Berklee Alumni and Faculty Earn 29 Grammy Award Nominations

Margot Edwards
December 9, 2008
Dave Samuels
Gary Burton '62
John Mayer '98
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences nominated 23 Berklee alumni and one faculty member for a total of 29 Grammy Awards. The nominees were recognized for their outstanding contributions across the spectrum of fields, including pop, rock, rap, alternative, jazz, Latin, country, polka, producing, engineering, arranging, and composing. To date, 58 known Berklee alumni have won a total of 168 Grammy Awards. The 51st Annual Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 8, 2009, and broadcast on CBS at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

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

Assistant professor Dave Samuels was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album for Afro Bop Alliance, hot on the heels of winning a Latin Grammy Award last month in the same category. Additional jazz nominees include Bill Frisell '77, Joe Lovano '72 (Gary Burton Jazz Chair at Berklee), Antonio Sanchez '97, and Mike Stern '75.

Other nominees include Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen '03 for Best Hard Rock Performance; Aimee Mann '80 for art direction on her album @#%&*! Smilers; Bruce Hornsby '74 for Best Country Instrumental Performance; Gavin Lurssen '91 for his work on Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; Tony Maserati '86 for engineering Jason Mraz's album; and Iron Man soundtrack composer Ramin Djawadi '98.

A complete list of Berklee alumni and faculty nominees for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards follows.

Category 2—Album of the Year

  • Tha Carter III
    Lil Wayne

    Andrew Dawson '01, engineer/mixer [Universal Motown/Cash Money]
  • Raising Sand
    Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
    Gavin Lurssen '91, mastering engineer 

Category 6—Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

  • "Say
    John Mayer '98, track from Continuum [Columbia]

Category 8—Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals

  • "Lesson Learned
    Alicia Keys and John Mayer '98 , track from As I Am [J Records]

Category 9—Best Pop Instrumental Performance

  • "Fortune Teller
(Bob James '59, Harvey Mason '68), track from Energy [Heads Up International]

Category 15—Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance

  • "Gravity
    John Mayer '98, track from Where the Light Is—Live in Los Angeles [Columbia]

Category 17—Best Hard Rock Performance

  • Wax Simulacra
    The Mars Volta (Thomas Pridgen '03) 
[Universal Motown]

Category 19—Best Rock Instrumental Performance

  • Peaches en Regalia
    Zappa Plays Zappa (Joe Travers '91) 
[Strobosonic/Razor & Tie Entertainment]

    Category 40—Best Country Instrumental Performance

    • "Is This America? (Katrina 2005)
      Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny, Jerry Douglas, and Bruce Hornsby '74, track from Family & Friends—Rambling Boy [Decca Records]

    Category 45—Best Contemporary Jazz Album

    • Lifecycle
      Yellowjackets Featuring Mike Stern '75 [Heads Up International]

    Category 47—Best Jazz Instrumental Solo

    • "Waltz for Debby
      Gary Burton '62 and Chick Corea, soloists, track from The New Crystal Silence [Concord Records]

    Category 48—Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

    • The New Crystal Silence
      Chick Corea and Gary Burton '62 [Concord Records]
    • History, Mystery
      Bill Frisell '77 [Nonesuch Records]
    • Day Trip
      Pat Metheny with Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez '97 [Nonesuch Records]

    Category 49—Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

    • Symphonica
      Joe Lovano '72 with WDR Big Band and Rundfunk Orchestra 
[Blue Note]

    Category 50—Best Latin Jazz Album

    • Afro Bop Alliance
      Caribbean Jazz Project (Dave Samuels, faculty) [Heads Up International]

    Category 58—Best Latin Pop Album

    • Tarde o Temprano
      Tommy Torres '93 [Warner Music Latina]

    Category 59—Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album

    • La Verdad
      Locos por Juana (Lasim Richards '02) 
[Machete Music]

    Category 61—Best Tropical Latin Album

    • Frutero Moderno
      Gonzalo Grau '95 y La Clave Secreta 
[2008 Gonzalo Grau]

    Category 76—Best Polka Album

    • Speechless
      LynnMarie and Charlie Kelley '88 as the Boxhounds 
[Squeeze Records]

    Category 81—Best Musical Show Album

    • In the Heights
      Alex Lacamoire '95, producer (Original Broadway Cast with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Others)
 [Razor & Tie Entertainment/Ghostlight Records]

    Category 83—Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media

    • Iron Man
      Ramin Djawadi '98, composer 

    Category 84—Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media

    • "Say" (from The Bucket List)

      John Mayer '98, songwriter (John Mayer)
, track from Continuum [Aware/Columbia; publishers: Sony/ATV Tunes, Specific Harm Music]

    Category 86—Best Instrumental Arrangement

    • "Down in the Valley
      Frank Macchia '80, arranger (Frank Macchia Featuring the Prague Orchestra)
, track from Landscapes [Cacophony]

    Category 89—Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

    • @#%&*! Smilers
      Aimee Mann '80 and Gail Marowitz, art directors (Aimee Mann) 
[SuperEgo Records]

    Category 92—Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

    • We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
      Dyre Gormsen and Tony Maserati '86, engineers (Jason Mraz) 

    Category 107—Best Classical Contemporary Composition 

    • Gandolfi: The Garden Of Cosmic Speculation

                Michael Gandolfi '76 (Robert Spano) [Telarc] 

    Category 110—Best Long-Form Music Video

    • Where the Light Is—Live in Los Angeles
      John Mayer '98