Last month, nominees for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were announced by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and pianist-arranger-composer Shelly Berg, who is also dean of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, was nominated in the category “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)” for his arrangement of “Out There,” on Lorraine Feather’s CD Tales of the Unusual (Jazzed Media). Berg and Feather are frequent musical collaborators and co-wrote the song.
Other nominees in the same category this year include Esperanza Spalding, Vince Mendoza and Nan Schwartz. Winners will be announced at the Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles on February 10.
An accomplished pianist in both classical and jazz styles, Shelly Berg is a recording artist for Concord Music Group, and a Steinway piano artist. He has arranged and recorded with many award-winning artists and is currently arranging and co-producing a new CD with Gloria Estefan (Sony International). He is featured as an arranger and pianist on two Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winning Arturo Sandoval projects on the Concord label. The Shelly Berg Trio (Shelly Berg, piano; Gregg Field, drums; Chuck Berghofer, bass) recently recorded an all-Gershwin CD with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, José Serebrier, conductor.
Berg was a featured speaker at the TEDxMIA conference on Miami Beach in October and performs at major music festivals and venues throughout the world. He was named dean of the UM Frost School of Music in 2007 where, in addition to teaching both privately and in the Frost Experiential Music Curriculum, he administers the academic, musical and research pursuits of over 700 music students and 100 faculty. He was formerly the McCoy/Sample endowed music professor at USC Thornton School of Music where he taught for 16 years.
Berg was a featured performer on several concerts during the 29th annual Festival Miami in October, and performed on piano and the B-3 organ at the Hollywood Bowl in July for a Ray Charles Tribute concert (Gregg Field, producer). Upcoming appearances in South Florida are December 12 for the Gold Coast Jazz Society at the Broward Center with vocalist Cheryl Bentyne (nine-time Grammy winner with Manhattan Transfer) and on January 11, 2013 at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami as part of Larry Rosen’s JazzRoots Series.
For more information, http://www.shellyberg.com or http://www.music.miami.edu.
Lorraine Feather’s Tales of the Unusual follows on the heels of her stages-of-life album Ages, which received a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. All of the lyrics on Tales of the Unusual are by Feather, with music by her close longtime collaborators Russell Ferrante, Eddie Arkin and Shelly Berg; it also features music by Duke Ellington, Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi and film composer Nino Rota. The album is aptly described in Carl L. Hager's liner notes as "a musical inquiry into that mysterious labyrinth at the distant edges of rational human behavior, a foggy moor equal parts chilling nightmare and blinding vision quest, vaudevillian adventure and paralytic terror." Despite the far-fetched nature of some of the stories, common human emotions underlie them—loneliness, longing, and unexpected joy. Lorraine Feather is a prolific lyricist and has written lyrics for many Disney Channel television shows. She has received seven Emmy nominations.
For more information, http://www.lorrainefeather.com
55th Annual Grammy Award Nominees:
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) Category
“City of Roses”
Thara Memory & Esperanza Spalding, arrangers (Esperanza Spalding)
Track from: Radio Music Society [Heads Up International]
“Look to the Rainbow”
Gil Evans, arranger (Gil Evans Project and Luciana Souza)
Track from: Centennial - Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans [ArtistShare]
Shelly Berg, arranger (Lorraine Feather)
Track from: Tales of the Unusual [Jazzed Media]
“Spain (I Can Recall)”
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Al Jarreau And The Metropole Orkest)
Track from: Live [Concord Records]
“Wild Is the Wind”
Nan Schwartz, arranger (Whitney Claire Kaufman And Andrew Playfoot)
Track from: The Greatest Film Scores of Dimitri Tiomkin [LSO Live]
About the University of Miami Frost School of Music
The Frost School of Music, one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded, is one of the largest and most relevant schools in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive in all of higher education. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost was one of the historic highlights in the life of the School. The Frost School has pioneered new curricula including the ground-breaking Frost Experiential Music Curriculum, and was the first in the nation to offer professionally accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Business and Entertainment Industries, Music Engineering Technology, and a master’s in Arts Presenting. Its premier ensembles include the Frost Symphony Orchestra, Frost Wind Ensemble, Frost Opera Theater, Frost Jazz Vocal Ensemble and Frost Concert Jazz Band. Now the home of the Henry Mancini Institute, the Frost School also offers a songwriting minor through the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program and was among the first to offer degrees in Music Therapy, and Studio Music and Jazz. Its graduate jazz program is ranked among the top three in the nation. The University of Miami School of Law and the Frost School now offer the first-ever joint degree program in law and music business (J.D./M.M.). The Frost School’s innovative programs, combined with its traditional areas of concentration, offer its students one of the widest choices of career programs of any music school in the nation.