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Stalwarts and surprises in Grammy nominees for Classical and Jazz

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: (L-R) Marcus Baylor and Jean Baylor of The Baylor Project attend the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
FilmMagic, Inc
Marcus Baylor and Jean Baylor of The Baylor Project at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022.

Updated 7:15 a.m. ET on Nov. 16.

The nominations are in for the 65th Grammy Awards, and in both Classical and Jazz categories, the picture suggests a mix of perennial frontrunners and fresh faces.

Among the latter are two of the 10 nominees for Best New Artist: this year’s bright new jazz vocal star, Samara Joy, and the the viral jazz duo DOMi & JD Beck.

In some cases, the nominations confirm an artist's ascent into Grammy ubiquity. Drummer and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington, for example, won her first golden gramophone a decade ago. She now has three to her name, and two nominations in this year’s Best Jazz Instrumental Album category – for her own New Standards Vol. 1 and a collaborative effort, Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival, with Wayne Shorter, esperanza spalding and Leo Genovese. Another multiple nominee is John Beasley, who has nods for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album; Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella; and Best Improvised Jazz Solo, for his playing on "Cherokee/Koko."

Best Latin Jazz Album suggests a uniform level of experience, populated as it is by seasoned veterans, if not bona fide legends: singer Flora Purim, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, pianist Danilo Pérez, and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón.

The category of Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, which tends to features jazz artists by default, notably includes DOMi & JD Beck, in their first pass at eligibility. Among their more experienced competition are Brad Mehldau, for his fusion effort Jacob's Ladder, and Snarky Puppy, for Empire Central. Improvising musicians can also be found in the R&B field, where Terrace Martin and Cory Henry are up for Best Progressive R&B Album, and the Robert Glasper Experiment scored their latest Best R&B Album nod for Black Radio III.

In the Best Jazz Vocal Album category, three-time winner Cécile McLorin Salvant is up against the aforementioned Samara Joy. Also in the running are The Manhattan Transfer, which won its first Grammy more than 40 years ago; Carmen Lundy, who received her first, long-overdue nomination in 2021; and The Baylor Project, which prevailed in the category earlier this year. Drummer Marcus Baylor also received a nod in Best Improvised Jazz Solo, for “Call of the Drum.”

Among the familiar names in the Classical field are star performers Mitsuko Uchida, Daniil Trifonov and Hilary Hahn, all in the running for Best Classical Instrumental Solo; also in the category is Time For Three, for Letters For The Future, made with The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Xian Zhang. (“Contact,” a featured piece on that album, earned a Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Kevin Puts.)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance features some of the leading younger groups on the modern landscape, including the Dover Quartet (for the second volume of its complete Beethoven quartets) and Attacca Quartet (for Evergreen, their collaboration with composer Caroline Shaw). Third Coast Percussion, Neave Trio and PUBLIQuartet comprise the rest of the nominees, in a keenly competitive category.

In Best Choral Performance, the acclaimed Philadelphia ensemble The Crossing is nominated along with conductor Donald Nally for Born. Also in the category are the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, for a recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion; and the Met Opera Chorus and Orchestra with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, for Verdi: Requiem - The Met Remembers 9/11.

Terence Blanchard, whose Fire Shut Up in My Bones earned superlative reviews at The Metropolitan Opera last fall, is in the running for Best Opera Recording, along with the Met Orchestra and Chorus, the cast, and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Also nominated in the category is another Met Opera recording, of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, and a new version of Anthony Davis’ X - The Life And Times Of Malcolm X, featuring baritone Davóne Tines, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera Chorus, conducted by Gil Rose. (The Met will restage X in its 2023 season.)

The 65th Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 5 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, broadcast live on CBS, and streamed on demand at Paramount+. Find the Classical and Jazz nominees below; here is a complete list.


82. Best Orchestral Performance

  • Adams, John Luther: Sila - The Breath Of The World, Doug Perkins, conductor (Musicians Of The University Of Michigan Department Of Chamber Music & University Of Michigan Percussion Ensemble)
  • Dvořák: Symphonies Nos. 7-9, Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)
  • Eastman: Stay On It, Christopher Rountree, conductor (Wild Up)
  • John Williams - The Berlin Concert, John Williams, conductor (Berliner Philharmoniker)
  • Works By Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, Valerie Coleman, Michael Repper, conductor (New York Youth Symphony)

83. Best Opera Recording

  • Aucoin: Eurydice, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Barry Banks, Nathan Berg, Joshua Hopkins, Erin Morley & Jakub Józef Orliński; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
  • Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Angel Blue, Will Liverman, Latonia Moore & Walter Russell III; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
  • Davis: X - The Life And Times Of Malcolm X, Gil Rose, conductor; Ronnita Miller, Whitney Morrison, Victor Robertson & Davóne Tines; Gil Rose, producer (Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Odyssey Opera Chorus)

84. Best Choral Performance

  • Bach: St. John Passion, John Eliot Gardiner, conductor (English Baroque Soloists; Monteverdi Choir)
  • Born, Donald Nally, conductor (Dominic German, Maren Montalbano, Rebecca Myers & James Reese; The Crossing)
  • Verdi: Requiem - The Met Remembers 9/11, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Donald Palumbo, chorus master (Michelle DeYoung, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez & Matthew Polenzani; The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)

85. Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

  • Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Volume 2 - The Middle Quartets, Dover Quartet
  • Musical Remembrances, Neave Trio
  • Perspectives, Third Coast Percussion
  • Shaw: Evergreen, Attacca Quartet
  • What Is American, PUBLIQuartet

86. Best Classical Instrumental Solo

  • Abels: Isolation Variation, Hilary Hahn
  • Bach: The Art Of Life, Daniil Trifonov
  • Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Mitsuko Uchida
  • Letters For The Future, Time For Three; Xian Zhang, conductor (The Philadelphia Orchestra)
  • A Night In Upper Town - The Music Of Zoran, KrajacicMak Grgić

87. Best Classical Solo Vocal Album

  • Eden, Joyce DiDonato, soloist; Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor (Il Pomo D’Oro)
  • How Do I Find You, Sasha Cooke, soloist; Kirill Kuzmin, pianist
  • Okpebholo: Lord, How Come Me Here? Will Liverman, soloist; Paul Sánchez, pianist (J’Nai Bridges & Caen Thomason-Redus)
  • Stranger - Works For Tenor By Nico Muhly, Nicholas Phan, soloist (Eric Jacobson; Brooklyn Rider & The Knights; Reginald Mobley)
  • Voice Of Nature - The Anthropocene, Renée Fleming, soloist; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, pianist

88. Best Classical Compendium

  • An Adoption Story, Starr Parodi & Kitt Wakeley; Jeff Fair, Starr Parodi & Kitt Wakeley, producers
  • Aspire, JP Jofre & Seunghee Lee; Enrico Fagone, conductor; Jonathan Allen, producer
  • A Concert For Ukraine, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; David Frost, producer
  • The Lost Birds, Voces8; Barnaby Smith & Christopher Tin, conductors; Sean Patrick Flahaven & Christopher Tin, producers

89. Best Contemporary Classical Composition

  • Akiho: Ligneous Suite, Andy Akiho, composer (Ian Rosenbaum & Dover Quartet)
  • Bermel: Intonations, Derek Bermel, composer (Jack Quartet)
  • Gubaidulina: The Wrath Of God, Sofia Gubaidulina, composer (Andris Nelsons & Gewandhausorchester)
  • Puts: Contact, Kevin Puts, composer (Xian Zhang, Time for Three & The Philadelphia Orchestra)
  • Simon: Requiem For The Enslaved, Carlos Simon, composer (Carlos Simon, MK Zulu, Marco Pavé & Hub New Music)


32. Best Improvised Jazz Solo

  • "Rounds (Live)," Ambrose Akinmusire, soloist
  • "Keep Holding On," Gerald Albright, soloist
  • "Falling," Melissa Aldana, soloist
  • "Call Of The Drum," Marcus Baylor, soloist
  • "Cherokee/Koko," John Beasley, soloist
  • "Endangered Species," Wayne Shorter & Leo Genovese, soloist

33. Best Jazz Vocal Album

  • The Evening : Live At APPARATUS, The Baylor Project
  • Linger Awhile, Samara Joy
  • Fade To Black, Carmen Lundy
  • Fifty, The Manhattan Transfer With The WDR Funkhausorchester
  • Ghost Song, Cécile McLorin Salvant

34. Best Jazz Instrumental Album

  • New Standards Vol. 1, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Nicholas Payton & Matthew Stevens
  • Live In Italy, Peter Erskine Trio
  • LongGone, Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, And Brian Blade
  • Live At The Detroit Jazz Festival, Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Leo Genovese & esperanza spalding
  • Parallel Motion, Yellowjackets

35. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

  • Bird Lives, John Beasley, Magnus Lindgren & SWR Big Band
  • Remembering Bob Freedman, Ron Carter & The Jazzaar Festival Big Band Directed By Christian Jacob
  • Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra, Steven Feifke, Bijon Watson, Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra
  • Center Stage, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Ronnie Cuber & WDR Big Band Conducted By Michael Abene
  • Architecture Of Storms, Remy Le Boeuf's Assembly Of Shadows

36. Best Latin Jazz Album

  • Fandango At The Wall In New York, Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Featuring The Congra Patria Son Jarocho Collective
  • Crisálida, Danilo Pérez Featuring The Global Messengers
  • If You Will, Flora Purim
  • Rhythm & Soul, Arturo Sandoval
  • Música De Las Américas, Miguel Zenón
Nate Chinen has been writing about music for more than 25 years. He spent a dozen of them working as a critic for The New York Times, and helmed a long-running column for JazzTimes. As Editorial Director at WRTI, he oversees a range of classical and jazz coverage, and contributes regularly to NPR.