© 2023 WRTI
Your Classical and Jazz Source
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Classical and Jazz in the Grammys: A Few Surprises


The Grammy Awards were handed out in February, and a few surprises in the pop categories might interest you. And do you know who won the classical and jazz awards? We're here to fill you in. Some are newcomers - some are tried and true.

Who won TWO Grammys? Maestro Riccardo Muti (while recovering from a procedure to install a pacemaker at a Chicago hospital after fainting on the podium a few weeks earlier) and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus won in the Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance categories for their recording of the Verdi Requiem.

Watch and Listen - CLICK HERE: Riccardo Muti on Verdi's Requiem and behind the scenes with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Classical music and jazz showed up more than ever in the Grammys. A pop sensation usually grabs the Best New Artist Grammy, and this year the expected winner was teen phenom Justin Bieber. But who won instead? Esperanza Spalding - the 25-year-old jazz vocalist, bassist, and composer - shocked the music world with her win.

The Best Pop Instrumental Grammy went to iconic rock guitarist Jeff Beck for his arrangement of "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot.

Winners in the classical music and jazz categories were not recognized during the televised Grammy Awards broadcast. So how fun is it to see that one of the biggest awards went to a jazz artist? And how about an opera arrangement paving the way for a rock star to bring home a trophy?

Classical and Jazz Categories: The Winners

In the Classical categories, there was an excellent mix of well-known masters and future big names. Riccardo Muti took home two awards for Verdi's Requiem recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, while Cecilia Bartoli won Best Classical Vocal Performance for Sacrificium.

The Best Chamber Music Performance went to the extraordinary Parker Quartet for their recording of the Ligeti String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2. The 33-year-old organist Paul Jacobs (who has wowed Kimmel Center audiences in concerts on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ) won the Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without an Orchestra) for Messiaen's Livre Du Saint-Sacrement, making it the first time a Grammy has ever gone to an organ soloist.

This year's jazz awards were dominated by powerhouses including the late James Moody for Moody 4B, the Mingus Big Band for Mingus Big Band Live at the Jazz Standard, Dee Dee Bridgewater for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee, and The Stanley Clarke Band for the self-titled The Stanley Clarke Band.

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals went to legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock for "Imagine" from The Imagine Project. Hancock brought home another Grammy in the Best Improvised Jazz Solo category for "A Change is Gonna Come." And guitarist Larry Carlton won the Best Pop Instrumental Album Grammy for his collaboration with Tak Matsumoto on Take Your Pick.

Check out all the Jazz Winners - Click Here

Check out the all the Classical Winners - Click Here

Purchase these CDs here and you'll be supporting WRTI at the same time.