USC Thornton artists receive multiple GRAMMY nominations

Jazz Studies faculty member Vince Mendoza leading the Metropole Orkest.

USC Thornton artists, including both faculty and alumni, received nominations across multiple categories for the 61st GRAMMY Awards.

Jazz Studies alum John Daversa (DMA ’09) received three nominations for the John Daversa Big Band’s album American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom which features faculty member Paul Young on trombone. Daversa was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for the track “Don’t Fence Me In” as well as Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Additionally, the ensemble was nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

Jazz Studies faculty member Vince Mendoza received two nominations including Best Jazz Vocal Album for If You Really Want by Raul Midón With The Metropole Orkest Conducted By Vince Mendoza. Mendoza also got the nod for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for the song “Mona Lisa” with Gregory Porter.

Alumna Sunny Jungin Yang, cellist with the Kronos Quartet. (Photo: M. Allan)

Michael Tilson Thomas, two-time alumnus of USC Thornton (’67 and MM ’76) and a Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC, was nominated for Best Orchestral Performance for his celebrated work as conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and their album, Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1-4.

Cellist Sunny Yang (MM ’10, GCRT ’12) received a nomination as part of her pioneering work as current cellist for the Kronos Quartet. The ensemble was nominated for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for their album Anderson, Laurie: Landfall.

Composer Lansing McLoskey (MM ’92), was nominated for Best Choral Performance for his album, Zealot Canticles: An oratorio for tolerance. The 80-minute oratorio, with words by Nobel Prize-winning author and humanitarian Wole Soyinka, features conductor Donald Nally and was released on Innova Records. McLoskey is currently a professor of music composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He’s the recipient of nearly three-dozen national & international composition awards, including two awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the 2018 Copland House Award & commission, the 2016 American Prize, and a 2019 Bogliasco Foundation fellowship.

The 61st GRAMMY Awards which will take place on Sunday, February 10, 2019.