Sunday, February 28, 2016


Rochester, without a doubt, is the master of under advertising world-class offerings.  Whether this skill is applied to our universities, scientists, artists, or architecture, Rochester (despite some earnest efforts) has an uncanny ability to make sure that visitors and residents alike underappreciate the region.  While there is no denying some allure to fancy/new/chain-store-laden strip plazas, pop music, and beach novels, Rochester's forte is usually found at a deeper, more complex level.  The 58th Grammy Awards, presented two weeks ago, provide a perfect example.  While we don't offer Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, or Bruno Mars (although his keyboardist John Fossitt is from Rochester), we do offer Maria Schneider, Dave Rivello, and Bob Ludwig.  But who are these guys anyway? As per the Democrat & Chronicle:

  • Maria Schneider earned her master's degree from the Eastman School of Music.  She has won multiple Grammy Awards, including two this month for (a) Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album (The Thompson Fields) and (b) Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for her arrangement of David Bowie's "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" from his album Nothing Has Changed.
  • Dave Rivello also earned his master's degree at Eastman and is currently an assistant professor at the school.  Rivello produced Grammy-nominated album Lines of Color which might have won Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album were it not for...Maria Schneider.
  • Bob Ludwig, another Eastman alumnus, has had a remarkably successful career as a mastering engineer.  The Alabama Shakes album Sound & Color did quite well at the Grammys, winning (among others) Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical thanks to...Bob Ludwig.
It's worth mentioning that these artists were just 3 of 7 Grammy-nominated musicians with Eastman ties.

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