header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
48°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 8
1913 - Castaic Range War: Chromicle ally Billy Rose shoots, wounds landowner William W. Jenkins [story]
Bill Jenkins


Several CalArtians are among the nominees announced Friday for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards to be handed out Feb. 10.

California Institute of the Arts alum Greg Kurstin, one of today’s most sought-after music producers, is among the team nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for Beck’s album “Colors.”

(The music video features a last-minute cameo appearance by CalArts alum and Golden Globe nominee Alison Brie [Theater BFA 05]).

This marks Kurstin’s 13th nomination. He’s already won five Grammys, including last year’s win for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.

Kurstin, who was once the touring keyboardist for Beck’s 2002 “Sea Change” tour, reunited with Beck to produce “Colors,” his 13th studio album, which they recorded in Kurstin’s Los Angeles studio between 2013-2017. On the 10-track album, Beck and Kurstin played nearly every instrument themselves.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Kurstin talks about the making of “Colors,” saying, “I would jam in the room and try to inspire Beck. We really love songs with some complex changes, and Beck has a history of these songs with really cool twists and turns.”

Beck spoke with iHeartRadio about his collaboration with Kurstin, saying:

“This was probably the first record where I really collaborated on the songwriting, completely. So it felt like we were in that old sense of the songwriting team, in the classic sense. We really got to just go through the history of music, and what we love, and experiment, and come up with these songs over a long period of time. It’s a bit of a luxury, and I learned a lot. It was very much an incredible time making this record.”

For those in Los Angeles, Kurstin and Irana George, who perform together in the retro-pop band The Bird and the Bee, are playing in the show, “Irana George presents Eleni Mandell’s ‘Song Club (Holiday Edition)’” on Tuesday (Dec. 11) at Largo at the Coronet in Hollywood.

Six-time Grammy-nominated jazz performer, composer and producer John Daversa (Music MFA 06) is nominated for three Grammy Awards this year, including Best Improvised Jazz Solo for “Don’t Fence Me In”; Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for “American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom”; and Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The politically conscious album “American Dreamers” by John Daversa’s Big Band features music by 53 DACA registered individuals (also known as “Dreamers”) from 17 U.S. states and 17 countries. The project got started by entertainment attorney and philanthropist Doug Davis and was sponsored by Troy Carter, former global head of creative services at Spotify. According to Variety, a documentary about the making of the album is in the works.

Daversa talks about the importance of “American Dreamers” being a jazz album, saying in Variety:

“Jazz exists as the soundtrack of the downtrodden and persecuted and has been at the forefront of social justice. Jazz lends itself to interpretative performances. Jazz allows the dreamers to be artists. I hope that people listening to this album understand that dreamers are patriotic Americans — just like we are. I hope the patriotism comes through and what, whatever a person’s preconceived notions were, that we can change them through music and shed a light on this [issue] in a way that people hadn’t looked at before.”

Marking his fourth Grammy nomination, Scott Colley (Music BFA 88) is in this year’s running for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for “Still Dreaming.” The album is a compilation of eight tracks presented by saxophonist and composer Joshua Redman and his quartet, which includes Colley on bass, Ron Miles on cornet and Brian Blade on drums. All About Jazz calls it “full of energetic improvisation with a cohesion of elastic risk and reason.”

The album is a tribute to Old and New Dreams, a 1976–1987 band created by Redman’s father, Dewey, that featured an all-star line up of Charlie Haden (founder of the Jazz Studies Program in The Herb Alpert School of Music), Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell.

From the record label’s blog, Nonesuch Journal,

“As Redman told NPR’s Jazz Night in America: ‘I envisioned this band with myself and Ron Miles and Scott Colley and Brian Blade … Each of us has a kind of special relationship to the corresponding instrumentalist in Old and New Dreams.’ Blade, like Blackwell, is from Louisiana; Colley was a student of Haden’s; and Miles has long been influenced by Cherry’s playing.”

“Still Dreaming” features six original compositions and two other tracks: “Playing” by Haden and “Comme Il Faut” by Coleman.

Nominated for Best New Age Album, “Opium Moon” is a new project by critically acclaimed artist Lili Haydn (violin/voice), Hamid Saeidi (Santoor), CalArts alum and percussionist M.B. Gordy (Music MFA 80) and Itai Disraeli (fretless bass).

An acclaimed drummer Gordy has played on albums for artists such as John Legend, Beck, One Republic, The Doobie Brothers to name a few. He also regularly contributes to film and TV scores with credits on “Selma,” “Frozen,” “Harry Potter,” “Mad Men,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Agents of Shield,” “The Mentalist” and many others.

A step away from his more commercial gigs, “Opium Moon” has been described by World Music Central as both “sultry and meditative,” and praised for “delving deep into a sound that draws on trance and sacred musical traditions of both East and West.”

The official video for their song “Caravan” premiered on NPR. In the article, Haydn reveals:

“The name ‘Opium Moon,’ as well as the organic improvisational way we create, was inspired by a poem of the great Sufi poet Hafiz called ‘She Responded’:

The bird’s favorite songs
You do not hear,

For their most flamboyant music takes place
When their wings are stretched
Above the trees

And they are smoking the opium of pure freedom…
I once asked a bird,
‘How is it that you fly in this gravity
Of darkness?’

She responded,
‘Love lifts Me.’”

CalArts Graphic Design alum Glen Nakasako (Art BFA 96) received a Grammy nomination for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package for The Decemberists “I’ll Be Your Girl” box set. In 2015, Nakasako was nominated in the same category for The Decemberists’ album “What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World” deluxe box set.

Nakasako is an art director and designer for the award-winning boutique design firm Smog Design, which specializes in book design and album covers. One of their recent projects includes art direction and design for Pink’s newest album “Beautiful Trauma,” which has, in another cool CalArts connection, two songs co-written and produced by Kurstin.

Congratulations to all the nominees. If we missed any other alums, please let us know in the comments.

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards will take place on Feb. 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and be broadcast live on CBS.

By Elizabeth Liang

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LINKS
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Friday, Mar 5, 2021
The SCV Adventure Play Foundation is set to host its virtual Spring Thing Fling fundraiser on the first day of spring, Saturday, March 20.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
Los Angeles County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff.
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume.
CDC Issues First Guidelines for Gatherings by Fully Vaccinated People
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Monday confirmed 13 new deaths and 880 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 145th death, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green-light to maskless indoor gatherings among fully vaccinated people.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 145th Death at Henry Mayo; L.A. County Preps for Red Tier as Numbers Return to Pre-Surge Levels
The Master’s University and Seminary announced Friday that its board of directors had selected longtime professor Abner Chou as interim president of TMUS following the resignation of Sam Horn on February 26.
Longtime Master’s Prof Abner Chou Named TMUS Interim President
Foothill League cross-country exhibition weekend concluded Saturday at Central Park as Golden Valley faced West Ranch followed by a separate meet between Hart and Valencia.
Foothill Cross-Country Exhibition Weekend Concludes
California Highway Patrol officers arrested a Lancaster corrections officer on suspicion of driving under the influence after his blood-alcohol level was allegedly three times the legal limit Thursday night.
CHP Arrests Lancaster Corrections Officer on Suspicion of DUI
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia planned to administer 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to SCV educators and school site staff who are in the early stages of having returned to campuses or planning to return to campuses.
Henry Mayo Administers 1,000 COVID-19 Vaccines to SCV Educators
1913 - Castaic Range War: Chromicle ally Billy Rose shoots, wounds landowner William W. Jenkins [story]
Bill Jenkins
1976 - Groundbreaking for new First Presbyterian Church in Newhall; former structure heavily damaged in 1971 earthquake [story]
First Presbyterian Church
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages
Following months of renovations and preparation for a grand reopening, the city of Santa Clarita-owned ice rink has a new name and brand, The Cube - Ice and Entertainment Center.
City Reveals New Name of City-Owned Ice Rink
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released updates to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework focused on activities that can be conducted outdoors with consistent masking which will take effect April 1.
State Updates Blueprint, Outdoor Activities and Theme Parks Set to Reopen
The Newhall School District announced Friday the implementation of the first Junior Kindergarten program in the Santa Clarita Valley which will offer students who turn five years old between July 1 and Sept. 1 the opportunity to enroll in school and enjoy the benefits that both Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Traditional Kindergarten currently provide.
Newhall School District Announces First Junior Kindergarten Program in SCV
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 144 new deaths and 2,110 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 26,403 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccine Allocation to Increase Next Week; SCV Cases Total 26,403
The SCV Adventure Play Foundation is set to host its virtual Spring Thing Fling fundraiser on the first day of spring, Saturday, March 20.
SCV Adventure Play Foundation to Host Virtual Spring Thing Fling Fundraiser
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Missing Person Debbie Phipps.
LASD Investigators Seek Help Locating Missing Person Last Seen In Canyon Country
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has sponsored a new bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for California’s high-speed rail project, a section of which could run along Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Garcia Sponsors Bill to Defund CA’s High-Speed Rail Project
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to discuss in a closed session Tuesday their ongoing legal battle with property owner Canyon View Limited over the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside.
City Council to Reconvene Over Solar Panel Litigation
1864 - L.A. Star newspaper report: County supervisors have accepted Beale's Cut as complete [story]
Beale's Cut
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Broadway Maestra Georgia Stitt to Speak at COC’s Virtual Insight Series
Valencia-based Lundgren Management was honored to be selected by the El Camino Community College District as one of three firms providing on-going construction management services for the next five years.
Valencia-Based Lundgren Management Inks 5-Year Deal with El Camino Community College District
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
City Looking for Teams to Compete in ‘The Incredible Chase’
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 119 new deaths and 2,253 new cases of COVID-19, with 26,327 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 26,327; Public Health Advises Against Non-Essential Travel
For a three-day period starting Tuesday, the William S. Hart Union High School District football players took their first COVID-19 tests as part of the requirements for them to begin full-contact play.
Hart District Football Players Begin COVID-19 Testing, Full-Contact Play
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Project Scientist for Mars Perseverance Continues Caltech’s Lecture Series
%d bloggers like this: