I'm writing in regards to the GRAMMY'S Large Jazz Ensemble category. I hope you'll help me make this letter viral amongst musicians, managers, high school jazz band directors, college jazz band directors, band leaders, literally anyone involved in making recordings. Send it on to anyone and everyone in the business, or even to those outside the business who might know a local jazz band director. It's the only way to really get word out there. Here's what's at stake.
This past year, there were only 3 nominations selected in the Large Jazz Ensemble category for the GRAMMYS. The reason is there were too few submissions. There have to be at least 40 submissions for there to be the usual 5 nominees. If the Recording Academy receives only 25-39 submissions, only 3 can be nominated. If there should be less than 25 submissions, those 24 or less recordings would be absorbed into some other category, which will hurt all categories involved. If this happens three years in a row, the Large Jazz Ensemble category will no longer exist. It's more and more expensive to make recordings, so less people are doing so. We all need to protect this delicate situation by submitting every recorded work. Too many people just assume they can't submit to the GRAMMYS or think it's some horribly complex process. It's not.
PLEASE, if you have a college band or a high school band that makes a record, submit your work. If you make ANY kind of large ensemble jazz album (doesn't have to be big-band per se), PLEASE submit your work. Any group/record with 9+ musicians may possibly qualify as "large ensemble". Surely, two very worthy entries didn't get a nomination this past year, just because a handful of people didn't think they were eligible or feel worthy enough, or simply didn't know how to submit their work. That's sad, as a nomination is a wonderful thing to receive, and can be a game changer in one's career. Even if you feel sure your work won't get nominated, send it in and let others decide. Special appointed committees in various cities, as well as the general membership, vote in the jazz categories. So don't think that just because you're not widely known, that you can't be nominated. You easily can! And if you're not nominated, well you'd be helping sustain an important category in the Grammy Awards that you may find yourself nominated in again in the future.
ALSO, consider becoming a Recording Academy member. There are many reasons. The Recording Academy does tireless advocacy work in Washington DC, ensuring that laws will protect our intellectual property. MUSICARES, one branch of the Recording Academy, offers incredible assistance to music industry professionals of any kind that find themselves in need, whether it be fire, flood, theft, illness, addiction. Membership is not required for beneficiaries -- being a music industry professional is all you need to be considered for assistance if you've found yourself in a troubling situation. Countless musicians have been helped. The Recording Academy offers tremendous opportunities for learning through their various panels and events, several of which have seriously altered my professional life for the better. GRAMMY U is wonderful for students looking to a career in music. Go here to learn more: http://www.grammy365.com/grammy-u
Music industry people of all kinds can join the Recording Academy. If you become a member, you can submit your own work for the Grammys, OR submit someone's work who you believe in. Music teachers and band directors can become Associate Members if they don't qualify as a voting member, and still submit their own student ensemble's work. You don't have to rely on a record company. The membership fee is small and tax deductible as a business expense -- very much worth it. You'll find the folks working for the Academy are very kind and very helpful. So just make a call if you have questions -- it's that easy.
Here's info on joining:
Very best to you! Spread the word!