Nine Berklee Alumni, Three Faculty Members Win Grammy Awards

By 
Tori Donahue
February 11, 2019
Press release
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To date, 125 Berklee alumni have received 295 Grammy Awards, popular music's highest honor.

Joelle James
Danilo Pérez B.M. '88 won a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for his work with the Wayne Shorter Quartet.
Visiting Scholar in Jazz Composition Terence Blanchard took home the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition.
Songwriter Joelle James B.M. '11 won a Grammy for Best R&B Song after penning Ella Mai's smash hit "Boo'd Up."
Image courtesy of the artist
Image by Henry Adebonojo
Image by Phil Farnsworth

Berklee alumni and faculty members were recognized across multiple genres and categories at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 10. Nine alumni from the College and Conservatory and three Berklee faculty members took home gold-plated gramophones on the music industry’s biggest night for their contribution to last year’s top albums, songs, and productions. To date, 124 Berklee alumni have received 294 Grammy Awards.

Songwriter Joelle James B.M. ‘11 won her first Grammy on Sunday for Best R&B Song. James penned Ella Mai’s smash hit “Boo’d Up” along with Larrance Dopson, Dijon McFarlane, and Mai herself. Host Alicia Keys sampled the song during a mid-show piano medley featuring a selection of her favorite songs from the past few years.

Producer and American music icon Quincy Jones ‘51 took home his 28th Grammy statue when he won for Best Musical Film; his self-titled Netflix documentary was codirected by his daughter Rashida Jones.

Annie Clark ‘03, best known for her stage moniker St. Vincent, took home two trophies for her critically acclaimed album Masseduction: Best Rock Song (“Masseduction”) and Best Recording Package. Clark performed a mashup of “One Kiss” and “Masseduction” at the ceremony with Best New Artist recipient Dua Lipa.

Two faculty members from Berklee won Grammys in the category of Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) Founder and Artistic Director Danilo Pérez and Visiting Scholar in Performance Studies John Patitucci performed as members of the Wayne Shorter Quartet on their most recent album, Emanon. Visiting Scholar in Jazz Composition Terence Blanchard took home the award for Best Instrumental Composition with his piece "Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil)" from Spike Lee's film BlacKkKlansman.

Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumna Rachel Prather (B.F.A. ‘12, musical theater) won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album as a principal cast member of The Band’s Visit, which also won Best Musical at the Tony Awards in 2018. Drummer Richard L. Kulsar B.M. ‘90 and clarinetist Linus Wyrsch B.M. ‘08 both won Grammys for Best Children’s Album for All the Sounds by Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats.

Alex Lacamoire B.M. '95 won his fourth Grammy Award after serving as one of four compilation producers on The Greatest Showman, which won for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. Engineer David “Elevator” Greenbaum, a longtime collaborator of Beck’s, took home the award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for the artist’s acclaimed album Colors.

A number of alumni contributed to winning albums, songs, and bands that were honored at the ceremony. Brian Riordan B.M. ‘95 worked as the rerecording mixer on Dave Chappelle’s Equanimity & the Bird Revelation, which won Best Comedy Album. The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, winner of Best Tropical Latin Album for Anniversary, features alumnus Jeremy Bosch B.M. ‘11 as a vocalist and flutist.

A list of Berklee alumni and faculty who won 2019 Grammys is below. This list will be updated as additional winners are confirmed.

Category 14: Best Rock Song

“Masseduction” (St. Vincent) – Annie Clark ‘03

Category 19: Best R&B Song

“Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai) – Joelle James B.M. ‘11, songwriter

Category 33: Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Emanon (the Wayne Shorter Quartet) – Danilo Pérez B.M. ’88, founder and artistic director, Berklee Global Jazz Institute; John Patitucci, visiting scholar in performance studies

Category 55: Best Children’s Album

All the Sounds (Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats) – Richard L. Kulsar B.M. ‘90, drummer; Linus Wyrsch B.M. '08, clarinetist

Category 58: Best Musical Theater Album

The Band’s Visit (Original Broadway Cast) – Rachel Prather (B.F.A. ’12, musical theater), principal cast member

Category 59: Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media

The Greatest Showman (Hugh Jackman & Various Artists) – Alex Lacamoire B.M. '95, compilation producer 

Category 62: Best Instrumental Composition

"Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil)" – Terence Blanchard, visiting scholar in Jazz Composition

Category 65: Best Recording Package

Masseduction (St. Vincent) – Annie Clark ‘03

Category 69: Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Colors (Beck) – David “Elevator” Greenbaum ’05, engineer

Category 84: Best Music Film

Quincy – Quincy Jones ‘51

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