(L-R): SESAC president Pat Collins, honoree John Mayer, Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow, honoree Rep. Howard Berman, and Recording Academy chief advocacy officer Daryl Friedman. (Photo Courtesy of The Recording Academy(r)/Wireimage.com (c) 2012; Photographed by Paul Morigi)
The Recording Academy held its annual GRAMMYs On The Hill Wednesday and Thursday (April 25-26), a two-part event that included an awards show Wednesday and a day of advocacy Thursday highlighted by a speech by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
This year's awards were given to John Mayer, who received the Recording Artists' Coalition Award for his work alongside the Northern California Institute for Research and Education to help veterans transition from military to civilian life, and Congressman Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who received the GRAMMYs on the Hill Award for his efforts in helping secure and protect the rights of artists and songwriters in Congress.
John Mayer, left, poses with Buddy Guy (center) and NBC correspondent Luke Russert. (Photo Courtesy of The Recording Academy(r)/Wireimage.com (c) 2012; Photographed by Leigh Vogel)
Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen opened the awards ceremony by performing the national anthem on guitar, while Buddy Guy played a set to close the show, inviting Mayer to the stage for a few songs to jam along on guitar.
Many media and industry execs were on hand - as well as over 200 music makers - including the Recording Academy's president/CEO Neil Portnow and chief advocacy officer Daryl Friedman, SESAC president Pat Collins, and NBC's Luke Russert.
Nadler delivered Thursday's Keynote Address, touching on the need for performance rights and intellectual property protections. Nadler serves as a senior member of the House's Judiciary Committee and as a member of the Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet subcommittee.
John Mayer joins Buddy Guy on stage at the close of the awards show. (Photo Courtesy of The Recording Academy(r)/Wireimage.com (c) 2012; Photographed by Leigh Vogel)
"The issues you're facing - those of performance rights, intellectual property, and copyright - are among the most current and as-yet-unresolved issues on the national stage," he said, pointing out that intellectual property protection is safeguarded by Congress in the Constitution. "Many legislators who weren't aware of these issues two years ago surely understand today that these are fundamental issues affecting thousands of artists and other professionals and, as such, deserve our attention and earnest efforts."
"This issue of performance rights is not over... and it won't be over until we have a performance right enshrined in law."