(l-r) Fred Hersch, Christian McBride, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jane Bunnett, Jazzmeia Horn
2018 GRAMMYs: 9 Things To Know About The Jazz Field Nominees
The rich lineage of GRAMMY-winning jazz artists has since included the likes of Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Esperanza Spalding, and Gregory Porter, to name a few.
Today, the Jazz Field spans five categories — Best Improvised Jazz Solo, Best Jazz Vocal Album, Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and Best Latin Jazz Album.
Leading the 60th GRAMMY Awards Jazz Field are pianist Fred Hersch and saxophonist Chris Potter, with two nominations each.
Learn more about this year's Jazz Field with nine interesting tidbits about the nominees.
1. First-Time Nominees In The Mix
Notching their first respective GRAMMY nominations this year are violinist Sara Caswell, the Baylor Project's Jean Baylor, Dallas native Jazzmeia Horn, and New Mexico's Raul Midón. Caswell is up for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for "Can't Remember Why." The Baylor Project, Horn and Midón are vying for Best Jazz Vocal Album for The Journey, A Social Call and Bad Ass And Blind, respectively.
Also drawing first-time nominations are Brazilian Antonio Adolfo (Hybrido — From Rio To Wayne Shorter), clarinet/guitar duo Anat Cohen & Marcello Gonçalves (Outra Cosa — The Music Of Moacir Santos) and Pablo Ziegler Trio (Jazz Tango), who are each nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album.
2. Fred Hersch's Dozen
With 10 prior GRAMMY nominations to his credit, Fred Hersch's two current nods for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for "Whisper Not" and Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Open Book represent his 11th and 12th career nominations. The Cincinnati-born pianist was first nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group for "Dancing In The Dark" at the 36th GRAMMY Awards. Will Hersch land his first career GRAMMY this year?
3. Christian McBride, Vince Mendoza: Top Winners
Bassist Christian McBride and composer Vince Mendoza & WDR Big Band Cologne are among the nominees for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for Bringin' It and Homecoming, respectively. The veterans are the top decorated winners in the Jazz Field, with each having five prior GRAMMY wins. Mendoza has another shot for his sixth (and potential seventh) GRAMMY with a nomination for Best Instrumental Composition in the Composing/Arranging Field.
4. 70 Is The New 40
A couple of respected septuagenarians have landed 60th GRAMMY nominations. At 77 years old, jazz singer Nancy King is up for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Porter Plays Porter with the Randy Porter Trio, marking her second career nomination. Turning 76 in January, guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin and his band, the 4th Dimension, are in the running for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for "Miles Beyond," a track from his 2017 album, Live @ Ronnie Scott's.
5. The Baylor Project: A Musical "Marriage"
Jean Baylor (vocalist) and Marcus Baylor (drums) are not only musical partners, they are husband and wife. Born in New Jersey, first-time nominee Jean Baylor studied vocal performance at Temple University where she formed the '90s R&B duo Zhané with classmate Renée Neufville. Meanwhile, three-time past GRAMMY nominee Marcus Baylor is a former member of GRAMMY winners the Yellowjackets. Up for Best Jazz Vocal Album, The Journey marks the Baylor Project's debut album.
6. Sara Caswell's Bid To Make History
At 39, Caswell is this year's youngest nominee for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. The Indiana-born violinist is vying to become the first female in GRAMMY history to win this category, which dates back to the 15th GRAMMY Awards. Caswell is a former member of Best New Artist winner Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society ensemble.
7. Cécile McLorin Salvant's Streak
With a current nomination for her third studio album, Dreams And Daggers, Cécile McLorin Salvant has scored Best Jazz Vocal Album GRAMMY nominations for each of her first three career studio albums. Her debut was nominated at the 56th GRAMMY Awards and her sophomore effort, For One To Love, took the prize at the 58th GRAMMY Awards.
8. Miles In Common
What do Joey DeFrancesco, John Beasley and John McLaughlin have in common? Each has a tie to the legendary Miles Davis. Organist DeFrancesco was asked to join Davis' touring band at age 17 and he recorded on his 1989 album, Amandla. Pianist Beasley started playing live with Davis in the late '80s. McLaughlin recorded multiple albums with Davis, including 1969's Bitches Brew (GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, 1999).
9. Canada's High Jazz Civilian Jane Bunnett
Afro-Cuban jazz saxophonist, flautist and bandleader Jane Bunnett will celebrate 30 years since her debut album, 1988's In Dew Time, in 2018. Her current nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album for Oddara marks her third career nod. In 2004 the Torontonian was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor given in The Great White North.
The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 28, 2018, airing live on CBS from 7:30–11 p.m. ET/4:30–8 p.m. PT.