First-Time Nominee: Pablo Aslan

The Recording Academy asked this year's first-time GRAMMY nominees to collect their thoughts and share what it feels like to be nominated for a GRAMMY. Tune in to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13 on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

I received the news on my GRAMMY nomination from a friend and colleague who was monitoring for the up-to-the-minute announcement of the complete list of nominees. I was playing a gig at a New York jazz club and I had just walked on stage and was getting ready to play when I saw that my friend was calling, so I hid behind my double bass to take the call. He told me I had been nominated just as the bandleader was calling the first tune. With my phone buzzing in my pocket from other congratulatory calls, I played my bass as if I was floating on a cloud. It was exhilarating to celebrate in this way, me and my instrument, doing what I have devoted my life to doing, knowing that I had achieved the recognition of my peers.

Being nominated for a GRAMMY has been a landmark achievement for me and my music. When I set out to blend my love of jazz and tango music in what is now called tango jazz, I knew I was setting out on a unique creative path. Being nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album is a strong point of reference. I feel that my achievement is shared with my close colleagues and fellow musicians who are also on this path. It's the recognition of the uniqueness of Argentine music and musicians, and I am proud to be in this position.

What amazes me most about the nomination is the implicit recognition from my peers and the industry. I am honored to be included in this select group of people, many of whom inspired me to become a musician in the first place.

(Buenos Aires, Argentina-born bassist/producer Pablo Aslan is nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album for Tango Grill, which received a Best Tango Album nomination at the 11th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards last November. Aslan has been a leading figure in the tango revival, with work that is both innovative and solidly rooted in the tradition, and he has performed with artists including Paquito D'Rivera, Shakira, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Lovano, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.)

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