You might think it’s fall, but for many musicians this time is referred to as “Grammy Season”. For a few months every year, thoughts are a bit diverted from our usual activities, and a wafting anxiety starts to infiltrate everyday instances as we try and connect with our friends and co-workers hoping to receive enough votes for a nomination. When artists say they are honored to be nominated, that is really true – it is much harder to get nominated than to win – every nominee has a 20% chance to win, but the chance to get a nomination is much smaller and depends on the number of entrants.
Although I would love to receive a Grammy – or like some of the people I work with, a bunch of them – I do have mixed feelings about these awards because in the past there was a lot of “irregularities” with the award process.This year we have a new Grammy CEO, producer Harvey Mason Jr., and I know an effort has been made to improve the voting practices. The Grammy organization made some rule changes too, so we could see some surprises this year – that sounds good, right?
For me, any kind of recognition is a sign that our album is touching and connecting with people around the world, which is the main reason we create music. Whether it’s an award or nomination like a Grammy, or #1 at Amazon, or being near the top of the JazzWeek chart – it’s a “vote” of appreciation for our efforts, and that we are reaching our audience even in this challenging time. I also feel a responsibility to represent women in a field that has often overlooked women as bandleaders, composers and instrumental musicians, (women are acknowledged most often as singers). So I’d love to see our album nominated to help even out the male dominated field ever so slightly on a road towards parity: it would feel good to make it a bit easier for your daughter or my niece or girls everywhere in the future.
In the meantime? No surprise, I’m back at the piano preparing for our next album – my 25th! It is a passion and a joy to continue creating music and working with some of the most talented people in the business – Rudy Royston on drums, Luques Curtis on bass and engineers Chandler Harrod, Jay Newland, Larry Mah and Gavin Lurssen. (I feel lucky to work with everyone – including Leigh Shane, Elizabeth McAlevy, Ryan Nava and Aaron Regan who also contributed their creative talents). Making music is a daily “reward” for me, but… please still wish us luck for a possible Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album!
Enjoy your fall and Happy Halloween too 🎃!