UNT alumni see Grammy wins at 63rd annual awards show

Monday, March 15, 2021 - 16:50

2021 Grammys

 University of North Texas alumni picked up several awards at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday (March 14).

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DENTON (UNT), Texas — University of North Texas alumni picked up several awards at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday (March 14). Here are a round-up of the winners:

Snarky Puppy

Snarky Puppy, a group made up of several College of Music alumni, took home the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album Grammy for their album, “Live at The Royal Albert Hall”. UNT 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; Harold "Shaun" Martin, keyboards; Bob Lanzetti, guitar; Mike Maher, trumpet; Chris Bullock, tenor saxophone; Chris McQueen, electric guitar; and Jay Jennings, trumpet.

Scott Tixier

Faculty member Scott Tixier played jazz violin on John Legend’s Grammy winning Best R&B Album, “Bigger Love”. 

Bobby Sessions

Alumnus Bobby Sessions was part of the team for the song “Savage,” along with Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe and Anthony White, which won the Best Rap Song Grammy. 

Dave Pietro

College of Music alumnus Dave Pietro played alto saxophone, clarinet, piccolo, flute and alto flute on Maria Schneider’s album “Sputnik,” which won the Best Instrumental Composition Grammy. 

Pietro also played alto saxophone, clarinet, piccolo, flute and alto flute on the Maria Schneider Orchestra album “Data Lords,” which won the Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. 

Latonia Moore

Opera star Latonia Moore portrayed Serena on the Metropolitan Opera album “Porgy and Bess,” which won the Grammy for Best Opera Recording. 

Others who received Grammy nominations or worked on projects that received Grammy nominations included:

  • Alumnus Dan Higgins who played saxophone on Harry Connick, Jr.’s album, “True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter,” which was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. 
  • Alumni Riley Gale and Blake Ibanez, two members of metal band Power Trip, whose album “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of The Axe) – Live” was nominated for Best Metal Performance.
  • Alumna Maren Morris, whose song “The Bones” was nominated for Best Country Song.
  • Alumna Norah Jones and Mavis Staples, whose song “I’ll Be Gone” was nominated for Best American Roots Performance. 
  • Alumni Tom Luer and Jeff Driskill both played tenor saxophone on the Jeremy Levy Jazz Orchestra album “Uranus: The Magician,” which was nominated for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella. 
  • Faculty member Philip Dizack played trumpet and alumnus Ben Kono played tenor saxophone and clarinet on Remy Le Bouef’s album “Honeymooners,” which was nominated for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella. Kono also played tenor saxophone and clarinet for Remy Le Bouef’s album “Strata,” which was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition. 
  • Alumni Justin Stanton played keyboards and Nate Werth played percussion on “Slow Burn,” an album by Becca Stevens featuring Jacob Collier, Talia Billig, Nic Hard and Becca Stevens, which was nominated for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals.
  • Alumnus Lecrae Moore, whose album “Sunday Morning” was nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. 
  • Alumnus Ross Schodek played bass on Poncho Sanchez’s album “Trane’s Delight,” which was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album. 
  • Alumna Michelle Herring Folta, an associate professor of choral/general music education at Columbus State University in Georgia, was one of 10 finalists for the Music Educator Award, which recognizes educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.

ABOUT THE UNT COLLEGE OF MUSIC

The College of Music is the largest public university music program in the U.S. and one of the most globally respected. Faculty include internationally acclaimed artists and scholars in composition, conducting, ethnomusicology, music education, music entrepreneurship, music history, music theory, performance and performing arts health. With nearly 1,100 music events annually, you can experience world-class music anytime.

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