Perhaps no moment at tonight’s Capitol Music Group Grammy party encapsulated the raison d’être behind the wall-to-wall industry festivities this week more than Tori Kelly‘s exquisite 3-song solo set. Here, holding court in the middle of Capitol’s legendary Studio A and basking in the 23-year old Grammy nominated singer’s acoustic strums and warm croon, stood the power triumvirate of Capitol Music Group chairman Steve Barnett, Universal Music Group Chief Financial Officer and svp Boyd Muir, and Kelly’s high-profile manager Scooter Braun of SB Projects, a power center reveling in a moment.
This Grammy kick-off event, like many to follow this week, is nothing if not an opportunity for the music business to celebrate their accomplishments, showcase their artists, thank their hardworking staffs, see, be seen. And hear incredible music. Sandwiched between Kelly’s impressive set on this night were two Grammy-winning Capitol stunners: Blue Note’s jazz-soul phenom Gregory Porter, who Blue Note president Don Was called his “favorite artist in the world,” and Corinne Bailey Rae, who debuted fantastic new material, her first in six years.
Capitol’s Studio A, as expected, was chockablock with executives, including recently promoted Harvest Records co-GMs Piero Giramonti and Jacqueline Saturn; CMG COO Michelle Jubelirer and publicity director Ambrosia Healy (who introduced Bailey Rae, with whom she’s worked for over a decade); Capitol executive vice presidents Greg Thompson and Scott Greer; Kate Denton and Vince Quintero, still kvelling over the success of Empire of the Sun‘s Super Bowl synch (which saw “The Dreamer” used in a Honda ad); and publicist Erin Cooney, who spoke enthusiastically about Alabama Shakes’ four Grammy noms.
But the evening was not only for Capitol employees. Also in attendance were KCRW’sMorning Becomes Eclectic DJ Jason Bentley and his producer Rachel Reynolds; former MTV and Viacom president Van Toffler; CAA’s Carole Kinzel; Ellen booker Jonathan Norman; Fender marketing exec B.J. Caretta, who spoke enthusiastically of the guitar company’s new LA offices slated to open in June; and Jason Owen, manager of Kacey Musgraves and Little Big Town.
The event arrived on the heels of Capitol’s Periscope live-stream, a peek at Studio A earlier in the day, and five days before the Feb 15 Grammy Awards, being broadcast live on CBS from L.A.’s Staples Center.