Berklee Alumni Win 16 Grammy Awards

By 
Liz Burg
May 4, 2012
Terri Lyne Carrington '83, trustee Phil Ramone, Quincy Jones '51, Esperanza Spalding '05, and Berklee president Roger H. Brown celebrated at the Conga Room in Los Angeles.
In attendance at the Conga Room reception from left to right: Abe Laboriel, Jr. ‘93, J.R. Robinson ‘75, Quincy Jones '51, Harvey Mason '68.
Terri Lyne Carrington ’83, Lalah Hathaway ‘94, Esperanza Spalding ‘05, and neo-soul jazz group King members Amber Strother, alumnus Paris Strother ‘08, and Anita Bias ‘08.
Keith Harris ‘98, 2012 Grammy winner Jeff Bhasker ‘99, Jones '51, and president Brown.
Photo by Zach Coco
Photo by Zach Coco
Photo by Zach Coco
Photo by Zach Coco

Berklee alumni and faculty were honored with 16 Grammy Awards on music's biggest night for their outstanding contributions to some of last year's top releases. The winners were recognized for their work in varied categories and fields, including rap songwriting, jazz, and blues. With Sunday night's wins, Berklee alumni have now won a total of 221 Grammy Awards.

This announcement provides updated figures for Berklee alumni winners—an increase from nine just after the February ceremony to 16—after NARAS released its latest information about additional award winners.

Terri Lyne Carrington '83 won the Best Vocal Jazz Album award for The Mosaic Project. Carrington's album features a "who's who" of female jazz artists, including Esperanza Spalding '05, who won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2011, and the renowned Nona Hendryx. In addition to performing and recording, Carrington serves as a percussion professor at Berklee.

Songwriter Jeff Bhasker '99 won the Best Rap Song award for "All of the Lights" by Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi, and Fergie.

Alumnus Trey Parker '88, best known for his work on Comedy Central's South Park, took home the award for Best Musical Theater Album. Parker produced, composed, and wrote the lyrics for the musical The Book of Mormon, of which alumnus Stephen Oremus '92 was also a producer.

Susan Tedeschi '91 and Mark Rivers '89, members of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, were awarded Best Blues Album for their album, Revelator.

A number of Berklee alumni were awarded for their behind-the-scenes work on winning tracks and albums. Engineer Byeong-Joon Hwang '99 and mastering engineer Jesse Lewis '93 took the gramophone for Best Engineered Album, Classical for their behind-the-scenes work on Robert Aldridge's Elmer Gantry.

Also in engineering, alumnus Benny Faccone '78 was awarded for his work on Maná's album Drama y Luz, which was deemed Best Latin Pop, Rock, or Urban Album. 

Mixers Andrew Dawson '01 (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West), Brian Vibberts '91 (Forever, Chick Corea), and John D'Uva '95 (Hilarious, Louis C.K.) were each presented with a Grammy Award for their work on winning albums.

Three Berklee alumni won awards for their work on Los Tigres del Norte's Los Tigres Del Norte And Friends, which was named Best Banda or Norteño Album. Gustavo Borner '89 mixed, produced, and engineered the album, while Justin Moshkevich '07 and Nick Baxter '07 also worked on the album as mixers.

Patrick Robinson '96 produced All About Bullies...Big And Small, which was awarded Best Children's Album.

Berklee alumni also made important contributions to winning albums. Dean of continuing education Debbie Cavalier '87 and faculty technology services manager Michael Carrera '91 have a song on the compilation album All About Bullies . . . Big and Small.

On the eve of the award ceremony, Berklee held a reception for past winners and nominees at the Conga Room in Los Angeles. Among the guests were 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones '51, Paula Cole '90, Steve Vai '79, and Esperanza Spalding '05, last year's Best New Artist winner. Nominated alumni attending were Miles Walker, '03, Jeff Bhasker '99, Tierney Sutton '87, Ryan Shore '96, and Joe Lovano '72.  Lalah Hathaway '94, a previous nominee, serenaded Jones with a rendition of "A Song for You," a song made famous by her father Donny Hathaway.