Arts + Culture

UCLA alumnus John Daversa sweeps his categories at the 61st Grammy Awards

Professor Wayne Shorter also won best jazz instrumental album

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John Daversa
John Daversa

It was a good night at the 61st Grammy Awards for jazz trumpeter and UCLA alumnus John Daversa. Daversa, who earned his B.A. in music from UCLA in 2004, swept his categories with a big-band album that featured 53 musicians who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The album, aptly titled “American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom,” won in the following categories: 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 in the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.

Other winners included Wayne Shorter, UCLA adjunct professor of music performance, and his 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, who earned his bachelor’s in 1984 and a master of arts in 1985, was a nominee in the contemporary classical composition category for “Great Scott,” with librettist Terrence McNally.

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