Alumnus John Daversa Sweeps his Categories at the 61st Grammy Awards

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John Daversa

It was a good night at the 61st GRAMMY Awards for trumpeter John Daversa. Daversa, who earned his B.A. in Music Performance from UCLA, swept his categories with a big-band album that featured 53 musicians enrolled in DACA, the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals program. The album, aptly titled American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom, won in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Best Improvised Jazz Solo for “Don’t Fence Me In,” and Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for “Stars and Stripes Forever.” A longtime Angeleno who has taught locally, Daversa currently serves as chair of Studio Music and Jazz at the Frost School of Music at University of Miami.

Other winners included UCLA professor Wayne Shorter’s Wayne Shorter Quartet, which won in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category for Emanon. This is the quartet’s second GRAMMY.

UCLA alumnus Jake Heggie was a nominee in the Contemporary Classical Composition category for Great Scott, with librettist Terrence McNally.

Conductor JoAnn Falletta, who invited our UCLA Chamber Singers to record and perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2019, won Best Classical Compendium category for Fuchs: Piano Concerto ‘Spiritualist’; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush. Faletta is the first woman to be named artistic director for a major American orchestral ensemble.