The Envelope Please...


The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences nominated 22 Berklee alumni and one faculty member for a total of 29 Grammy Awards this year. The nominees were recognized for their outstanding contributions across a spectrum of musical fields, including pop, rock, rap, alternative, jazz, Latin, country, polka, producing, engineering, arranging, and composing. To date, Berklee alumni have collectively won a total of 162 Grammy Awards.

John Mayer '98, who performed with B.B. King during the TV special The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! - Countdown to Music's Biggest Night, was nominated for five awards this year, including nominations in the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance category and the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category for his duet with Alicia Keys. Other multiple nominees include Andrew Dawson '01, who was nominated in the Album of the Year category and in the Best Rap Album category for his work on Lil Wayne's top-nominated album Tha Carter III; and Gary Burton '62, who was nominated in the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo category and in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category for The New Crystal Silence duo CD with Chick Corea.

Hot on the heels of winning a Latin Grammy Award last month, Assistant Professor Dave Samuels was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album for Afro Bop Alliance. Additional jazz nominees include Joe Lovano '72 for his album Symphonica with the WDR Big Band and the Rundfunk Orchestra; Bill Frisell '77 for his album History, Mystery; Antonio Sanchez '97 for his performance on Pat Metheny's Day Trip CD; and Mike Stern '75 for his work on the Yellowjackets' Lifecycle CD.

Other nominees include drummer for The Mars Volta Thomas Pridgen '03 in the Best Hard Rock Performance category on the group's song "Wax Simulacra"; Aimee Mann '80 for art direction on her album @#%& *! Smilers; Bruce Hornsby '74 in the Best Country Instrumental Performance category for the album Rambling Boy by Charlie Haden Family and Friends; Gavin Lurssen '91 for his mastering work on Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; Tony Maserati '86 for engineering on the Jason Mraz album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things; and composer Ramin Djawadi '98 for the soundtrack for the film Iron Man.

Other nominees include Bob James '59, Harvey Mason '68 of Fourplay (in the Best Pop Instrumental Performance category), Lasim Richards '02 of the band Locos por Juana (in the Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album category); Gonzalo Grau '95 of La Clave Secreta (in the Best Tropical Latin Album category); Tommy Torres '93 (in the Best Latin Pop Album category); Charlie Kelley '88 of the Boxhounds (in the Best Polka Album category); Alex Lacamoire '95 (in the Best Musical Show Album category); Frank Macchia '80 (in the Best Instrumental Arrangement category), and Joe Travers '91 (in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category).

The 51st Annual Grammy Awards take place on Sunday, February 8, 2009.


- Margot Edwrds