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Student Showcase



The GRAMMY Museum is pleased to team up with our long-time partner, the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, to produce our first ever Student Showcase! The program is designed to offer high school students an opportunity to showcase their musical talents on stage at the GRAMMY Museum for their friends and family.



The following artists/bands are our participants in this year's Student Showcase



Dione Garay Santacruz’s history with music begins at seven years old. Dione has been recording commercials for her beloved country where she was born, Mexico. In 2015, Dione did her first movie called "Little Rooster’s Eggcellent". When she moved to LA, Dione chose to be in a choir and the first song she had to sing was "What a Wonderful World". She immediately fell in love with singing since then. Dione’s Mom saw that there was something special in her voice and she asked her if she wanted to join YADA (Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts), she had to of course say yes, and since then has not stopped preparing for her singing career. Dione did "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" as one of Josephs wives, and "The Beauty and the Beast"as the Beast. In 2016, Dione joined a band called Little Kids Rock where they would have performances at various venues. Dione was one of the lead singers. In 2017, Dione continued with her voice acting career and worked on a movie called "Little Egg’s Rescue" where she was the main character. In 2018, Dione was asked to audition for the role of Masha in "Masha and the Bear". She was chosen for the role and did the entire season for that show. In 2019, Dione did the sequel to “Little Egg’s Rescue" which is called "Frozen Little Eggs" and was again the main character. The most recent series Dione acted in was " Selena The Series" on Netflix as Selena herself. In 2021, Dione joined a school called Rockstars of Tomorrow, where she auditioned for a band and was chosen as the lead singer. She did that for a year, and then decided to go to another school called Mariachi Herencia. This was a wonderful experience for Dione as they performed a lot of public shows, and she was able to collaborate with an educator who was from the famous mariachi group, Mariachi Vargas.



"Hedy" is a recently formed teen band made up of four talented, female musicians in the popular music conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts. The jazz-fusion quartet enjoys playing soulful covers that elevate the voices of women in music. Through their passion and aspirations to pursue careers in music, they hope to use their platform to push for a more gender inclusive music industry.



The venerable HONEYBEE is a three-piece real live Rock and Roll band armed with cosmic talent beyond their years. Formed in 2019 by ex-drummer Revel Ian, guitarist Liam Williams, and bassist Theo O'Gara deep in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California, HONEYBEE began devastating the hearts and minds of audiences with their explosive cocktail of Hard Rock and Metal, a dash of Prog, and an alt-Folk edge. Nearly a year after the release of their full-length album that was recorded at the Foo Fighter's 606 studios, Revel Ian left the band due to creative differences. After a rigorous search for a new drummer, the duo landed on their new third piece, Vinnie Naccarato. The band is back in full swing playing venues from Topanga Canyon to Long Beach, to the Sunset Strip and recording demos of their new songs. THE ERA OF HONEYBEE IS HERE!

Iris Lee


Iris Le is a sixteen-year-old Singer-songwriter based in Orange County, California. They have been making music for as long as they can remember. Songwriting acts as such an integral part of their identity, and composing is genuinely Iris's favorite thing in the world. Le is determined to write with an uplifting tone, dedicated to motivating themselves and others through the universal medium of sound. Iris is not afraid to explore the deepest parts of their vulnerability, translating their past grief and pain into songs of hope. Music drives Iris's life, allowing them to express their emotions and thoughts. The act of songwriting inspires them to direct their own course rather than let anything control who they are. Music runs through Iris's brain and blood and continues to shape them into the person they are today.

Kayla Pincus


Kayla Pincus is a passionate Singer/songwriter and producer who transcends genres from R&B, folk, and rock. She has been performing her whole life with artists like Earth Wind & Fire, Jason Mraz, Will.I.Am, and Snoop Dogg. She plays a multitude of instruments including voice, guitar, piano, and viola. She loves producing and collaborating.

Kieler Avery


Kieler (pronounced Kyler) Avery is an aspiring Singer / Songwriter / Musician from Southern California. Kieler Avery is a multi- instrumentalist who plays guitar and piano. She has been steadily performing, as a featured solo musical entertainer, throughout San Diego, charming audiences with her distinctive vocals and stage presence. In 2021 Kieler Avery released two original songs and an EP. 'Antisocial’, and 'Still Miss You' followed by her debut 6 song EP 'Punchline'. The six-song package of originals highlights Kieler Avery’s preternatural gift for songwriting, multi-instrumental talents and crystalline voice that can shapeshift from young romantic to growling critic. 'Punchline' was nominated 'Best Pop Album' by the 2022 San Diego Music Academy which includes members of the San Diego music community, music media, talent buyers and more. In March of 2022 she released another single'Think of Me'. Her chameleonic voice and musical tastes have made her popular with teens and young adults experiencing the heartbreak of growing up, Country music audiences who relate to her roots in Americana and purists who appreciate a great singer from any genre. Her sound draws from her love of dance music and affinity for ballads. Her versatile collection to date reflects the storytelling prowess of singer-songwriters like Tori Kelly, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Maren Morris, and Harry Styles. She recently finished recording a new single 'San Diego' scheduled for release April 7, 2023. Kieler Avery has been featured on local TV and Radio talking about and sharing her music. She is heading back into the studio in December 2023 to work on her next EP. Kieler Avery is a past recipient of the '25 Most Remarkable Teens in San Diego' award from the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office.

Matias Villasana


Matias Villasana is a young person developing their interest in EDM music.

Maya Ixta Delgado


Maya Ixta Delgado is a bilingual (Spanish) artist living in Los Angeles, California. She released her first EP, Shades of You, in 2017. She is currently producing her second E.P. to be released in early 2024. Maya performs locally and nationally as a singer and actor in theater, short films, TV, and more. She is also the founder of HeARTS of Maya, a nonprofit foundation that awards scholarships to deserving youth who want to pursue the arts. She received the Spark Award in 2018 for her philanthropic work and commitment to advancing the arts.

Sam Sweeney


At the age of 16, Sam Sweeney emerges as a formidable musical talent hailing from Laguna Beach, CA. Proficient on the piano, bass, guitar, and drums, Sam seamlessly integrates his skills to rap and over modern jazz and soul-infused instrumentals with a psychedelic and soulful flair. He uniquely addresses profound themes such as self-image, materialism, media influence on culture, depression, addiction, and escapism, offering a nuanced perspective beyond his years. Sam's musical journey commenced with songwriting at eight, leading to beat-making and production at nine. By fourteen, he had mastered bass, ventured into exploring rap, and explored the intricacies of guitar and drums, highlighting a rich artistic evolution. The glue holding all this sonic expansion together was the focus on recording and exploring modern production, experimental approaches with sound design, field recording, creative engineering, and concept albums. After realizing that music was what he wanted to dedicate his life to, he immediately dropped everything that got in the way of time spent in the studio; no social media, video games, fake friends, just hours every day in the studio, and constant writing and coming up with ideas for his next artistic breakthrough. Formally educated in jazz and classical piano training, Sam infuses his compositions with sophistication. His dedication to musical excellence has garnered recognition, including prestigious awards like the City PTA Reflections Award for Best Original Music Composition and consecutive YAAS Sister Cities Laguna Beach Water District Awards. Beyond accolades, Sam Sweeney embodies a fusion of wisdom and youthful energy. His compositions transcend conventional boundaries, presenting an immersive auditory experience that transcends the confines of his coastal origins.



SPARK is a quartet composed of High School best friends in the 11th grade from Oak Park High School. They started singing as a group in middle school, with their first song being a classic piece, Hallelujah. Since then, they have sung many songs in the genres including Rock, Broadway, and Musicals. Some songs SPARK has sung include My Favorite Things, Bohemian Rhapsody, and I Dreamed a Dream. Their group's name, SPARK, is a combination of the first letters of all of their names, and they also chose it because they hope they can "spark" joy in people when they listen to their music. Ava Winkle sings Soprano 1, Prajna Krishnamurthy Adiga sings Soprano 2, Rheyah Gangadharan sings Alto 1, and Sanjeevani Kumar sings Alto 2.

What Can I Say


What Can I Say’s band members ask/state it so often in their musical pursuit of youthful expression that it became the band’s official name. Students at the Orange County School of the Arts, they sought one another out with the intent of forming a Latina punk rock band. The group has only been together for a couple of months, but has already written original songs, one of which the band performed along with favorite covers during its first show at a private residence in Laguna Nigel on Dec. 1. This group is comprised of Krista Warner, Sophia Zavala, and Natalia Luevanos.

Zharia Amel


Zharia Amel is a 17-year-old Singer/songwriter from Compton California. She coins herself as the Pop Princess of Compton!


The following guest professionals will be participating in a panel discussing the various careers in music, and giving the student artists performance feedback.

A.D. Johnson


A.D. Johnson is the Founder of Chosen Musicians, offering a creative business approach including sync licensing, music supervision, soundtracks, film score, custom music requests, and film productions with a focus on stories about music. A.D. is an alumni of Soundcloud and Universal Music Group where he sat on the Board of UMG’s Black Label ERG as the Programming Co-Chair and helped create and facilitate UMG’s first Mentorship Program in the company’s history. His passion for the transformative power of music and dedication to mentorship aligns seamlessly with Live Out L!ves Foundation’s mission.



Amanda Verdadero is a Production Manager at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA. Originally from New Jersey, she moved to Los Angeles to attend the Thornton School of Music at USC, where she studied Music Industry. She got her start as a lighting technician and designer at USC Trojan Event Services and went on to work various roles in venues throughout Los Angeles, including the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, and the Echo/Echoplex.




Candace Newman is the CEO and Founder of LIVE OUT L!VE, a boutique touring & booking agency and non- profit dedicated to encouraging marginalized teens and young adults to pursue careers in live entertainment. Her LA-based organization exists to open more doors for future leaders in live entertainment and instill confidence through mentorship, events, seminars, and more. LIVE OUT L!VE is forging the path to bring better representation to the music industry, while helping others discover their own passion and purpose. As CEO of LIVE OUT L!VE, Candace provides consultancy services for artists, brands, and companies. Candace is skilled in project management, marketing, and finance, and she is passionate about creating live music experiences with established and emerging artists. LIVE OUT L!VE creates impactful experiential platforms and opportunities. Her team helps with talent and management structure, as well as producing content and live experiential events.



Cisco Adler is a Multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated producer / songwriter ( The Internet - Ego Death - Best R&B Album Nom ) and artist who is known for bringing back the California sound. As one half of recording duo Shwayze, he had a top 10 album and several Top 10 singles. Cisco has lent his touch as a producer and writer to artists like Blackbear, Wiz Khalifa, Mike Posner, Mickey Avalon, the Internet, YG, Adam Lambert and more. Cisco has also had his music featured in television and film, most notably being The Hangover, Tropic Thunder, ( wrote the track I Love the Pu$$y for the character Alpha Chino ), The Hills, Love and Hip Hop, Final Destination and more and even produced the soundtrack to FOX television’s remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show musical featuring Laverne Cox and Ben Vereen. His most recent focus is on his new solo album California Son, due later this year, which is a blend of his signature California, sun drenched melodies and country fried guitars to create what he believes is the next wave of Country music. "It always comes back to California."



Grecco Buratto is a Brazilian born Singer-songwriter, guitar player, poet, and Latin Grammy® nominated producer. He began his career at the age of 8 and since then, has recorded with artists like BTS, P!nk, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, Gloria Estefan, Dionne Warwick and Earth Wind and Fire. He has performed with international stars Lionel Richie, k.d. lang, Gwen Stefani, Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, LP, Mandy Moore, and jazz legends Sérgio Mendes, Airto Moreira y Flora Purim. Grecco has written and recorded music for television shows such as Dawson’s Creek, Jack, and Bobby, Everwood and Brothers and Sisters. He has worked with film composers Gustavo Santaolalla, James Newton Howard, Marcelo Zavros and Blake Neely; for motion pictures Miami Vice, RV, First Daughter, Flaming Hot and Woman on Top. His first solo album, Essas Coisas Todas, was listed as one of the top 10 best Latin albums of 2014 by L.A. Times and Rolling Stones magazine critic, Ernesto Lechner. For his work on it, Grecco was nominated for the Premio Açorianos, in Brazil, in the best instrumentalist category. It was also featured onboard American Airlines In Flight Entertainment System and is regularly spun on NPR’s The Latin Alternative. Grecco has performed at SOFAR Sounds in Brazil and England, as the supporting act for Brazilian star Maria Gadú on her US Tour, at the Festival Internacional de Trova 2018 in Merida, and FIM PRO Music Market 2019, in México. He has also toured throughout Latin America, Asia, and Europe. Só Palavras(Ed. Versiprosa) is his first book; a collection of poems, compiled during the pandemic and being released along with the album Sem Palavras, 10 instrumental songs, written throughout his career and recorded for the first time in 2023. The book and album reflect a minimalist and singular voice aesthetic.



Jamila Wright is a millennial Atlanta native and graduate of the University of Miami who currently works at RCA Records as an Associate Director of Marketing. Over the course of the last 6 years in the major label space, Jamila has created a lane for herself as a go-to marketer for developing and established R&B acts. Having worked on Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe, Insecure HBO’s Season 4 Soundtrack, Pink Sweat$’s debut album, Crush by Ravyn Lenae, Homegrown Deluxe by VanJess, and most recently JAGUAR II by Victoria Monét, she has used her role in the label marketing space to champion R&B in a world that keeps trying to say R&B is dead and not as cool as it used to be. She is extremely passionate about helping to develop the stars of tomorrow via both digital and IRL marketing campaigns that help expand the audiences of her roster by any means possible. Whether it’s partnering with A3C Festival in Atlanta to host a developing R&B artist showcase, introducing her artists to new social platforms early (like in the early Clubhouse and TikTok days), partnering with HBCU bands to play new music and surprise students, or even taking over a salon to give back to an artist’s community in the name of Victoria Monét. She is always trying to connect the amazing music of her artists to their fans in a way that feels personal and authentic. And though R&B is her personal passion, regardless of the genre, she gives each artist she works with the same personalized treatment. No matter the type of music they create, every artist has their own unique story to tell, and her goal is always to find the audience for that story and get those fans to help spread the word.



Nirupam “Niru” Pratapgiri is music industry executive, guitarist, songwriter, and artist manager. With a rich and diverse background, Niru has traversed various spheres within the music industry, leaving an indelible mark at every turn. His journey commenced at the Boston-based booking agency Gigabit, where he orchestrated numerous groundbreaking campaigns, setting the stage for his ascent in the Boston music industry. A visionary in the digital realm, Niru highlighted his talents as a graphic designer and spearheaded the digital marketing campaign for the iVoted concerts, the largest online music festival of 2020. After pivoting to A&R, Niru found his home at Ben Harper’s bespoke label, Mad Bunny Records. There, he took the helm of new artist release campaigns and earned the prestigious opportunity to participate in Ringo Starr’s Peace & Love Ambassador programme in 2021. Niru's role as a music coordinator at the LA-based music supervision firm Weget music placed him at the forefront of noteworthy TV and movie projects. As the music editor for the documentary film “Friday I’m in Love” and the music coordinator for the thriller movie “Man in the White Van,” Niru highlighted his ability to curate immersive musical experiences that elevate visual storytelling. After joining BMG, Niru was part of the creative synch department, leaving an indelible mark through his leadership in synch and artist brand partnerships. His strategic prowess and keen understanding of the industry dynamics were instrumental in fostering successful collaborations. Currently serving as an artist manager at Red Light Management, Niru is a pivotal figure in the division that primarily focuses on rock artists. Representing iconic names such as Slash, Stone Temple Pilots, Evanescence, The White Buffalo, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Billy Talent, Niru continues to shape the landscape of rock music with his unwavering dedication and commitment.



Celebrating 20 years since his debut album Opal Fire, Grammy-winning pianist Omar Akram has crafted numerous musical memories for fans globally. His latest work, Moments of Beauty, is a heartfelt collection inspired by personal reflections and universal themes. Orchestrated by the renowned Niagara String Quartet, the 10-track set follows two distinctive releases: Destiny (2019), an epic album produced by Walter Afanasieff with the 80-piece Slovak Symphony Orchestra, and The Light Will Come, an intimate solo piano album debuted on his YouTube series during the pandemic. Moments of Beauty reflects Omar's instinctive approach to music production, evolving from his early career releases. Now, a decade after winning a Grammy for Echoes of Love, he draws inspiration from life experiences, making the album a profound reflection on mortality and the preciousness of each moment. Nominated for this year’s Grammy® Award in the Best New Age, Ambient, or Chant album category, Moments of Beauty stands as a testament to Omar's musical journey.



Taji Hardwick sits on the Talent Buying Team with Goldenvoice, primarily focusing on the Novo in Downtown LA and The Santa Barbara Bowl. Originally from New Jersey, he always loved music, planning some major shows through college including Future, Big Sean, J. Cole, Chance the Rapper, etc. Taji is an R&B savant, with plans to help contribute to the development & notoriety of R&B artists all over the world.

The program is open to all musical acts. Bands and solo performers from every genre are invited to apply as long as they are high school students currently live in the Los Angeles and Southern California area.

Ahead of the actual showcase, participants will rehearse with music industry professionals who will provide real-time feedback and suggestions. Participants will also work with the Museum’s production team to understand what it takes to produce a live event, including staging, lighting direction, managing the soundboard, and video production. The Student Showcase Finale will be free, open to the public, and livestreamed to reach a wider audience and allow performers to promote their music. Participants will also receive their performance footage for their social media channels and get tips on content creation and branding.

The program will kick off the Museum’s GRAMMY Week 2024 programming.


GRAMMY Museum – Clive Davis Theater


All students who wish to participate in the Student Showcase will need to go through an application process

Student Showcase Application will include:

  • Basic Contact Information (name, school, grade, address, parent information, etc.)
  • Video Essay Upload (create a short, 2-minute video describing why you’d like to participate and how it would be beneficial to perform at the GRAMMY Museum)
  • Song Upload (two performance videos of the songs they would ideally perform if selected). Include Song Titles and Lyrics
  • GRAMMY Museum Staff will manage and make selections

Applications for the 2024 Student Showcase are now closed


With the help of your generous support, we can continue to share the gift of music.