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School of Jazz and Contemporary Music faculty member Jane Ira Bloom, center, with her Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album.
School of Jazz and Contemporary Music faculty member Jane Ira Bloom, center, with her Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album.

CoPA Faculty and Alumni Shine at 60th Annual Grammy Awards

Faculty members and alumni from the College of Performing Arts (CoPA) at The New School shined at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, earning awards and nominations and highlighting the world-class educational experience at Mannes School of Music, School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and School of Drama.

Faculty member and acclaimed soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom won the award form for Best Surround Sound Album for “Early Americans.” Greg Kurstin, a former New School student who studied under onetime faculty member Jaki Byard, won Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, his second time winning the category. Faculty member Arturo O’Farill took home Best Instrumental Composition for “Three Revolutions.”

Other awardees include Anthony LaMarca, Jazz ’09, who shared the Best Rock Album award (“A Deeper Understanding”) with his bandmates from the Philadelphia indie rock outfit The War on Drugs. Rachel Elise Sigman, Mannes ’12, sang “The Little Boy” on the Houston Symphony’s recording of “Wozzeck,” which won for Best Opera Recording.

Faculty and alumni enjoyed award nominations as well. Jazzmeia Horn, Jazz ’14, got the nod for Best Jazz Vocal Album for “A Social Call,” and Marcus Baylor, Jazz ’99, was nominated for both Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Traditional R&B Performance for The Baylor Project’s album “The Journey.” Irene Sankoff, Drama ’02, was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album as a member of the cast of “Come From Away.”

Though she wasn’t nominated for an award, Francesca Dardani, Mannes ’10, was part of a memorable moment at the Grammy’s when she sang with Kesha during a live televised performance of the singer’s smash hit, “Praying.”

“We are thrilled to see our faculty and alumni recognized by the Grammys for the exciting music they write, perform, and produce,” says Richard Kessler, executive dean of CoPA and dean of Mannes School of Music. “Many faculty and alumni from The New School are Grammy winners and nominees, and we are proud to see this year’s group join their storied ranks.”

The School of Jazz and Contemporary Music is a proud member of the Grammy Museum’s University Affiliates program, which provides educational institutions with access to the rich musical history and archives of the Grammy Museum for educational purposes, curriculum resources, research programs, internship opportunities, professional development seminars, collaborative marketing and promotions, and project-based learning. This year, events on our New York City campus have included a concert in partnership with Take Me To The River, The Renaissance Youth Center, and the Grammy Museum, and the Grammy Museum’s 9th Annual Grammy in the Schools Live concert.

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