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Here's How Kansas City Musicians Did At The Grammys In 2021

courtesy: Metropolitan Opera
"Porgy and Bess" premiered at the Metropolitan Opera during the 2019-20 season. The recording, which included Kansas City native David Morgans Sanchez in the chorus, won a 2021 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.

At least seven artists with Kansas City ties were up for a Grammy nomination. Three shared in the top honor.

Updated: 10:21 p.m.

The 63rd annualGrammy Awards are scheduled to air on Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS and online. At least seven Kansas City artists were nominated or contributed to Grammy-nominated recordings.

Starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, some of the winners, including ones with ties to Kansas City, were announced during a Grammy Awards premiere ceremony, which was streamed live.

And the Grammy goes to ...

David Frost (Producer of the Year, Classical)

Classical record producer David Frost won the Grammy for producer of the year, classical. Frost was recognized for his role in seven recordings, including the Kansas City Symphony's "Holst: The Planets; The Perfect Fool."

Music director Michael Stern told 91.9 Classical KC that the recording process was a great collaboration.

"Thanks to that triumvirate: the Kansas City Symphony, Reference Recordings, and David Frost," said Stern, "the recordings that we made are really special."

The symphony's latest CD on Reference Recordings, released in November, is called "Jonathan Leshnoff: Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto."

Gershwin: Porgy And Bess (Best Opera Recording)

David Morgans Sanchez, who was born and raised in Kansas City, moved to New York City in 2018. During the 2019-2020 season, Sanchez made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in their production of "Porgy and Bess." He appears on this recording, in the chorus and as a featured soloist.

Sanchez, a tenor, earned a bachelor's in music from William Jewell College and a master's in music from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.

John Legend: Bigger Love (Best R&B Album)

Musician and producer Justus West, an Overland Park, Kansas native, has a connection to Legend's seventh studio album. West shares a writing and producing credit on the track "Always."

A multi-instrumentalist, West has worked with a range of musicians including Ariana Grande, Mac Miller, Herbie Hancock, and John Mayer.

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

Joyce DiDonato (Best Opera Recording)

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas, and earned a nomination for Best Opera Recording for "Handel: Agrippina."

She’s been nominated for nine Grammys — and she's won three, to date.

Kansas City Chorale (Best Choral Performance)

The recording "Kastalsky: Requiem" featured several choirs, including the Kansas City Chorale conducted by artistic director Charles Bruffy. The recording was up for two nominations, including best choral performance and producer of the year, classical, for Blanton Alspaugh.

'Well, we didn't win our third Grammy award," wrote executive director Don Loncasty in an email, "but just being nominated is such an honor for us."

Pat Metheny (Best Arrangement)

Jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny, who grew up in Lee's Summit, Missouri, was recognized for Best Arrangement on the recording "From This Place." An NPR review described Metheny as "pushing forward, still seeking breathtakingly new vistas." This marked his 37th nomination, with 20 wins.

Logan Richardson (Best Jazz Instrumental Album)

Alto saxophonist Logan Richardson, who maintains a home in Kansas City, played on the recording, "Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard," up for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Richardson is a bandleader, composer and producer and performs on the session.

KCUR contributors Libby Hanssen and Sam Wisman also provided reporting for this story.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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