(Find out who will be nominated for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards live on "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" on Nov. 30 from 10–11 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.)
My name is Donna Mercer and I am the GRAMMY.com Community Blogger for jazz!
In early 2007 a different sphere of music opened up for me. The emptiness that I felt because of a close friend’s sudden passing was initially filled by listening to jazz music. He loved it when he was alive and it was my connection to him as I worked through my grief. I’m living proof that you don’t have to grow up listening to jazz to love it!
This is one of the preconceived notions about jazz, and one that is not true. All you have to do is go on a comprehensive music streaming website and have fun exploring the genre. It’s that easy.
Many people around the world became more aware of jazz and one of its freshest faces during the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2011. Jazz artist Esperanza Spalding won the Best New Artist GRAMMY before a stunned audience. I was there at Staples Center and it was exhilarating to hear her name being announced as the winner. That moment was priceless to me and many fans of the genre. I would like to see more jazz artists nominated in this category in the future.
If you enjoy Spalding's youthful vibe, check out the music of Vijay Iyer, Christian Scott, Tia Fuller, Ben Williams, Magos Herrera, Trombone Shorty, Soil & "Pimp" Sessions, and Sachal Vasandani. These artists flavor their music with Indian, Mexican, Japanese, hip-hop, soul, and house influences to give a unique, vivacious take on jazz.
I'm excited about the future of jazz given the capable hands of the aforementioned musicians and the numerous talented artists permeating the genre today. Just as in the heyday of jazz during the '50s and early '60s, the best of today's musicians are doing an intriguing job of translating world and life events into musical compositions.
I can't wait to see which artists are nominated for a GRAMMY in the Jazz Field for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards!