University of North Texas alumni landed all over the nominations for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards. Some didn’t get a degree from the College of Music, but many did — and at least one is on the faculty.

From Best Country Song to Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, the Mean Green left its musical mark in 15 categories.

“We’re proud to see that many of our College of Music alumni and faculty members have been nominated for or contributed to Grammy-nominated projects for 2021,” College of Music Dean John W. Richmond said. “Although not the only measurement of success, being nominated for a Grammy is an extraordinary accomplishment, and we send a heartfelt congratulations to all who were recognized.”

Best American Roots Performance

  • Mavis Staples and alumna Norah Jones, “I’ll Be Gone”

Mavis Staples performs during the Old 97's County Fair at Main Street Garden in Dallas in 2017.

Norah Jones

University of North Texas alumna Norah Jones, shown performing in 2019, was nominated for Best American Roots Performance with Mavis Staples for their song “I’ll Be Gone.”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

  • Jeremy Levy Jazz Orchestra, “Uranus: The Magician,” with alumni Tom Luer (tenor saxophone) and Jeff Driskill (tenor saxophone)
  • Remy Le Boeuf, “Honeymooners,” with faculty member Philip Dizack (trumpet) and alumnus Ben Kono (tenor saxophone and clarinet)
  • Becca Stevens featuring Jacob Collier — Talia Billig, Nic Hard & Becca Stevens, “Slow Burn,” with alumni Justin Stanton (keyboards) and Nate Werth (percussion)

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

  • Alumnus Lecrae Moore, “Sunday Morning”

Best Country Song

  • Alumna Maren Morris, “The Bones”

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

Alumni Michael League, Shaun Martin, Justin Stanton, Chris Bullock and Mike Maher of Snarky Puppy, Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Best Gospel Performance/Song

  • Alumnus Lecrae Moore, “Come Together”

UNT grad Lecrae, shown performing in 2017, has garnered nods in two Grammy categories: Best Gospel Performance/Song and Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.

Best Instrumental Composition

  • Remy Le Boeuf, “Strata,” with alumnus Ben Kono (tenor saxophone and clarinet)
  • Maria Schneider, “Sputnik,” with alumnus Dave Pietro (alto saxophone, clarinet, piccolo, flute and alto flute)

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

Maria Schneider Orchestra, Data Lords, with alumnus Dave Pietro (alto saxophone, clarinet, piccolo, flute and alto flute)

Best Latin Jazz Album

Poncho Sanchez, Trane’s Delight, with alumnus Ross Schodek (bass)

Best Metal Performance

  • Alumni Riley Gale and Blake Ibanez of Power Trip, “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of The Axe) — Live”

Best Opera Recording

Metropolitan Opera, Porgy and Bess, with alumna Latonia Moore as Serena

Best Rap Song

  • Alumnus Bobby Sessions, Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe and Anthony White, “Savage”

Best R&B Album

John Legend, Bigger Love, with faculty member Scott Tixier (jazz violin)

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Harry Connick Jr., True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter, alumnus Dan Higgins (saxophone)

Music Educator Award

  • Alumna Michelle Herring Folta, an associate professor of choral/general music education at Columbus State University in Georgia, is one of 10 finalists for the award recognizing educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.

Winners will be named in the 63rd Grammy Awards airing Jan. 31 on CBS. The Music Educator Award recipient will be recognized during Grammy Week in January.

LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877 and via Twitter at @LBreedingDRC.

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