Grammy Awards 2020 Winners Include Seven NYU Alumni

Former NYU students featured across numerous categories, from Album of the Year to Best New Artist.

Ethan Zack, Arts Editor

At the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night, 23 NYU alumni managed to total 36 nominations across 22 categories. At the end of the night, the alumni had taken home eight wins.

Winners

  1. Alex DeTurk (Steinhardt ‘06) 1 nomination, 1 win
  • Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Mastering Engineer on “Finding Gabriel” by Brad Mehldau

DeTurk currently works as the resident mastering engineer at The Bunker recording studio in Brooklyn.

2. Lady Gaga (TSOA) 3 nominations, 2 wins

  • Song of the Year: “Always Remember Us This Way”
  • Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: “A Star is Born”
  • Best Song Written for Visual Media: “I’ll Never Love Again”
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With 11 Grammy Awards now under her belt, the famous musician has spent the past few years acting and doing music. Recent reports indicate that her sixth studio album is on the way.

3. Amber Gray (TSOA ’10) 1 nomination, 1 win

  • Best Musical Theater Album: “Hadestown”

The actress plays the role of Persephone in “Hadestown,” a part for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

4. Joe LaPorta (Steinhardt ‘02) 5 nominations, 2 wins

  • Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Mastering Engineer on “I Know a Ghost” by Crowder
  • Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Mastering Engineer on “The Elements” by TobyMac
  • Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Mastering Engineer on “Holy Roar” by Chris Tomlin
  • Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Mastering Engineer on “Burn the Ships” by for KING & COUNTRY
  • Best Urban Contemporary Album: Mastering Engineer on “Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)” by Lizzo

A senior mastering engineer at the Sterling Sound studio in New Jersey, LaPorta previously won a Grammy Award in 2016 for his work on David Bowie’s album “Blackstar.”

5. Emily Lazar (Steinhardt ‘96) 2 nominations, 1 win

  • Album of the Year: Mastering Engineer on “Father of the Bride” by Vampire Weekend
  • Best Alternative Music Album: Mastering Engineer on “Father of the Bride” by Vampire Weekend

The founder of local music mastering establishment “The Lodge,” Lazar previously won a Grammy in 2018 in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category for her work as mastering engineer on the album “Colors” by Beck.

6. Jon Samson (Steinhardt ‘05) 1 nomination, 1 win

  • Best Children’s Album: “Ageless Songs for the Child Archetype”

The musician and founder of the CoCreative Music program specializes in music therapy targeted at children and adults alike.

7. André De Shields (GAL ’91) 1 nomination, 1 win

  • Best Musical Theater Album: “Hadestown”

Shields has appeared in numerous Broadway plays, including “The Wiz.” He stood tall as the sole Gallatin alum to receive a Grammy nomination this year.

Other Alumni Nominees

  1. Aziz Ansari (Stern ‘04) 1 nomination
  • Best Comedy Album: “Aziz Ansari: RIGHT NOW”

The famous comedian and actor, formerly of the cast of the TV series “Parks and Recreation” and creator of the Netflix original series “Master of None,” currently receives attention for his stand-up comedy shows.

2. Jason Baum (TSOA ‘08) 1 nomination

  • Best Comedy Album: Producer on “Aziz Ansari: RIGHT NOW”

The producer and director has created several short films for various artists in the past. He previously won a Grammy for his work on the music video for Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”

3. Damon Daunno (TSOA ’06) 1 nomination

  • Best Musical Theater Album: “Oklahoma!”

His performance in “Oklahoma!” not only landed him a Grammy nomination, but a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical as well.

4. Childish Gambino (TSOA ‘06) 2 nominations

  • Best Pop Vocal Album: Featured Artist on “The Lion King: The Gift”
  • Best Rap Album: Featured Artist on “I AM > I WAS” by 21 Savage

The actor and musician has been at the forefront of both industries throughout recent years. He’s had starring roles in TV shows like “Atlanta” and “Community,” as well as roles in movies like “The Lion King” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” His recent music has also made waves, perhaps most notably with 2018’s “This Is America.”

5. Ben Kane (Steinhardt) 1 nomination

  • Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: Engineer on “Scenery” by Emily King

Kane manages a Brooklyn recording studio called Electric Garden. He has previously won a Grammy for his work on the album “Black Messiah” by D’Angelo.

6. Justin Levine (TSOA ’12) 1 nomination

  • Best Musical Theater Album: Producer on “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”

Before his stint on “Moulin Rouge,” Levine participated in the hit Broadway production “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.”

7. Brian Montgomery (Steinhardt ‘92) 3 nominations

  • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Mixer on “Hiding Out” by Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra
  • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Mixer on “One Day Wonder” by Terraza Big Band
  • Best Latin Jazz Album: Mixer and Recording Engineer on “Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera” by Miguel Zenón

Montgomery currently serves in the Producers and Engineers Wing committee in New York. He has previously won three Grammys through collaborations with Esperanza Spalding, Paul McCartney and the Maria Schneider Orchestra.

8. Nija (TSOA) 2 nominations

  • Best R&B Song: Songwriter on “No Guidance” by Chris Brown
  • Best Pop Vocal Album: Featured Artist on “The Lion King: The Gift”

The 22-year-old songwriter has collaborated with and written for several major hip-hop artists including Beyonce, Cardi B and Jason Derulo.

9. Karen O (TSOA ‘01) 1 nomination

  • Best Rock Performance: “WOMAN”

Lead vocalist of the rock band “Yeah Yeah Yeahs,” O’s distinctive voice has become a part of various soundtracks and collaborations. She notably co-wrote “The Moon Song” with director Spike Jonze for his 2013 film “Her.”

10. Swagg R’celious (Steinhardt ‘09) 3 nominations

  • Album of the Year: Songwriter and Producer on “I Used to Know Her” by H.E.R.
  • Song of the Year: Songwriter and Producer on “Hard Place” by H.E.R.
  • Best R&B Song: Songwriter and Producer of “Could’ve Been” by H.E.R.

The current NYU music adjunct professor previously won a Grammy for his work on H.E.R.’s self-titled album in 2018. He also currently heads a production company called the Progressive Musik Group.

11. Sarah Register (Steinhardt ‘02) 1 nomination

  • Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Mastering Engineer on “Beat Music! Beat Music! Beat Music!” by Mark Guiliana

The NYC-based mastering engineer has previously mastered records for artists like Ariana Grande and the Cold War Kids.

12. Maggie Rogers (TSOA ‘16) 1 nomination

  • Best New Artist

Rogers has become a breakout pop musician over the past few years. With her debut studio album “Heard It In A Past Life” released early last year, the spotlight remains on the up-and-comer.

13. Daniel Sanint (Steinhardt ‘14) 1 nomination

  • Best Tropical Latin Album: Recording Engineer on “Candela” by Vincente García

Sanint currently works as the manager and engineer at Flux Studios in Manhattan.

14. Ali Stroker (TSOA ’09) 1 nomination

  • Best Musical Theater Album: “Oklahoma!”

The first actress who uses a wheelchair to earn a degree from Tisch, she already won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in “Oklahoma!”

15. Flor de Toloache (Steinhardt ‘15) 1 nomination

  • Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album: “Indestructible”

Founded in 2008, Flor de Toloache constituted the very first all-women mariachi group in New York.

16. Patrick Vaill (TSOA ‘13) 1 nomination

  • Best Musical Theater Album: “Oklahoma!”

Vaill began his central role as Jud Fry in “Oklahoma!” while he was still attending his senior year of college.

Email Ethan Zack at [email protected]

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