For the second time in three years, alumnus Wayne Wallace has earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album. The master trombonist, composer, arranger and producer heads the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet. The group’s latest album, Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin, follows 2010’s ¡Bien Bien!, which garnered his other Grammy nomination.
Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin, Wallace’s seventh CD on the Patois label, topped the radio charts and earned rave reviews and made numerous best of the year lists. Special guests include 77-year-old percussion patriarch Pete Escovedo, 17-year-old rising flute star Elena Pinderhughes and violinists Mads Tolling and Jeremy Cohen.
Wallace (attended ’70–’73), a San Francisco native, possesses fluency in countless styles and has worked with a staggering number of luminaries from across the musical spectrum—including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Celine Dion, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder and John Lee Hooker. As a composer, Wallace received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to compose a three-part suite Digging Up the Roots, reflecting the diverse musical cultures of the Bay Area.
Wallace is a professor of practice in jazz at Indiana University and has previously taught at SF State and San Jose State. Wallace’s own teachers included Julian Priester, Bobby Hutcherson and Will Sudmeier. Wallace studied at La Escuela Nacional in Havana, Cuba, and continues to travel there as both a student and educator.
Jazz Observer writes: “Wayne Wallace is practically a one-man ecosystem of jazz. He is a phenomenal trombonist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, producer and head of his own record label. With impeccable musicianship and boundless imagination, this group takes listeners on a multicultural musical voyage to Cuba, Africa and Latin America.”
The Grammy Awards take place January 26 and will air on CBS.