Five Recording Artists from UM’s Frost School of Music Receive Grammy Nominations

February 01, 2016 — Coral Gables, FL — The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami shined last week as two faculty and three alumni of the school received nominations for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards which will be announced on February 15, 2016. Pianist-arranger-composer and Dean/Patricia L. Frost Professor of Music, Shelly Berg, garnered his fourth Grammy nomination under the category of “Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals.” Nominees also included UM Frost alumni Robert and Michael Rodriguez, better known as ‘The Rodriguez Brothers’, under the category of “Best Latin Jazz Album” and faculty professor Gonzalo Rubalcaba also under the category of “Best Latin Jazz Album”. Alumna Maria Schneider earned two nominations—in the "Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals" and "Large Jazz Ensemble Album" categories.

An accomplished pianist in both classical and jazz styles, Shelly Berg is a Steinway piano artist and recording artist for Concord Music Group and Universal Music Classics. He is also the host of Generation Next on Sirius XM satellite radio. Berg was previously the McCoy/Sample Professor of Jazz Studies at USC Thornton School of Music and a past president of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE). In 2000, the Los Angeles Times named him one of three “Educators for the Millennium.”

“It is an incredible honor to be nominated for another Grammy Award,” Berg said. “I am so proud to be joining Michael, Robert and Gonzalo as representatives of the Frost School of Music,” he continued. “Being able to watch young artists grow and learn here at UM and take their career to incredible heights is a true honor.”

The Rodriguez Brothers, co-led by pianist/composer Robert and trumpeter/composer Michael, received a nomination for their work on their album, Impromptu (Criss Cross Jazz). Inspired by their father who is a drummer, they began musical training at a very young age and both received full scholarships to the University of Miami. Michael finished his Bachelors at the New School for Jazz Studies in New York City and Robert, after receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies at UM, soon followed to New York. The brothers have individually worked as sidemen for artists such as Roy Haynes, Charlie Haden, Ray Barretto, Eddy Palmieri, David Sanchez, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Locke, Carla Bley, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Bob Minzter, Harry Conick Jr., Christian Mcbirde, Richard Bona and Quincy Jones.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba is a lecturer in the Frost School’s Department of Studio Music and Jazz and is a multi-Grammy Award and Latin Grammy Award-winning Cuban jazz pianist and composer. His latest nomination comes for his work on the album Suite Caminos (5Passion). Rubalcaba’s music is inspired by his culture, being born in post-revolutionary Havana, and musical family rich in the traditions of the country’s artistic past. He earned his degree in music composition from Havana’s Institute of Fine Arts in 1983 and was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie in 1985 while playing in the clubs and music halls of Havana. Soon after, he made his way to the USA and landed in South Florida in 1996. His illustrious career has included recording with his own groups for several major labels including 11 albums for Blue Note, and also with jazz luminaries Ignacio Berroa, Ron Carter, Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, Charlie Haden, David Sanchez, and many more. He has also been nominated twice for Billboard’s Latin Jazz Album of the Year.

Schneider and her orchestra are nominated for their collaboration with David Bowie on "Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)" and for their 2015 album, The Thompson Fields. Schneider has multiple previous Grammy nominations and three wins to her credit in the classical and jazz genres. The Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed worldwide, and Schneider has commissioned works and performed as a guest conductor for more than 85 groups from over 30 countries.

About the Grammy Award
The recording industry's most prestigious award, the GRAMMY, is presented annually by The Recording Academy. A GRAMMY is awarded by The Recording Academy's voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. It is truly a peer honor, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions (GRAMMY Awards Voting Process). The annual GRAMMY Awards presentation brings together thousands of creative and technical professionals in the recording industry from all over the world. Full GRAMMY Award coverage on

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