December 6, 2016
NEC Musicians Honored with Grammy Nominations
New England Conservatory alumni and faculty were included in nominations for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, announced today.
The Grammy Awards ceremony, on which winners will be revealed, will be televised live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Sunday, February 12, 8pm EST, on CBS.
Final-round ballots will be mailed to voting members of The Recording Academy on December 14, and are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte for tabulating by January 13, 2017.
Saxophonist Donny McCaslin, a member of NEC's jazz faculty, was a crucial collaborator in the creation of David Bowie's final album, Blackstar, which is nominated in multiple categories. Nominations for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song (title track), Best Alternative Album accrue to the performers; the album also received nominations for Best Recording Package and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, which honor those specialists.
McCaslin has had previous nominations as a leader and as a soloist with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. He will appear with his own music and an earlier Bowie tune, along with music of NEC jazz chair Ken Schaphorst, on an NEC Jazz Orchestra concert, December 8.
Jazz pianist Fred Hersch '77, who taught at NEC for many years, is nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo and Best Jazz Instrumental Album with his trio recording Sunday Night at the Vanguard.
Hersch has had six previous Grammy nominations.
A Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album nomination went to Darcy James Argue '02 M.M. for the Darcy James Argue's Secret Society recording Real Enemies.
Argue has previously been nominated for Brooklyn Babylon (2013) and Infernal Machines (2010).
Also in the Jazz Large Ensemble Album category, John Beasley Presents Monk'estra, Vol. 1 introduces a very large band that includes featured trumpet solos by Gabriel Johnson '04 and Prep alumnus Bijon Watson, as well as ensemble players Adam Kolker '94 M.M., saxophone, and Regina Carter '82, violin.
Bijon Watson also plays on John Daversa's Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles, nominated in this category.
The album Undercurrent by singer/songwriter Sarah Jarosz '13 is recognized with nominations for Best American Roots Performance (track "House of Mercy") and Best Folk Album, which accrue to the performers; the album also received a nomination for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.
Jarosz has previously been nominated for Build Me Up from Bones (2013) and a track from her debut album, Song Up in Her Head (2009).
Moving to the classical categories, an orchestra with deep ties to NEC appears among the nominations, after having previously been nominated for a Grammy award for another release in the nominated project.
More than half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's players are NEC faculty and/or alumni. The BSO and music director Andris Nelsons are nominated for Best Orchestra Performance with Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow—Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9. This follows up on last year's nominated release of Symphony No. 10 in a series of live recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. More on this
Among the nominees for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, Third Coast Percussion is nominated for its Steve Reich recording. This quartet of percussionists includes Robert Dillon '04 M.M., who was a member of the NEC Percussion Ensemble during the recording of its Naxos CD American Music for Percussion, Vol. 1.
Marta Aznavoorian '96 M.M. is pianist of the Lincoln Trio, nominated for Trios from Our Homelands. In reference to the recording's theme, Aznavoorian's Armenian heritage is represented by composer Arno Babajanian.
Contact for classical nominees:
Lisa Elghazi, Media Relations
New England Conservatory of Music
Contact for non-classical nominees:
Braithwaite & Katz