Recording Connection is proud to be a co-sponsor of The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing®’s eighth annual event! This yearly event focuses on the matchless contributions made by recording, mixing and mastering engineers and record producers whose technical skill and creative brilliance shine a light on the profession and earn them GRAMMY® Awards and nominations of their own.
Marking the official start of GRAMMY® Week, this year’s event took place at the legendary Village Studios in West Los Angeles on February 3, 2015 and honored none other than iconic musician, producer, and guitarist Nile Rodgers. Rodgers was presented with The Recording Academy President’s Merit Award by Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. Previous honorees include T Bone Burnett; Chris Blackwell; Al Schmitt; Tom Dowd; Jimmy Iovine; Quincy Jones; Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun; Arif Mardin; Jerry Wexler and Neil Young.
In a special ceremony held in the ballroom of the Village Studios, packed with hundreds of artists, musicians, audio professionals and Academy and P&E Wing members, the three-time GRAMMY® Awards Winner Nile Rodgers received the President’s Merit Award and told the packed audience that, starting out, “I just wanted to be a jazz guy, playing club dates” until hearing “[Donna Summer’s] ‘Love To Love You Baby’ and it blew me away.”
Rodgers, along with bassist, Bernard Edwards, co-founded the band Chic in 1976. Chic went on to become one of the most successful bands of the disco era, cutting what would become club/pop/R&B standards like “Le Freak”, “I Want Your Love”, “Everybody Dance”, “Dance, Dance, Dance”, “My Forbidden Lover”, and “Good Times.” As producer and collaborator, Rodgers has worked with artists including David Bowie (for whom he produced “Let’s Dance) Madonna, Eric Clapton, Sister Sledge, David Lee Roth, Stray Cats, Duran Duran, INXS, Avicii, Sam Smith and Disclosure. Rodgers’ repertoire also includes a number of soundtracks for film including the now-classic Thelma and Louise. After a long friendship, 2013 saw the beginning of an eclectic, fruitful collaboration with French electronic music duo, Daft Punk, culminating in Random Access Memories which went on to won numerous GRAMMYS® in 2014 including: Album of the Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Pop Duo/Group, Performance Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, and Record of the Year for “Get Lucky” which features Rodgers playing the guitar part alongside vocals by Pharrell Williams.
Guests of the 57th GRAMMY® Awards P&E Wing Event included six-time GRAMMY® winner Flea, GRAMMY® winner Diane Warren, singer/songwriter/producer Ric Ocasek, percussionist Sheila E., singers Kathy Sledge and Aloe Blacc, GRAMMY® winner Slash, three-time GRAMMY® winner “Weird Al” Yankovic, saxophonist and L.A. Chapter President Mindi Abair and Recording Academy Chair Christine Albert and many others.
Village Studios CEO Jeff Greenberg called the event, “A celebration of those of us who show up every day in these studios and make the music.” Percussionist, DJ and remixer Mr. Pauer™ and DJ Cassidy were on hand to keep the groove going strong. The event preceded the 57th GRAMMY® Awards, on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, which aired live on the CBS Television Network.