional Contribution in Outreach Award presented by the UNC Board of Governors. Prior to joining the NCSSM faculty, he was the first fine arts chair at Ronald Reagan High School, Winston-Salem, NC. Mr. Riggs was the first faculty member inducted into the Reagan High School Hall of Fame, (Fall, 2015). Before assuming that position, he taught in Davidson County for sixteen years. Phillip currently serves as a conductor with the World Adult Wind Orchestra Project (WAWOP) held in Austria each summer. He is a co-founder and conductor of the NC Youth Wind Ensemble. Mr. Riggs is a Past President of the NC Band Directors Association, also served as chair of the North Carolina High School All-State Band (8 years), chair of the NCMEA Technology and founding chair of the NCMEA New Teacher/Mentor Committee. He was the coordinator of the National Association for Music Educators, National Wind Ensemble at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (2011, 2012). He has also served as the Southern Division Representative on the NAfME Council for Band and the NC chair of the National Band Association. His professional affiliations include NAfME, NCMEA, NBA, and ASBDA. Phillip, a Conn-Selmer Educational Artist, is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States, Austria, and China.
Ricardo Hurtado
Ricardo Hurtado MT-BC, NMT is a Board-Certified Music Therapist with a specialty credential in Neurologic Music Therapy. As such, he specializes in a research-based approach to music therapy that implements standardized clinical techniques for speech and language, sensorimotor and cognitive training. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Hurtado has over 25 years’ experience in children’s music education and has worked with many non-profit organizations serving children in the low-income sectors. He has devoted particular attention to the needs of populations with neurological and developmental conditions affecting communication, cognition, and movement -- including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Down Syndrome (DS), Cerebral Palsy (CP), Stroke (CVA), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Parkinson's Disease (PD), and Huntington's Disease (HD). Hurtado was honored to serve as Research clinician at the 2019 Music Meets Medicine conference (Molloy College, New York) and as a clinician for Special Education segments at the 2019 and 2020 California Music Educator Association Southwestern Conferences. Inspired by El Sistema, a free music education program founded in Venezuela to promote opportunity and development among impoverished children, Hurtado has directed his work and research toward the development of a fun, affordable, and inclusive music program designed to reach a broad cross-section of young learners. Hurtado currently works at Education Through Music -LA as a General Music Teacher/ Therapy Specialist. Hurtado oversees the music therapy department and provides continuous training and support to teachers in special education. Hurtado is also owner and founder of LA Musica Therapy were he and his team serves the community providing different music therapy programs and serving as vendor for Regional Center agencies across Los Angeles, CA.
Sarah Nolan
Sarah Nolan, BM, MT-BC is a Board Certified Music Therapist who specializes in pediatric medical music therapy. She completed her Bachelor of Music in Music Business degree at Azusa Pacific University and obtained her Music Therapy Certificate at California State University, Northridge. She went on to complete her internship training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and received specialized training in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Music Therapy in 2021. She now provides services at two pediatric hospitals, Children’s Hospital LA and Shriners for Children Medical Center. Prior to becoming an MT-BC, Sarah worked with children as young as 3 years old as a private music instructor and with infants as young as 3 months in parent-child music classes focusing on sensory development. Although she enjoyed all these musical outlets, her interest in music therapy grew as she learned more about connections between music and the brain and how music can be applied in a clinical setting. Her therapeutic style is “patient-centered”, focusing on providing patients with autonomy and control in an environment where they receive little to no power. In addition to her clinical work, she continues to seek opportunities for music therapy education and advocacy with parents/caregivers and staff, as well as outside the hospital through various trainings and seminars. When she is not providing music therapy services, Sarah works as a gigging musician in the Los Angeles area.
Schyler O'Neal
Schyler O’Neal is the Manager of Education and Community Engagement at the GRAMMY Museum. In this role he coordinates and teaches a majority of the education workshops held in the Clive Davis Theater and virtually, many of which he created and developed himself. In addition to workshops, O’Neal manages many other education & community engagement programs, including GRAMMY Museum SESH and the GRAMMY Museum Backstage Pass Series. O’Neal also moderates many of the programs held by the GRAMMY Museum and has interviewed many artist and industry professionals including Ziggy Marley, Jon Baptiste, Sean Paul, Davido, Chuck D, Mc Lyte, and many more. Before joining the Museum’s team in 2013, he participated as a student in several of the education programs, including GRAMMY Museum Summer Session and GRAMMY Museum Music Education programs at the White House. O’Neal is actively working as a Music Artist, Songwriter, and Platinum Producer, having recently produced for GRAMMY Nominated artist Giveon.
Stephen Cox
Stephen Cox is a band director and music educator with a passion for the power of music in all forms for all students. A graduate of Howard Payne University Mr. Cox spent the last ten years teaching at Eastland ISD. During this time, his bands achieved state-wide recognition as an exemplary rural music program and earned the distinction of performing at the Midwest Clinic as well as multiple Association of Texas Small School Band OPS state titles. Cox's philosophy is centered around student ownership and choice, with the goal of convincing as many students as possible that they are musicians. In addition to his work as a music educator, Cox is also a sought-after speaker and clinician on the topics of rural education, educational technology, and student motivation. Currently, Cox is the Director of Bands for the Fox Tech Campus in San Antonio, TX. The core values of his programs are Joy, Passion, and Community. Through his dedication and passion for music education, Cox continues to inspire and empower students to reach their full potential as musicians.