There was much to celebrate keyboard-wise at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards this year. From Bruno Mars’ clean sweep of the top prizes, to aurally audacious offerings in jazz, rap and more, here are our highlights from “Music’s Biggest Night.”
1. Bruno Mars Meets Roland
Mars won for Album, Record, AND Song of the Year (as well as Best R&B Song). And on this funky version of his song “Finesse” (featuring Cardi B), his keyboardist John Fossitt soared on a massive rack of Roland gear.
2. Jeff Lorber Wins Grammy Gold!
Jazz/fusion icon Jeff Lorber is no stranger to Grammy nods. The famed keyboardist has been nominated six times previously, but his win this year for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for Prototype is a fitting prize for an album chock full of deep grooves and scintillating solo breaks. Stay-tuned for our interview with him shortly!
3. Tony Bennett Wins at 91!
Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but he took his Grammy with him! At nearly 100, the jazz vocal icon still going strong, as evinced by his win this year for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, which featured the work of fellow legends Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Billy Joel.
4. Kendrick Lamar Sweeps
Lamar swept the Rap category, with wins for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Performance, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Album. And this performance, featuring the likes of U2 and comedian Dave Chapelle, shows why. (Note: Lamar's Grammy-winning album DAMN. also features frequent Keyboard contributor Terrace Martin).
5. Billy Childs’ Jazz Victory
Acclaimed jazz pianist, composer and arranger Childs has won four times before (for arranging and composition), but his Grammy win this year for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for his album Rebirth takes him to an entirely different level of recognition. And deservedly so.
6. Portugal. The Man is Feeling It!
The band’s win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their infectious track “Feel It Still” is proof that when hard work and pop deliciousness collide, the sky is the limit. And we dig that keyboardist Kyle O'Quin coaxes lean, mean, vintage tones from his Korg/Hammond/Moog-filled rig!
7. Greg Kurstin Wins for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.
He’s soared with superstars lile Adele, Sia, Pink and Kelly Clarkson, took the Foo Fighters into psychedelic/Beatles-esque (and Grammy-winning) territory, and bent minds and ears with his duo the Bird and the Bee. (He’s even rumored to be recording with Sir Paul McCartney at present). This year, he was nominated for his work with the Foos, Beck, Zayn, Halsey, Kendrick Lamar and Liam Gallagher. Talk about being in and of the moment!