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Arts & Life

A score of Kansas City musicians are nominated for the 2022 Grammy Awards

 The married couple Andrés Salguero and Christian Sanabria make up the the band 123 Andrés, which focuses on children's music.
Courtesy Photo
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Dominick Williams
The married couple Andrés Salguero and Christian Sanabria make up the the band 123 Andrés, which focuses on children's music.

The nominations for the 64th annual Grammy Awards include an album performed by Sandbox Percussion, a quartet that teaches at the UMKC Conservatory, and the duo 123 Andrés.

Nominees for the 64th annual Grammy Awards were announced Tuesday, and several artists with ties to Kansas City are among the contenders.

Here are some of the names you should know.

Sandbox Percussion

Members of the quartet Sandbox Percussion, who are all currently teaching at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, were nominated in two classical categories for their recording of the album Seven Pillars, which was written by composer Andy Akiho.

Their collaboration got nods for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

According to quartet member Ian Rosenbaum, the pandemic allowed the group to work almost exclusively on the record.

“We put an incredible amount of time into it, way more than we could have if we had a normal schedule,” Rosenbaum said. “But given that nothing else was going on in the artistic world, we were able to devote all of our energy to this project.”

Rosenbaum said he and Akiho dreamed of collaborating on the album since 2014, when Akiho wrote “Pillar IV,” a song that would eventually become a track on Seven Pillars. The album was recorded outside of professional studios, mostly in small towns across upstate New York and New Hampshire.

“It was a very collaborative piece from the start, not at all the experience of just receiving a piece from the mail,” Rosenbaum said. “Every inch of the piece has the DNA of all of us all over it.”

The four members of Sandbox are set continue their residencies at the UMKC Conservatory until the end of the 2021-2022 academic year, but Rosenbaum says they would like to become permanent faculty.

The members of Sandbox Percussion, who teach at UMKC, were nominated for a Grammy with composer Andy Akiho (center). From left to right: Victor Caccese, Terry Sweeney, Ian David Rosenbaum, Andy Akiho, Johnny Allen.
Sandbox Percussion
The members of Sandbox Percussion, who teach at UMKC, were nominated for a Grammy with composer Andy Akiho (center). From left to right: Victor Caccese, Terry Sweeney, Ian David Rosenbaum, Andy Akiho, Johnny Allen.

123 Andrés

The musical duo 123 Andrés, composed of married couple Andrés Salguero and Christina Sanabria, scored a nomination for Best Children’s Music Album for their 2021 release Actívate. Both members have roots in Colombia, and Sanabria was born in Kansas City. Salguero attended UMKC and was recently awarded the university’s 2020 Conservatory Alumni Achievement Award.

The music of 123 Andrés (pronounced "uno, dos, tres Andrés") mixes Spanish and English lyrics together in bright, happy tunes. Actívate focuses on the importance of children staying active with their family, and though the duo began working on the album before the pandemic, Salguero says the subject matter was even more fitting when the album came out in September.

“We didn't know the pandemic was coming,” said Salguero. “We know that now, being active again is just so important.”

To encourage children to get off electronics, the band released a physical version of Actívate that comes with stickers and an empty cover for kids to design themselves.

Sanabria said that she and Salguero recorded much of the album virtually, working with musicians from all over South America.

According to the band’s website, proceeds from Actívate will help fund a scholarship to uplift youth from an underserved community in Colombia who wish to pursue music with Fundación Cakike (Cakike Foundation). The album also supports the work of El Alma No Tiene Discapacidad, which provides musical experiences to special needs children and youth in Venezuela.

Sanabria said that in a few weeks, she and her husband will deliver a violin to an Actívate Scholar in Colombia, enabling the student to continue her musical studies.

“Music has changed our lives and we know it's changed the lives of so many of the collaborators on this album,” Sanabrai says. “It's just really special and meaningful that it can kind of pay it forward and bring more music opportunities into the lives of the next generation.”

Child decorating their own Actívate cover[1795].JPG
Courtesy Photo
A child personalizes their own Actívate cover.

More Kansas City nominees

Also nominated was mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who was born in Prairie Village, Kansas. DiDonato’s album, Schubert: Winterreis, will compete for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. Winning this year would be a repeat performance for DiDonato, who currently holds three Grammys.

The album Side-Eye NYC (V1.IV) by jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny received a nomination in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category. Metheny, a 20-time Grammy winner, was born and raised in Lee’s Summit.

The Kansas City Symphony’s recording of the album “One Movement Symphonies - Barber, Sibelius, Scriabin” earned a nod as part of David Frost’s nomination for Producer Of The Year, Classical.

In the same category, UMKC professor and pianist Alon Goldstein contributed to the nomination for producer Steven Epstein, with the album “Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 17, Arr. For Piano, String Quartet And Double Bass” by Goldstein, Alexander Bickard and the Fine Arts Quartet.

The audio book “Carry On: Reflections For A New Generation From John Lewis” received a nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. It was narrated by actor Don Cheadle, who was born in Kansas City.

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