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IU Jacobs School of Music

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IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Monday, February 11, 2008

The IU Jacobs School of Music walked away with six Grammy Awards

Feb. 11, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Faculty and alumni from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music were awarded a total of six Grammy Awards Sunday (Feb. 10).

Legendary conductor and IU faculty member Leonard Slatkin was honored with awards for best classical album, best orchestral performance and best classical contemporary composition; prolific jazz saxophonist and IU alum Michael Brecker was recognized posthumously for both best jazz instrumental solo and best jazz instrumental album; and acclaimed jazz artist John Clayton won best instrumental arrangement accompanying a vocalist.

Leonard Slatkin

Leonard Slatkin

Print-Quality Photo

Slatkin was recognized with three Grammy Awards for his recording of contemporary composer Joan Tower's Made in America with the Nashville Orchestra. The stirring title track was commissioned by the Ford Made in America project, which supports American orchestras and composers in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts. The disc also includes Tower's rhythmic "Tambor" and multi-textured "Concerto for Orchestra." The recording won in all the categories for which it was nominated: best classical album, best orchestral performance and best classical contemporary composition.

These awards bring Slatkin's Grammy wins to a total of eight, following more than 50 nominations for his more than 100 recordings. Slatkin's highly active conducting career includes his positions as music director of the National Symphony and principal guest conductor of both the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has made regular appearances with virtually every major national orchestra, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and many others.

Michael Brecker, who passed away last year after a remarkable saxophone career, attended Indiana University in the late 1960s. His final recording, Pilgrimage, includes collaborations with legendary pianists Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau, guitarist Pat Metheny and bassist John Patitucci. In addition to winning best jazz instrumental album, Brecker's swift and fluid mastery on the track "Anagram" earned him this year's award for best jazz instrumental solo.

Brecker's career was wide-ranging, featuring work with Aerosmith, Elton John, James Taylor, John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen in addition to playing with NBC's Saturday Night Live band. He co-founded Dreams, an early and creative first wave of jazz-rock, and toured for many years with his brother, trumpet player Randy Brecker (also an IU alum). Having earned a total of 13 Grammy Awards for his life's work, Michael Brecker is considered the most influential saxophonist in the post-John Coltrane era.

John Clayton, who graduated from Indiana University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass, is an acclaimed jazz and classical bassist, teacher, composer, arranger and conductor. This year, he collaborated with R&B star and Oscar-winning actress Queen Latifah on her second jazz album, Trav'lin Light. His arrangement of the swinging track "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die," written by Mann Curtis, Al Hoffman and Walter Kent and first recorded in 1954 by Frank Sinatra, earned him this year's Grammy Award for best instrumental arrangement accompanying a vocalist.

Clayton is the co-leader of the acclaimed Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, a key member of the Clayton Brothers Quintet, and part of the in-house rhythm section at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. In addition to Queen Latifah, he has provided arrangements for vocalist Michael Buble and produced recordings by singer Sara Gazarek and violinist Regina Carter. His recordings with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra have featured Gladys Knight, John Pizzarelli and Diana Krall. He serves as the jazz studies bass professor at the University of Southern California.

About the IU Jacobs School of Music

As one of the most comprehensive and acclaimed institutions for the study of music, the IU Jacobs School of Music plays a key role in educating performers, scholars, composers, dancers and music educators who influence performance and education around the globe.

The 170 full-time faculty members in residence at the Jacobs School include performers, scholars, composers and teachers of international renown. The more than 1,600 students from all 50 states and 55 countries outside the United States who study at the Jacobs School benefit from the intensity and focus of a conservatory combined with the broad academic offerings of a major university.