feb 2017
studioexpresso eZine
Since 2000 

Winner of Best Rock Album, Cage The Elephant says hello to studioexpresso during MusicCare 2017 Tribute Concert Honoring Tom Petty from the red carpet at the LA Convention Center.
Photographed by 
Donna Balancia      

This month hearts and minds were rewarded because music, among all forms of creative expression, remains to be more relevant today than ever. As Plato put it: "The soul which has seen most of truth shall come to birth as a philosopher, or beauty lover, or fervent musician."  
We visit with winners and nominees from Grammy Awards and 89th Oscars. 
A  manager shares his strategy for planning a big "come back," we
bring you greetings from the red carpet where musician causes come first. Then we take you behind the scenes to meet the technical people behind the biggest music show on TV. We visit with a country queen in Nashville and get a tour of a LA studio with its new manager. 
Music shines bright on the big screen as it does in our lives.

Thanks for our 2 4,000 + readers and community of studios, composers, arrangers who create music that lives and moves.  Congrats to all of you who have renewed and enjoying work, industry networking and more.. Renew today. Thank you!
In This Issue
Renew Today...for 2017!
Studio Spotlight: Lee Ann Womack + Pauly
Music For Oscar!
Producer Profile: Dave Schiffman
MusiCares, Grammy In The Schools...
Meet NRG's New Studio Manager
The Art Of Listening
Renew Today!

Studio Spotlights
Producer Profiles
eZine since 2000 to 24,000+ subscribers

Lee Ann Womack in the studio with a
Ton Pauly PR120-T30 Pop Filter  
As of today, Lee Anne Womack has released a total of six studio albums and two compilations. Four of her studio albums have received a Gold certification or higher by the RIAA. Additionally, she has received five Academy of Country Music Awards, six Country Music Association Awards, and a Grammy Award. She has sold over 6 million albums worldwide.
In 2014 Ms Womack collaborated with John Legend for an episode CMT Crossroads. "The Superscreen pop filter (above) Ms Womack uses is now available with a completely silent gooseneck. Very stable and pliable, the gooseneck has an attachment that allows the screen to be placed at any angle," says Brad Lunde of Trans Audio Group. Plus, now you can use your Superscreen with any microphone, regardless of size, and place the screen at any distance from the microphone. "It has a beautiful finish that matches the screen and has a non-reflective surface," adds Lunde.    
Pauly Superscreen pop filter is 4 ¾" in diameter by 3/8" deep. The finish is non-reflective texture coated medium grey. It screws on to the available mounts with included hardware. The fabric is special material exclusive to Pauly and will last a lifetime if taken care of. When food or spit accumulate on the screen, no worries! 
The screen can be cleaned with a very mild dish-washing soap and water.   
The Pauly Silent Gooseneck is 12 ½" long and approximately ¼" in diameter. It will maintain its position once set. The finish is the same non-reflective, texture coat grey of the Pauly Screen. The gooseneck has a collar that fits between the stand and the mic clip or shock mount. 
Lee Ann Womack  joined Alan Jackson for January 2017 dates on his upcoming tour.  Womack is expected to release a new album in 2017, tentatively titled "The Lonely, the Lonesome and the Gone."  

Meet NRG Studios' Jillian!
In 1991 Mixer Jay Baumgardner ( P.O.D., Barb Wire Dolls, Bush)  founded NRG studios which has been home to such artists as Linkin Park, Kelly Clarkson, Korn, No Doubt, Staind, Stone Temple Pilots, Offspring, Michelle Branch, Nas, Kanye West, to name a few.  
Each studio offers Pro Tools 12, along with a great variety of plug-ins, and a large amount of floating gear and choice microphones. 
For booking and availability, please contact NRG's new manager, Jillian Jillian@nrgrecording.com  or call 818.760.7841 Ext. 2

Trans Audio Group Introduces the Boutique Analog Compressor 
TransAudio Group, Bettermaker's U.S. distributor, introduced the path breaking Bettermaker C502V at the AES's 139th Convention earlier this year in New York City. Like the rest of Bettermaker's catalog - which in just a few short years has earned numerous TEC, Resolution, and Prosound award nominations and wins, the C502V combines a boutique analog signal path (newsworthy in its own right) with intuitive, musical controls and complete parameter recall and automation from a linked DAW-based plug-in - high-end analog sound paired with a superior digital workflow. The C502V is the first compressor from Bettermaker, although with three distinct VCA flavors in one 500-series chassis, it could just as easily be described as the first three compressors from Bettermaker! Stereo, dual mono, or M/S modes, as well as USB or analog side-chain with adjustable high-pass filtering and "look ahead" functionality expand the C502V's universe of possibilities.

Trans Audio Group 

The Comeback Girl With Her Team
Adel Scores A Big Grammy Win

25 by Adel sold 7.4 million copies in the United States in just seven weeks.  She graciously thanked her manager Jonathan Dickins (below) for her "comeback" while accepting her awards including Album of the Year for 25, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year for "Hello."  Mr Dickins hails from a British music-biz family of long standing. His grandfather, Percy Dickins, was a co-founder of the seminal music mag NME in 1952 and developed the first pop record sales charts. His father, Barry Dickins, is co-Managing Director (with Rod MacSween) of top agency ITB and one of the country most successful booking agents, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Diana Ross, among other luminaries. In 2006, he started September Management, headquartered in a bedroom in his house; Adele was one of the first artists he signed. Adele's success has led to Jonathan working with her collaborators: September also manages producer-songwriter Paul Epworth. 
Dickins thinks that Radio in certain regards is becoming less and less relevant and prefers developing artist fan base with live, even with growing number of
festivals and high ticket pricing, he prefers artist who like to tour. 
Which marketing strategies did the magic for Adel? According to her manager: 
1. Windowing and keeping 25 off streaming services (Mr Dickins admits this worked for Adele but may not work for most) 
2. Sharing a 30-second U.K. TV teaser advert that announced Adel's comeback with focus on "the voice" vs logos or branding. 
3. Going to a lot of the markets -- not just the U.K. and U.S.  

New ATCs Unveil
ed @ NAMM
ATC monitors were at NAMM earlier in January where TransAudio Group showcased the popular near- and mid-field ATC SCM25A and SCM45A monitors, as well the new passive ATC SCM12 monitor and the ATC P1 PRO stand-alone amplifier. TransAudio Group's Subwoofer Pros Studio Subs  complemented the ATC SCM25As. TransAudio Group introduces the newest  and smallest member of the ATC family: the SCM12 Pro. Using the very same "all in-house built" components as its larger siblings, the SCM12 Pro delivers ATC's famous super-detailed "ATC midrange", solid imaging, and ideal balance that have made ATC the gold standard for working professionals across all music genres and audio industries. In a twist, TransAudio Group will combine the SCM12 Pro with ATC's all new P1 Pro 150W/channel rackmount amplifier in a bundle that breaks previous price barriers for ATC. The SCM12/P1 Pro monitor/amp package will carry a bundle MAP price of US $4350. If purchased separately, the SCM12 Pro is $1,990/pair MAP, and the P1 Pro amp is $3,490 MAP.

Additionally TransAudio created a new "free-to-the-dealer" display option.  The four-sided display makes it easy to showcase recording studio accessories, such as Accusound cable, Sabra-Som shock mounts, and Pauly and Hakan pop filters. "This display makes it much easier for the dealer to present and sell higher performance accessories. WE will service the display making it easy for the dealer to add plus revenue," said Lunde.
Just goes to show you...this thing called "music business" is driven by great artists. Lawyers, record companies, managers simply provide good support.
For more information on  ATCs  
 contact  Brad Lunde at www.transaudiogroup.com  or call  702-365-5155.
Trans Audio Group at NAMM 2017, Anaheim unveiling the new Drawmer MC3.1 and the newest and smallest member of the ATC family: the SCM12 Pro, among other cool studio toys. 
Alex Jacobsen of Auratone  Auratone 5C Sound Cubes 
The TEC-nominated Auratone Super Sound Cube reference monitor is a legend in the recording, broadcasting, and motion picture industries for its unfailing ability to represent mixes as they will so often appear in the "real world" - on small-format, zero-crossover loudspeakers.     
For more information on Aurotones visit  www.transaudiogroup.com  or call  Brad Lunde at 702-365-5155.   

Bettermaker, the Poland-based maker of high-end analog equalizers with plug-in control and recall, earned two nominations: one for the Bettermaker EQ502P 500 series module and one for the
Bettermaker EQ232P MKII rack-mount.

Drawmer's 1978 Tone Shaping Compressor, which incorporates different analog character circuitry and variable saturation, and Tube-Tech HLT 2A, which pairs high and low shelving with an innovative "tilt" midrange filter, earned nominations as well. Finally, ATC earned a nomination for the ATC SCM45A, three-way compact near-field monitor with unparalleled midrange fidelity. The winners will be determined by online voting via Mix, Pro Sound News, Pro Audio Review, and Electronic Musician and via professional audio and sound production organizations. 

"All of these nominations go to inventor-owned companies, the kind of companies where innovation is king. We're proud to have these exciting new products recognized with TEC Award nominations," said Brad Lunde, founder and president of TransAudio Group. It's easy to imagine that there's nothing new under the sun in the world of pro audio, or that anything new is a gimmick, but that's simply not the case. The sound quality of Bettermaker's equalizers would have earned TEC nominations by itself, but the fact that their fully-analog circuitry can be recalled and automated via a plug-in interface has obvious advantages in a modern workflow. The Drawmer 1978 and the Tube-Tech HLT 2A prove that traditional compressor and equalizer topologies are not the only way to inspire fantastic mixes. Taking a different tack, ATC's SCM45A gives engineers a beefier three-way ATC nearfield with fidelity that ensures mixes will translate outside of the studio. Obviously, we encourage folks to cast their votes for these innovative tools!" adds Lunde.
For more information on  Auratones, Bettermaker EQ232P MKII , Drawmer's 1978 Tone Shaping Compressor, Tube-Tech HLT 2A  and   ATC SCM45A  For the latest info on Tube-Tech contact  Brad Lunde at www.transaudiogroup.com   or call  702-365-5155.

Trans Audio Group  
tag crew
l-r: Richard, Todd, Janis and Brad at Trans Audio Group    
For the latest info contact   
TransAudio Group, founded by industry  veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier US importer/distributor and/or US sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm. TAG product line includes A-Designs (USA),  ATC Loudspeakers (UK),
Questions- pricing, availability and dealer locations please email sales@transaudiogroup.com


Wednesday March 15th from 6 pm - 10 pm
studioexrpesso is pleased to support Powermix, a FREE industry networking party and showcase in Los Angeles 
Two-Stage live Music Showcase; Food and drink specials all night, Special guest icon interview.
Los Globos 3040 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
To attend and/or to submit to perform, please email RSVP@powermix.biz 

Music Cares
MusiCares Star-Studded Fund Raiser Honors Tom Petty & The Heart Breakers
  MusiCares is about giving back to artists who are going through hard times. 66-year-old Tom Petty received the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year Award during Grammy week and helped raise friends and funds for the good cause on Friday February 10 at the LA Convention Center
Several A-list artists, including his own band 'the Heartbreakers, performed in touching tributes.  Randy Newman opened the gala dinner on the piano with his acoustic version of "Refugee."  Traveling Wilburys' Jeff Lynne (2017 Rock'n Roll Hall Of Fame inductee) and Dhani Harrison teamed up with Petty and the Heartbreakers on "I Won't Back Down."   
Tom was recognized for his philanthropic work and his musical achievements.
When you hear the songs he wrote some 40 years ago you realize they are ageless and as relevant today as they were then. He weaves the themes, like a masterful painter, connecting and anchoring ideas in changing times and helping us find common threads today.
Close friend, Stevie Nicks joined Petty for their hit duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."   She said Tom is sweet and the best performer she knows.      
During "Don't Come Around Here No More" Petty invited the crowd to dance in front of the stage. Helen Mirren was among hundreds who obliged. 
Other memorable performances followed by Don Henley who sang "Free Fallin', Lucinda Williams, the Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, the Lumineers, Jackson Browne, George Strait, Cage the Elephant, Gary Clark Jr played on "Good Enough."
MusiCares Foundation president and CEO Neil Portnow summarized the good work of MusiCares and acknowledged his staff. After referencing Walt Whitman and praising Petty's lyrical imagery and musical aesthetic, Portnow said: "Well, Walt was pretty good, but he didn't have The Heartbreakers."
While accepting his award, Petty offered a historical perspective on rock 'n' roll. He said DJs thought it was a black conspiracy to bring their music to white radio. "The government got very serious about it, especially the Republicans...They put Elvis in the Army and Chuck Berry in jail. Things calmed down for a couple of years. But it was too late, the music had reached England. In 1964, the Beatles came, I had my eyes opened like so many others, and I joined the conspiracy to put black music on white popular radio," Petty said.
During the end of his speech, Petty recalled receiving a card from Johnny Cash on his 50th birthday. Cash wrote, "You're a good man to ride the river with. "That's all I want to be," Petty said. "I'm going to keep on riding." 
studioexpresso was on the red carpet with VIP arrivals before MusiCares Gala dinner fundraiser. President Neil Portnow, film producer Vince Wilburn (Miles Ahead),  bands The Rua and Cage The Elephant
Frontman Matt Schultz sent their greetings via studioexpresso live cam.

Watch Grammy greetings from the red carpet  here Cage The Elephant front man Matt grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his brother, Brad, who is a year older and also in Cage the Elephant. They came from a poor background and were sometimes teased for this. Brad was called 'Poor Boy' by kids at their school.  Matt worked as a plummer in a construction company. This month at The Grammy Awards the boys received their first Grammy for Best Rock Album, "Tell Me I'm Pretty."    
T-Bone Burnett was the MD for the concert which marked the first by Petty and The Heartbreakers in more than a year. Tom Petty & The Heart Breakers upcoming 40th anniversary tour begins April 20 in Oklahoma City and concludes Aug. 19 in Seattle. Great performances, great cause: $8.5 million raised. 
You can hear Petty's full speech here

  Audio People Behind Music's Biggest Night  

While 25 million Americans tuned in to watch the Grammys on Sunday, Feb. 12, there was lots of action backstage beginning on Thursday that the cameras didn't catch.
studioexpresso was there to bring you the behind the scene activities during Saturday rehearsals. We met up with Bobby Serrato (left) of Gibson Brands who was in town from Nashville, TN to support the all-important auction that helps raise funds for MusiCares. Some 3000 fans put their bids via ebay on the auctioned items while dinner guests brought their good will and deep pockets to make the fund raiser a smashing success to the tune of $8.5 million.  In celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards® more than 100 exclusive items were available at ebay, including a VIP experience with pop star Andy Grammer, memorabilia autographed by world-renowned celebrities and official GRAMMY merchandise signed backstage at the GRAMMY Awards by participating stars.    
GRAMMY's official press agents greeted us at the Staple Center gate and took us backstage where you first notice a village of parked audio trucks.  Then you see familiar audio faces running in between trucks like Award Telecast Advisor to Broadcast Audio, Hank Neuberger, who is celebrating 29 years serving the show.
As in the past years, the trucks handle 192 audio tracks and feature redundant systems in case one breaks down. Other casts of character behind the scenes include: ProTools mixer Pablo Munguia, systems engineer Hugh Healy who mixes spoken sound elements like James Corden's funny jokes, audio coordinator Michael Abbott, Leslie Ann Jones, GRAMMY Award Telecast Advisor to House Audio; Glenn Lorbecki, GRAMMY Award Telecast Advisor to Music Mix Audio; and Eric Schilling who is GRAMMY's Award Telecast Advisor to the Audio Coordinator.

The tour provided an up close and personal view of the technology, production elements and the people that go into putting on Music's Biggest Night.  Take Music Mix Mobile. Its state-of-the-art mobile recording facilities process the audio from the show/performances where they are mixed for the broadcast.
Denali Summit Broadcast truck is where all audio and video is combined before it is sent via satellite to CBS NY for final broadcast.  

Backstag e (right) every pe rformers' equipment is carefully set up on risers ready for their segment in the show. 
Each sound system hub --"Split World"  and "Wireless World" (microphone center) are run by veterans who have been doing this for over 10 years.  Then there's the Graphic and special effects control room and production office that manages all communications coming from artists.
"The Recording Academy takes special pride in their mission to present the artists the best way they can be presented," says Neuberger.  2017 Grammy Winners here

Play It Again Oscar!

Music for
89th Academy Awards  
ORIGINAL SCORE Composer Spotlight

Experimental British musician Mica Levi, known by her stage name Micachu, is best known for her ethereal score to 2013's sleeper hit "Under the Skin".    "Jackie's" director Pablo Larrain discovered Mica's work at a film festival. 
Jackie's score (streaming at Fox Searchlight) was written and performed by Levi. She refers to usage of speed and ensembles/instruments in order to give the film its "dream-like" quality. She is classically trained and since 2008 has released experimental pop music with her band Good Sad Happy Bad (formerly known as Micachu and The Shapes).
Fox Searchlight released "Jackie" on December 2, 2016.

Composer Spotlight: Nicholas Britell
Oscar Winner: Moonlight -- Best Picture  
Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner 
This is the first Oscar nomination for composer Nicholas Britell in Moonlight. He describes usage of piano "with alternating harmonies" to convey the idea of introspection (the character is feeling and thinking more than he's speaking).  His rich sonic texture beautifully ties all three chapters in the film. " There was this idea that the key would get lower as the film progressed, it would deepen. "So whereas it's in D major in the beginning in chapter one...B major in Chapter two....," Britell says. He is an honors and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard University, as well as a piano performance graduate of the Juilliard School's Pre-College Division 

Composer Spotlight: Justin Hurwitz
Oscar Winner: Best Original Score + Best Original Song
for La La Land "City of Stars."

Composer and screenwriter Hurwitz's score and songs, including "City of Stars," "Someone in the Crowd" and "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" from Damien Chazelle's " La La Land"  has dazzled show-tune loving audiences. According to the composer, he likes to stick close to characters and themes in the film or "old school" -- Am I going to remember this melody after I've left the movie theater? Not just the songs, but the actual score cues!  Hurwitz and Chazelle settled on the team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (a.k.a. Pasek and Paul), whose acclaimed musical "Dear Evan Hansen" opened on Broadway this fall, to write the lyrics for the songs that they'd composed. The duo got the gig after pitching them opening lyrics to "City of Stars":

Congrats to all the nominees, including Lion's composer Dustin O'Halloran,
and Passengers composer Thomas Newman

Dreams Are Made of These
Grammy Jazz Sessions At Capitol Studio A 
Grammy week brought talented young musicians together for Grammy In The Schools,  Jazz Sessions at Capitol studios. Thirty-two of the nation's best high school singers and musicians, representing 30 cities and 14 states across the United States participated.
studioexpresso met up with the talented crew who was recording "Love for Sale" by Cole Porter on February 8. Multi-Grammy winner Al Schmitt will be mixing the song in March. 
The finalists were chosen from YouTube submissions by students like Christian X.M. McGhee (below), drummer from the Westminster Christian Academy.  
"Some of these guys sound better than the professionals musicians I know," admit the   band
leader, Justin DiCioccio
and program director
Ron McCurdy who have been doing this for over twenty years.
Both DiCioccio and McCurdy agree that the level of musicianship is higher each year.  
Special emphasis is put on learning the practical side (the other 50%) of being a professional musician: 1. Ability to network, 2. be a positive influence, and 3. have good attitude and vibe.
"These qualities will help you keep your job and get others to want to work with you," says McCurdy.  The Jazz Session students perform with GRAMMY winners and nominees at jazz venues and GRAMMY Week
events (including the official Post-GRAMMY Celebration), record a studio album, AND they all got to go to the GRAMMY Awards!

RIP Al Jarreau 
Seven-time GRAMMY winner Al Jarreau is the only vocalist in history to claim GRAMMY Awards in the three distinct genres of jazz, pop and R&B.
Jarreau's final recording, My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke, was released August 5, 2014 on Concord Records.
"He was truly a force of nature and a beautifu
l human being that will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by us all, " says Concord Records President John Burk.  

'You can't help it. An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.' 
--Nina Simone 

Until next month, keep reflecting our times...and join us for some power networking at PowerMix on March 15 (see calendar section above to RSVP)! 
Music lives and moves!
Claris Sayadian-Dodge, Founder I Editor studioexpresso

Visit exotic studio destinations at  studioexpresso home page
Help fans find you easily and contact us to update your profile  with your social networking links (sample: Kenny Aronoff).
Simply send an email to c laris@studioexpresso.com or
call 818.990.3031 and tell us your artist story and say "I want to RENEW!"

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Oscar 2017 is hosted by Jimmy Kimmel

Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Sting, and Lin-Manuel Miranda lit up the Dolby Theatre with musical performances of their nominated songs at the 2017 Oscars!
We put the spotlight on a few lesser known composers nominated this year. Keep reading... 

 MICROPHONES From Trans Audio Group

Say hello to TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik's flagship Diamond Series -- the ELAM 251E, U47, and C12 large-diaphragm as well as the ELAM 260 small-diaphragm condensers -- now available through Trans Audio Group.  "For the fraction of the price of a vintage unit (assuming one could even find a vintage unit for sale!), TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has come closer to recreating the original 1950's era microphones than any other manufacturer to date," says Brad Lunde. And this is good news for studios who can have interchangeable parts and sonics of the very best vintage models. "Offering faithful recreations of these highly-valued originals has been Telefunken's goal from the beginning," adds Lunde. 

Jacob Collier

Congrats to YouTube star Jacob Collier for taking two Grammys -- Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals Collier here backstage at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles
Based out of London, Jacob released his new EP, In My Room, earlier last year.

Snarky Puppy 

Snarky Puppy, a 10-year-old jazz band that originated in Denton, won a Grammy Award Sunday night for Best R&B Performance. It was the band's first Grammy nomination and award.

Drake with Stevie Wonder were among Hollywood's A-List headed out to Republic Records' annual GRAMMY after party at Catch LA to celebrate the biggest night in music.

Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band Directed By Brent Fischer    
Clavo Records
Available at ClareFischer.com, CD Baby, iTune and Amazon

Dave Schiffman (LimpBizkit, Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down, Weezer,  Johnny Cash) is among an impressive group of engineers and mixers this year who worked on Adel's 25.  Schiffman was one of the speakers at studioexpresso mixer panel in January at NAMM, Anaheim Convention Center. Congrats Dave!

studioexpresso producers featured at
NAMM 2017



"Imagination is more important than knowledge" --Albert Einstein

Renew Today!
   visit our YouTube Chl

Trans Audio Group booth at Summer NAMM
A Designs HAMMER 2, an easy-to-use amplifier for both main mixing and tracking.
Bettermaker's Award-Winning 502V 500 Series boutique analog compressor
Daking's Famous Line of Compressors and Mic Pre's
Drawm er's MC1.1

Monitor Preamp and the new 1978 Stereo FET Compressor.
And the Auratone Reference Monitors ever present at every studio!    



The Art of Listening is a documentary film about the journey music takes to reach a listener's ear, from the intent of an instrument maker and composer, to the producers and engineers who capture and preserve an artist's voice. This journey is narrated by intimate conversations with artists, engineers and producers about the philosophy of their work and the intent behind each musical note they create.
This film is an invitation for music fans to rediscover the intricacies and details available in their favorite recordings. The Art of Listening is the beginning of a conversation of how the quality of our listening experiences define the medium.


The Recording Academy®'s GRAMMY Recordings® and Atlantic Records

A portion of the proceeds from album sales will benefit the year-round efforts of the GRAMMY Museum Foundation™ and MusiCares Foundation® - The Recording Academy-affiliated charitable organizations focused on music education programs and critical assistance for music people in need. 
Available at Atlantic, Amazon, 

A Teacher Awarded

2017 Music Educator Award™    
Goes To
Keith Hancock of Tesoro High School  

Presented by The Recoding Academy ® and The Grammy Foundation ®, Keith Hancock of Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., has been announced as the recipient of the 2017 Music Educator Award™ presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation®.  The Tesoro choirs have performed to rave reviews in Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, and Ireland, as well as Carnegie Hall in New York. In addition, ensembles under his direction have won two Golden State Choral Competitions and three Barbershop Harmony Society high school quartet championships. Hancock, the 2017 honoree, was recognized during GRAMMY Week. He also attended the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®ceremony and a range of GRAMMY Foundation events. In addition, he received a $10,000 honorarium. The nine finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. 
Initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states. Nominations and applications for the 2018 Music Educator Award are now open for entries here 


250 W Duarte Rd. Suite B Monrovia, CA 91016

Hammond Artist, Gary Swan (above: Etta James/Pointer Sisters) drew crowds to the Hammond Booth. Photo above: by the C

The Sound . The S oul . The One 
watch here 

For Hammond and Leslie products in Southern California contact

Come check out this powerhouse package, suitable for studio, stage or worship center.   Call Nelson at 909-599-7899 to schedule a      XK-3 audition
 Click here   

 SK1-73 or SK-2  (artist pricing) available at  
Church Keyboard Center 
Tavis Smiley interview with 'The Ambassador of Soul" and Hammond artist Ellis Hall for PBS  Mr Hall performed two songs and spoke about the depth of his musical career
Watch it here

Meet more  Hammond artists  
"My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that will give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history, to confront issues that make us uncomfortable,"  
--  Beyoncé (while accepting the Grammy Urban Contemporary album award).

  A Foreign Film Win For Farhadi

Asghar Farhadi at the 2013 Cannes film festival Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
Director Asghar Farhadi, ('A Separation' and 'The Past,') won 2017 Oscar for best foreign film, The SalesmanFarhadi, 44, did not attend the ceremony. Instead, Iran's first person in space, Anousheh Ansari, read out a statement from Farhadi at the podium: " My absence is out of respect for the people of my country (Iran), and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US."

from La La Land
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
Winner: "City Of Stars" from La La Land
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
"The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley* Story
Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
"How Far I'll Go" from Moana
Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

A Journalist Remembered
Composer Sting performed  the Oscar-nominated song: "The Empty Chair" in a touching tribute to journalist James Foley at the Oscars Sunday night.

Foley, an
American photographer specialized in conflict journalism, documenting war-torn areas such as Libya and Syria. A restless, driven man who was nonetheless devoted to his family, and a compassionate professional dedicated to his work, Jim was captured by ISIS in 2012 and held in captivity for almost two years before being beheaded by the terrorist organization.
Watch trailer here  

Watch this great Hollywood Reporter Round table with Sting, Pharell, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Tori Amos, John Legend on where they get the inspiration for their songs
For Sting "Music is his spiritual path." here

A Documentary On The 13th Amendment

"13th," the documentary directed by Ava DuVernay, marks her first Academy Award nomination in this category. Producers, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish are also first-time nominees. African Americans have continued to suffer since the passing of the 13th Amendment, with popular media demonizing people of color, Jim Crow laws prohibiting real growth and black leaders being assassinated in the 1960s. The politically motivated "war on drugs" penalizes more people of color than whites, and the mass incarceration of blacks in the U.S. has led to a booming prison industry.

Complete list of winners here 

First African American Oscar Conductor
Harold Wheeler

Most know Wheeler's name from Dancing With The Stars where he conducted his 28-member band. In fact, Wheeler's career began in his church,  Antioch Baptist where the members included Chuck Berry and Ike and Tina Turner. A child prodigy, he played the piano for Sunday school at age five. From 1968 to 1971, Wheeler worked as an assistant program director for CBS-FM Radio in New York. In 1971, he left CBS in order to compose his own music and coach other performers. That same year, composer Burt Bacharach hired Wheeler for his new musical Promises, Promises, making him the youngest conductor on Broadway (and the first African-American MD of a major pop act). Nominated for six Tony Awards for his work on the musicals, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray, The Full Monty, Swing!, Little Me and The Life, Wheeler won the Drama Desk Award for Hairspray for Best Orchestrations. From 1971 to 1979, Wheeler composed jingles for Pepsi, Coca-Cola, TWA, United Airlines, McDonald's and Folgers. Wheeler has arranged and produced for Anita Baker,  Aretha Franklin,  Nina Simone, B.B. King, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Dizzy Gillespie, and Whitney Houston among scores of other performers.
Wheeler is the first African American to conduct the Oscars to-date! What it takes? First, he began work 30 days before the nominations were announced. There are many songs associated with 55 Oscar categories. There are 42 presenter play-ons and add to the list music going in and out of commercial for a total of 134 pieces of music! Did we forget the play-off music? Well, that's when the conductor follows the director's lead to cut off the speakers. Nicely!
Oh yes, Wheeler admits he hand picks the musicians which meant he hired 18 musicians from his old gig at Dancing With the Stars. How's that for loyalty? Brightest point of the Oscar for Wheeler?  A music teacher from Crenshaw High School somehow got his email and said, 'I just want you to know one of my students came in the Monday after the Oscars and said I know what I want to do now, and I saw it last night. I didn't think it was available for me.' "That is the proudest moment of my life," Wheeler says  who resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress and musical star Hattie Winston. 

2870 Rowena Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039

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