Annual Event Honored Multi-GRAMMY® Winner Jack White for His Commitment to Creative and Sonic Excellence, His Initiatives to Preserve and Reissue Historic Recordings, and His Ongoing Support for the Art and Craft of Recorded Music
Santa Monica, Calif. — Reprising what has become a highly anticipated event that marks the official start of GRAMMY® Week, The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing®'s 10th annual event was held Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at The Village Studios in West Los Angeles. This year was a milestone: it acknowledged both the 10th anniversary of the event and the 15th anniversary of the Producers & Engineers Wing itself. GRAMMY Week culminated with the Annual GRAMMY Awards® on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, airing live on the CBS Television Network.
This year's gathering featured the presentation by Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow of the President's Merit Award to Jack White, whose creative portfolio includes his own genre-changing records with the White Stripes, Dead Weather and Raconteurs, as well as his solo ventures and collaborations with Loretta Lynn and dozens of other artists. White caps a decade of honorees chosen for their singular contributions to music production — past honorees include Chris Blackwell, T Bone Burnett, Tom Dowd, Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, Jimmy Iovine, Quincy Jones, Arif Mardin, Nile Rodgers, Rick Rubin, Al Schmitt, Jerry Wexler, and Neil Young. Guests included such notable figures as Regina Spektor, Conan O’Brien, Beck, Liz Phair, Rivers Cuomo and Weezer, Lisa Loeb, Booker T. Jones, Mindi Abair, Vassy, Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick of Pensado's Place, ZZ Ward, Haley Reinhart, as well as prominent engineers and producers Elliot Scheiner, Peter Asher, Eric Schilling, Manny Marroquin, Al Schmitt, Chris Lord-Alge, Geoff Emerick, Sylvia Massy, Bob Clearmountain and a host of others. Nashville-based artist Lillie Mae, who is signed to Jack White's record label Third Man Records, performed live.
It was an evening filled with significant moments. The co-chairs of the P&E Wing – GRAMMY-winning engineer Ed Cherney and Ann Mincieli, GRAMMY-winning engineer and owner of New York’s Jungle City Studios – presented Village Studios CEO Jeff Greenberg with a trophy recognizing him and his staff for hosting the event over the past decade. One of music history's great landmarks – home to sessions by artists including Fleetwood Mac, the Doors, the Eagles, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles – the Village is the quintessentially fitting gathering place for those whose technical and creative expertise helped bring the past year's most notable recordings to life. Greenberg responded by saying, "To all who get up every day and do the job of making music: God bless you!"
Maureen Droney, The Recording Academy Managing Director, P&E Wing and Recording Technology, reminded the audience from the stage that the night was "a party with a purpose": to celebrate accomplishments but also to show respect for the craft of recording in a music industry that is shifting rapidly and often unpredictably. The P&E Wing has been a tireless advocate in promoting solutions for engineers and producers, including legislation such as the AMP Act – legislation that Portnow informed the audience had just been reintroduced in the new Congressional session the day before.
Droney also acknowledged the critical assistance the P&E Wing derives for its GRAMMY Week event from a growing cohort of dedicated sponsors. Premier Sponsors included HARMAN® Professional brands AKG®, dbx®, JBL® Professional and Lexicon®; Iron Mountain Entertainment Services; ELS Studio® Premium Audio - Powered by Panasonic; and TIDAL HiFi. Supporting Sponsors included DTS; Music Marketing; Shure; Gibson Brands; Avid Technology, Inc.; Massdrop; Shinola; Audeze; BMI; G-Technology; Lurssen Mastering; The Recording Connection Audio Institute; SoundExchange; Solid State Logic; Waves Audio; Apogee Electronics; AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund; Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management; Audio-Technica; iZotope; Ocean Way Audio; Burl Audio; Joe D’Ambrosio Management; Prism Sound and Sound Stage Studios.
Jack White delivered eloquent remarks, thanking his contemporary colleagues including engineer Vance Powell, who was in the audience, and invoking his own heroes, from Les Paul to Bing Crosby, both of whom helped spark the infrastructure of modern multitrack recording. He concluded by reminding the audience that music is a living thing: "You don’t tell the music what to do — you follow it where it leads you."
Photo caption 1: The Recording Academy® President Neil Portnow (L) presents award to honoree Jack White onstage at the P&E Wing Event honoring Jack White at The Village Studios on February 8, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. Photo credit: Michael Kovac/WireImage. © 2017