David Bowie’s Blackstar swept all five of its nominations at the 2017 GRAMMYs last night in Los Angeles. Donny McCaslin, saxophonist on Bowie’s final opus, graciously accepted the posthumous awards on behalf of the rocker.
Blackstar, a collaboration between Donny McCaslin’s quartet and David Bowie, won all five of its nominations in the categories for Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Recording Package, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical). The album’s band is comprised of Bowie, McCaslin, Ben Monder, Jason Lindner, Tim Lefebvre, and Mark Guiliana.
After showing up unannounced to hear McCaslin and his quartet play a set, Bowie handpicked them as his backing band for the Blackstar sessions. By turns seductive, somber, and slinky, the Quartet’s music evolves into as deep a symbol of raucous, ruminative transfiguration on Blackstar as Bowie’s evocative lyrics.
Upcoming act Cage the Elephant (March 4, 2017 / Elliott Hall of Music) took home a GRAMMY for Best Rock Album. Other notable Convos performers who took home GRAMMYs last night include Snarky Puppy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (Culcha Vulcha), Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble for Best World Music Album (Sing Me Home), Pentatonix featuring Dolly Parton for Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“Jolene”).