Backbeat: Esperanza Spalding, Anthony Hamilton Perform @ Grammy in the Schools Live!
Backbeat: Esperanza Spalding, Anthony Hamilton Perform @ Grammy in the Schools Live!

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Left to right: Senior director of education at the Grammy Foundation David Sears; Ford Motor Company fund director Pamela Alexander; Grammy Foundation and MusiCares senior VP Kristen Madsen; Anthony Hamilton; president/CEO of the Grammy Foundation Neil Portnow; Esperanza Spalding; Terri Lyne Carrington; and Grammy Foundation and MusiCares VP Scott Goldman. (Photo: WireImage)

The third annual Grammy in the Schools Live! concert featured not only a positive message about the importance of music in high schools, but also stellar performances by Anthony Hamilton, Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington, who were backed onstage by a slew of student alumni from Grammy Camp and Grammy Signature Schools.

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Producer John Burk (left) and musician Dave Koz (right) join Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow at the event. (Photo: WireImage)

Sponsored by Ford Motor Company and the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and hosted by 94.7 the Wave's Pat Prescott, the Feb. 8 event -- held at the Grand Ballroom on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles -- stressed the importance of musical education in schools and the efforts being made on behalf of the Grammy Foundation's Grammy Camp.

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"Music and the arts are still among the first subjects that make their way to the final line for the chopping block," Grammy Foundation and MusiCares senior VP Kristen Madsen told the crowd of a couple hundred people. "We not only want music in our schools, we need music in our schools."

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Best New Artist Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding jams with drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and Grammy Camp student alumni during the Feb. 8 Grammy in the Schools Live! concert at USC's Grand Ballroom. The musicians played songs from Carrington's latest album, The Mosaic Project. The drummer noted during her performance that she came to the event prepared to play on whatever drums were on hand. She was provided with Peter Erskine drumsticks. Coincidentally, Erskine was in the audience. (Photo: WireImage)

The camp -- a 10-day residential program in Los Angeles (July 14-23) and an eight-day residential program in New York (Aug. 6-13) and Nashville (June 17-24) --- is intended to give high school students first-hand training in a number of music industry professions, taught by previous Grammy Award winners and other music business leaders.

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During the event, which featured numerous original song performances by students who've participated in past Grammy Camps, Prescott noted that many of the program's alumni have gone on to work alongside such artists as Gavin Degraw, Terence Blanchard and the New York Philharmonic.

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Grammy Camp alumnus Segun Oluwadele gives a James Brown-worthy performance of Janelle Monae's "Tightrope." Later in the evening, Anthony Hamilton told the crowd how impressed he was with the young singer's impressive performance. (Photo: WireImage)

Grammy Award-winner Hamilton, a parent who has participated in past Grammy Camps, told Billboard.biz that his experience with the program has been very rewarding. "There's always somebody that gets that one piece of imformation that turns them toward it, or into another direction that turns out even better for them," the singer said before the show. "So it's a great thing for them to come out and experience it and see it firsthand."

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Prior to the concert, Grammy Award-winner Anthony Hamilton, who last year released Back to Love, spoke to members of the press about advice he'd give to young musician hopefuls. "Be strong and be ready, and know what you're getting yourself into," he said, noting that they should have something to fall back on. (Photo: WireImage)

Following the concert, Madsen expressed her admiration for artists like Best New Artist Grammy winner Spalding, commenting on the skill and talent it takes to not only play a mean stand-up bass, but also have the coordination to beautifully sing while doing so. She's also a long-time fan of Hamilton, who performed songs from his latest album, Back to Love. "He opens his mouth and sexy comes out," Madsen said, laughing.

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