Knoxville’s Donald Brown is a part of two Grammy nominations. Kenny Garrett’s “Seeds from the Underground” was co-produced by Brown (with Garrett) and is nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Brown is also a part of the Best Jazz Vocal Album nominations in that the song “Ange,” co-written with fellow Knoxvillian and jazz performer Sanda Allyson, is included on the album “Soul Shadows” by Denise Donatelli.
Brown is, of course, one of the lychpins in the Knoxville jazz scene as pianist and composer and is also a longtime educator at the University of Tennessee. He and saxophonist Garrett have been friends and sometime collaborators since the two both performed in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Brown has produced Garrett albums in the past.
Brown’s connection to Donatelli is through Geoffery Keezer who acts as musical director and co-producer on Donatelli’s album. Keezer and Brown performed together in the piano ensemble The Key Players. Allyson moved to Knoxville from California in 2006 and quickly became a popular vocalist in the Knoxville music scene.
In addition, Oak Ridge native Edgar Meyer is part of a nomination for Best Folk Album for “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” a collaboration with Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan and Chris Thile.
The Grammy Awards will be broadcast on Feb. 10 on CBS.