×

Grammys Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New York Townhouse With Mayor de Blasio, Neil Portnow

The first New York Grammy Week in 15 years kicked off with a bang, as Mayor Bill de Blasio and Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the organization’s new local headquarters, a stunning $13.5 million, 1860 townhouse across East 37th Street from the J.P. Morgan Museum.

“This marks the first time the Academy will own our own offices and a real piece of the Big Apple,” Portnow, a New York native, said.

The event kicked off a week of parties, concerts, and benefits that will culminate with the Grammy Awards ceremony taking place at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night. It also culminates a two-year process of bringing the awards back to New York for only the second time since 1998.

The building, which will undergo significant renovations, has a large and acoustically pristine gallery at the back of its ground floor where the previous owner held classical concerts, Portnow said; a jazz duo performed while attendees explored the building, which has beautiful period detail and ornate decoration.

“This is the biggest night in music returning to the music capitol of the world,” de Blasio said. “New York City is where salsa was born; contrary to some other people’s claims, New York City is where hip-hop was born; New York City is where the American punk music scene was born. It’s the place where so many great American standards were written, it’s the place where Carole King and Sonny Rollins and Jay-Z became legends.

“We’re so happy to have the Grammys back where, in our humble opinion, they belong,” he continued, acknowledging Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment head Julie Menin and senior advisor Gabrielle Fialkoff. “That’s why we fought so hard and worked so hard to bring them back. And I have to tell you, like everything in life, it took a lot of negotiation. We worked closely with the Academy and the Garden and the unions and obviously the city agencies to try to make sure we could get it right. And there will be real economic opportunity created by this wonderful week: it’s projected to have an impact of [$200 million] on the city’s economy, and we know that impact will go well beyond the seven exciting days ahead.

“We’re looking forward to great performances in the week ahead,” he said, looking over to Portnow. “I know my son Dante commends you for having an important performance by Childish Gambino, one of his favorites,” he laughed. “It’s going to be a great week.”

More Biz

  • Woodstock co-producer and co-founder, Michael Lang,

    Woodstock 50 Organizers Are Optimistic but Vague Before Town Meeting

    Woodstock organizers Michael Lang and Richard Peck were optimistic but vague when speaking with reporters at a hastily announced open house for the festival held in Vernon, New York on Monday night. The town’s Vernon Downs is the most recent proposed site for the trouble festival, which has been dogged by financial and organizational problems [...]

  • What Is Equity, Roc Nation’s Indie

    What Is Equity, Roc Nation’s Indie Distribution Company?

    When news broke earlier this year that Jaz-O, Jay-Z’s longtime friend-turned-foe-turned-friend-again from Marcy Projects, had signed with Roc Nation, most reports glossed over exactly which company the rapper had signed with. His deal, for his Kingz Kounty Media Group, is actually with Equity Distribution, the independent distribution arm of the Roc Nation family of companies, [...]

  • Andhadhun

    Booming Digital Lifts Eros Indian Film Distribution Giant

    Eros International, India’s largest and most controversial film distributor, says that its digital revenues now outstrip conventional theatrical and syndication revenues. Its Eros Now streaming platform claims 18.8 million paying subscribers. The New York-listed company reported annual results that were distorted by multiple adjustments to presentation. Reported revenues in the year to end of March [...]

  • The dark Manhatten skyline, seen from

    StubHub Refunds $500,000 to Customers Shut Out by New York Blackout

    Saturday’s blackout in New York had an outsized effect on the city’s nightlife, with Madison Square Garden and the entire Broadway district seeing multiple shows cancelled due to the the power outage. As a result, StubHub has refunded more than $500,000 worth of tickets for cancelled events. According to a statement from the company, the StubHub [...]

  • Weapons Cache

    D.A. Files 64 Charges in Bel-Air Weapons Stockpile Case

    The L.A. County District Attorney’s office has filed 64 counts against Girard Saenz, the man who allegedly kept a stockpile of more than 1,000 weapons at a Bel-Air home linked to the Getty family. Saenz is accused of illegal possession of assault weapons, transferring handguns without a dealer license, possession of short-barreled shotguns, and possession [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content