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Skidmore College

Jazz Institute faculty share Grammy

February 23, 2018
Christian McBride Band at the Grammys
Christian McBride Band at the Grammy awards: McBride is holding the Grammy;  Michael Dease is to the right of McBride, and James Burton III is at far left.  (Steve Davis and Brandon Lee not pictured.)

Skidmore Jazz Institute faculty members recently received Grammy awards for their work as members of the Christian McBride Big Band. The band's album Bringin' It won in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category.

The album features two 2018 Skidmore Jazz Institute faculty members: Michael Dease and Steve Davis. Also part of the band are two former Jazz Institute faculty members who were also students in the program: Brandon Lee and James Burton III.

Trombonist Davis, whose original composition and arrangement "Optimism" was one of the tracks on Bringin' It, called McBride "a gracious band leader." He said playing in the band is "always an extreme pleasure. We're looking forward to a European tour later this spring!"

Dease, also a trombonist, cited McBride's diverse musical influences and band personnel as "a musical melting pot with a incredible core of mutual respect." The Christian McBride Big Band, he said, "embodies the principles of teamwork, excellence and mentorship-values modeled by the Skidmore Jazz Institute over its more than 30-year history."

The Skidmore Jazz Institute is accepting applications for the 2018 program (the 31st year) and is still sponsored by the Arthur Zimtbaum Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Howard Bayne Fund.

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