SANTA MONICA, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Former Vice Chairman of the Board of the Recording Academy Jimmy Jam was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy, jazz critic Neil Tesser was elected vice chairman, and music publisher Richard Perna was re-elected secretary/treasurer at its annual spring trustees meeting. Outgoing Chairman of the Board Terry Lickona will become chair emeritus. Additionally, The Academy's trustees voted to expand the Latin music Grammy Award field and establish a new category in the field of Folk music. This brings the total number of Grammy categories that will be recognized in February 2008 to 110.
"During our spring trustees meeting, elected leaders from all of our 12 Chapters — all music makers and industry experts in their own fields — convene to discuss the business and direction of our Academy and the ongoing vital role we continue to play as the voice of 18,000 music makers," said Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy. "Through the election of our new national officers and the focus of the week's discussions, The Academy's Board of Trustees continues to demonstrate its passionate commitment to keeping The Recording Academy a relevant and responsive organization in our dynamic music community. We are thrilled with the diversity and the depth of music industry experience we were able to tap in electing our new slate of national officers, and I look forward to working closely with this talented new team and our national staff."
"As The Recording Academy celebrates its influential 50-year history, I am proud to serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees," said Jam. "This is a historic time in our rich cultural legacy, and I am looking forward to helping lay the foundation for the next 50 years by continuing to collaborate with our president, national staff, trustees, local chapters and our 18,000 members. We have many new opportunities to explore to enhance the Grammy brand while continuing to focus on our mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture."
Due to the increasing growth of the Latin genre, The Academy has split the Best Latin Rock, Alternative Or Urban Album into two categories — Best Latin Urban Album and Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album. In the Folk field, the new Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album category has been added to embrace this evolving genre.
–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen