PULLMAN, Wash. – A Grammy-winning CD and song were created with help from Brian Ward, Washington State University jazz piano professor, who worked as an assistant arranger and conductor. The 55th Grammy Awards were presented Feb. 10.
The song, “City of Roses,” is included on singer Esperanza Spalding’s CD “Radio Music Society.” The CD won Best Jazz Vocal Album and the song won for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). The song also was nominated for Best Long Form Video.
Spalding received the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist in an upset of pop star Justin Bieber.
“We are enormously proud of Brian and the work he is doing with Esperanza, one of the most important figures in contemporary jazz,” said Greg Yasinitsky, director of the WSU School of Music. “This is just another indication of the fabulous faculty we have.”
In March, Ward was contracted to edit several of Spalding’s arrangements for publication and for her live tour. In August, seven of Ward’s arrangements were performed by Spalding and the American Music Program at the Gerding Theater in Portland, Ore. Four of those were collaborations with Thara Memory, including “City of Roses,” “Black Gold” and “Endangered Species.”