Berklee Alumni Earn 26 Grammy Award Nominations

By
Nick Balkin
December 4, 2009

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences nominated 25 Berklee alumni for a total of 26 Grammy Awards. The nominees were recognized for their outstanding contributions across the spectrum of music, including pop, rock, hip-hop, alternative, jazz, and Latin, and producing, engineering, arranging, and composing. To date, Berklee alumni have won a total of 176 Grammy Awards. The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2010, and broadcast on CBS at 8:00 p.m.

Grammy-nominated alumni include Black Eyed Peas drummer/producer Keith Harris '99, Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, The E.N.D.; Lalah Hathaway '90, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, "That Was Then"; Susan Tedeschi '91, Best Contemporary Blues Album, Back to the River; Diana Krall '83, Best Classical Crossover Album, Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace; and Steve Vai '79, Best Rock Instrumental Performance, "Now We Run." Engineer/mixer Miles Walker '03 received a nomination for Album of the Year for his work on Beyoncé's I Am... Sasha Fierce.  

Miguel Zenon '98 received two nominations this year; he'll compete with Claudio Roditi '70 and Geoffrey Keezer '88 for Best Latin Jazz Album, and Roy Hargrove '89 for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. Other jazz nominees included Luciana Souza '88 and Tierney Sutton '87, Best Jazz Vocal Album; Joe Zawinul '59, Mike Stern '75, Philippe Saisse '78, and Julian Lage '08, Best Contemporary Jazz Album; Vinnie Colaiuta '75, Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Five Peace Band—Live; and Diego Urcola '90, Best Classical Crossover Album, Jazz-Clazz, Paquito D'Rivera Quintet. Quartet Live—an album featuring alumni Gary Burton '62, Antonio Sanchez '97, and former professors Pat Metheny and Steve Swallow—was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group.  

Additional nominees included Alex Lacamoire '95 and Stephen Oremus '90, Best Musical Show Album, 9 to 5: The Musical; and engineers Rob Mounsey '75 and Jay Newland '84, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, Swan Feathers. Drum icon Levon Helm, who attended Berklee for a semester in '72, was nominated for Best Americana Album.