UNT alumni win Grammy Awards in four categories

Snarky Puppy
Snarky Puppy, led by UNT alumnus Michael League and made up of several alumni band members, won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.
Monday, January 27, 2014 - 12:31

DENTON, Texas (UNT) – Alumni of UNT’s College of Music won in four categories at the 56th annual Grammy Awards Sunday night. Snarky Puppy, founded by alumnus Michael League and featuring many UNT alumni, won for Best R&B Performance. Other alumni performed or recorded with the groups A Roomful of Teeth, Pacific Mambo Orchestra and Vampire Weekend, each of which also scored Grammy wins.

Snarky Puppy

College of Music alumnus Michael League is the bassist, composer and founder of the band Snarky Puppy. Among the other alumni who make up the band that has roughly two dozen rotating members are Nate Werth, percussion; Justin Stanton, trumpet and keyboards; Bob Lanzetti, guitar; Mike Maher, trumpet; Chris Bullock, tenor saxophone; Chris McQueen, electric guitar; and Jay Jennings, trumpet

Snarky Puppy’s Best R&B Performance win was for the song “Something,” performed with Lalah Hathaway, from the DVD/CD Family Dinner, Volume One on the Ropeadope Records label.

In accepting the award, League said he was glad to know so many people were receptive to an album designed to benefit music education.

“Music education is a thing that needs to be supported at all costs and every level,” he said, adding that he started Snarky Puppy 10 years ago at UNT and concluding by thanking his fans.

A photo of the band accompanies this email.

Cameron Beauchamp

Alumnus Cameron Beauchamp is a member of Roomful of Teeth, which picked up a Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for their self-titled CD.

Beauchamp has performed on four Grammy-nominated albums and one Downbeat award-winning album. Beauchamp studied voice and jazz trombone at UNT and is a bass vocalist in demand throughout the country as a soloist and chamber musician.

His photo can be found on the Roomful of Teeth website at:


Aaron Lington and Steffen Kuehn

Alumnus Aaron Lington plays saxophone in the Pacific Mambo Orchestra and alumnus Steffen Kuehn is co-leader of the Pacific Mambo Orchestra. The band won the award for Best Tropical Latin Album for their self-titled debut album.

Seth Shafer

Current Ph.D. student in music composition Seth Shafer played tuba on several tracks on Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City, which won the Grammy award for Best Alternative Music Album.

UNT alumni also nominated

Other UNT alumni who didn’t win, but received Grammy nominations this year included:

  • College of Music alumni Rob Wilkerson, member of the Secret Society band’s woodwind section, and John Guari, associate producer for the tracking session of Secret Society’s Brooklyn Babylon record, which received the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording nomination.
  • Wilkerson is also a member of The Alan Ferber Big Band, which received the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording nomination for their record March Sublime.

The 56th annual Grammy Awards was broadcast Sunday, Jan. 26, though some awards were announced online prior to the televised broadcast.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108