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[Photo Credit: Burrell Communications for Toyota]

During a star-studded weekend when major achievements in the music industry were celebrated on the biggest stage, Toyota spotlighted groundbreaking artists, Victory Boyd, and Grammy-nominated singer, Ledisi, during an evening of acoustic performances. Additionally, students from the Harlem School of the Arts, which classically trains young musicians on strings, piano, guitar and more, opened the night by performing popular songs from some of today’s hottest R&B and hip-hop artists.

“Toyota is a champion of new music discovery and we are dedicated to enabling people to find emerging artists”, says Mia Phillips, National Manager- Brand Marketing Strategy for Toyota. “From Victory being discovered in Central Park to the wonderful youth musicians from Harlem School of the Arts, you never know where the next superstar will be found, and hopefully, when they are, people will remember Toyota was the first to show love to that person.”

Joining Toyota on this unique musical journey was chef Danielle Saunders, the “hip-hop” chef who has created and curated cuisine for the who’s who of the music industry as well as visual artist, Max Sansing, whose work was recently featured at the Scope Art Fair during 2017 Miami Art Week. Sansing created a one-of-a-kind art piece, which celebrated the Toyota Music logo and platform. A behind-the-scenes video from Sansing’s creation can be seen on the Toyota Showcase Facebook page.

During the event, guests were introduced to Victory Boyd, an up-and-coming “soulful folk” singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist signed to Roc Nation. The Michigan native moved the crowd with a rousing rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky”, to which the crowd gave her a standing ovation. Following Boyd’s stirring performance, Ledisi sang a string of her hits, including” All The Way”, her Grammy-nominated song for Best Traditional R&B Performance.

“It’s so important for an artist like myself to be exposed to influencers and industry peers,” says Boyd. “It’s great that Toyota sees the significance of putting a spotlight on emerging artists by giving us a platform to share our music.”

Additionally, Toyota presented faculty from the Harlem School of the Arts with a $10,000 donation, to go towards the organization’s HSA Prep program. This highly-selective, pre-professional scholarship program, geared towards students ages 12 to 18 years old, focuses on advanced-level arts training in music, dance, theatre and visual arts. Nearly 100% of graduates from this program go on to attend prestigious colleges, universities and conservatories across the country.

“Toyota has long been a proud supporter of music education,” says Phillips. “From partnerships with VH1’s Save The Music to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, we are pleased to have the Harlem School of the Arts join the fold as one of the phenomenal organizations we support, further helping expand and spread the importance of music education to future generations.”

As a champion of new music discovery, this event is one of many Toyota produces across the country, in support of the brand’s Toyota Music platform. The Toyota Music platform shines a spotlight on emerging artists from various genres including hip-hop, R&B, and rock, to the masses.

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