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2020 Grammy Nominations Announced

Branford Marsalis and Christian McBride get two nods; Jazzmeia Horn, Joey DeFrancesco, Anat Cohen, and David Sánchez are among the other notables

Branford Marsalis (photo: Eric Ryan Anderson)

The nominees for the 2020 Grammy Awards were announced Wednesday morning, Nov. 20. Pop stars like Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Beyoncé, Lizzo, and Taylor Swift dominated the list (though, somewhat surprisingly, Swift did not receive a nomination for Album of the Year). In the jazz categories, Branford Marsalis and Christian McBride each received two nominations for Best Improvised Jazz Solo and Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Other standout 2020 nominations include Jazzmeia Horn, for her album Love & Liberation; Joey DeFrancesco, for his album In the Key of the Universe; the Anat Cohen Tentet, for Triple Helix; and David Sánchez, for Carib.

In other categories, two jazz-related pieces were nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition: Derek Bermel’s Migration Series for Jazz Ensemble & Orchestra (the recording of which features Ted Nash and the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra), and Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto in D Major. The John Coltrane 1963: New Directions box on Impulse!/UMe got a nod for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, while Judy Cantor-Navas received a Best Album Notes nomination for her notes in Craft’s set The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions. And Stanley Nelson’s documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool is in the running for Best Music Film.

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, 2020.

Below is a full list of the nominees in the jazz categories—which include Best Improvised Jazz Solo, Best Jazz Vocal Album, Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and Best Latin Jazz Album—as well as the related (at least this year) fields of Best Contemporary Instrumental Album; Best Instrumental Composition; Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella; and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals.

Best Improvised Jazz Solo


Melissa Aldana, soloist
Track from: Visions (Melissa Aldana)

Randy Brecker, soloist
Track from: Rocks (Randy Brecker and NDR Bigband)

“Tomorrow Is the Question”
Julian Lage, soloist
Track from: Love Hurts (Julian Lage)

“The Windup”
Branford Marsalis, soloist
Track from: The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul (Branford Marsalis Quartet)


Christian McBride, soloist
Track from: Christian McBride’s New Jawn (Christian McBride)

Best Jazz Vocal Album

Thirsty Ghost
Sara Gazarek

Love & Liberation
Jazzmeia Horn

Alone Together
Catherine Russell

12 Little Spells
Esperanza Spalding


The Tierney Sutton Band

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

In the Key of the Universe
Joey DeFrancesco

The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
Branford Marsalis Quartet

Christian McBride’s New Jawn
Christian McBride

Finding Gabriel
Brad Mehldau


Come What May
Joshua Redman Quartet

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

Triple Helix
Anat Cohen Tentet

Dancer in Nowhere
Miho Hazama

Hiding Out
Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra

The Omni-American Book Club
Brian Lynch Big Band


One Day Wonder
Terraza Big Band

Best Latin Jazz Album

Chick Corea & the Spanish Heart Band

Sorte!: Music by John Finbury 
Thalma de Freitas with Vitor Gonçalves, John Patitucci, Chico Pinheiro, Rogerio Boccato & Duduka da Fonseca

Una Noche con Rubén Blades
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis & Rubén Blades

David Sánchez


Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera
Miguel Zenón

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

Ancestral Recall
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Star People Nation
Theo Croker

Beat Music! Beat Music! Beat Music!
Mark Guiliana



Rodrigo y Gabriela

Best Instrumental Composition

“Begin Again”
Fred Hersch, composer (Fred Hersch & the WDR Big Band conducted by Vince Mendoza: Begin Again)

“Crucible for Crisis”
Brian Lynch, composer (Brian Lynch Big Band: The Omni-American Book Club)

“Love, a Beautiful Force”
Vince Mendoza, composer (Vince Mendoza, Terell Stafford, Dick Oatts & Temple University Studio Orchestra: Constant Renaissance)

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite”
John Williams, composer (John Williams)


“Walkin’ Funny”
Christian McBride, composer (Christian McBride: Christian McBride’s New Jawn)

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

“Blue Skies”
Kris Bowers, arranger (Kris Bowers: The Green Book: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

“Hedwig’s Theme”
John Williams, arranger (Anne-Sophie Mutter & John Williams)

“La Novena”
Emilio Solla, arranger (Emilio Solla Tango Jazz Orchestra: Puertos: Music from International Waters)

“Love, a Beautiful Force”
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Vince Mendoza, Terell Stafford, Dick Oatts & Temple University Studio Orchestra: Constant Renaissance)


“Moon River”
Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier: Djesse — Volume 2)

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals

“All Night Long”
Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier featuring Jules Buckley, Take 6 & Metropole Orkest: Djesse — Volume 1)

Geoff Keezer, arranger (Sara Gazarek: Thirsty Ghost)

“Marry Me a Little”
Cyrille Aimée and Diego Figueiredo, arrangers (Cyrille Aimée: Move On)

“Over the Rainbow”
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Trisha Yearwood)


“12 Little Spells (Thoracic Spine)”
Esperanza Spalding, arranger (Esperanza Spalding: 12 Little Spells)