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Arts & Life

Here's How Kansas City Musicians Did At The Grammys


Updated 10:48 p.m. with final results.

The 62nd annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Five Kansas City artists were nominated, or contributed to Grammy-nominated recordings. 

Earlier in the day on Sunday, some of the winners were announced during an untelevised premiere ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. 

And the Grammy goes to ... 

Joyce DiDonato (Best Classical Solo Vocal Album) 

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas. Her recording "Songplay," melds Italian arias with jazz and the American Songbook. She’s been nominated for eight Grammys — and, now, she's won three. 

In her acceptance speech during the premiere ceremony, DiDonato recognized her collaborators, and encouraged others to "write the songs, play the music," to create. 

"Today, right now, we need you more than ever," she said. "We need to raise our voices, we need to get out there, we need to create things of beauty. We need to create things of truth. And we need to light up this world."

Blanton Alspaugh (Producer of the Year, Classical) 


Producer Blanton Alspaugh has been nominated 22 times. Now, he has eight wins.

The Kansas City Chorale's latest release, "Artifacts: The Music of Michael McGlynn," conducted by Charles Bruffy, explores the Celtic choral tradition. And Alspaugh won for Producer of the Year, Classical, for his work on this recording, among others. 

Previously, Alspaugh won a Grammy for producing the Chorale's 2012 album "Life and Breath - Choral Works by Rene Clausen." 

And a few Kansas City artists who were nominated, but didn't win this year: 

Justus West

Graduating from Shawnee Mission West High School just a few years ago, musician Justus West co-produced “Ballin’” by Mustard (featuring Roddy Ricch), which was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance

Jan Kraybill 


Kansas City organist Jan Kraybill, a first-time Grammy nominee, plays and oversees the three largest pipe organs in the metro area. Her album "The Orchestral Organ" was nominated in three categories, including Best Classical Instrumental Solo, Best Immersive Audio Album and Producer of the Year (for producers Marina A. Ledin and Victor Ledin).

This marks the second solo recording on the Casavant organ at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and includes transcriptions for organ for works written for orchestra or band. 

On her Facebook page, Kraybill wrote: "The joy of making music has taken me to some pretty amazing places ... Today's a big day. I already feel like a winner, being nominated in the company of musicians I admire and respect." 

Logan Richardson

Alto saxophonist Logan Richardson grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. A composer, bandleader and producer, he played saxophone on one track of Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah’s “Ancestral Recall” nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can follow her on Twitter at @lauraspencer.

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