Local 802 at the Grammy Awards

Volume 118, No. 3March, 2018

The 60th Grammy Awards came back to NYC this year for the first time since 2003. Musicians performed under a union contract and the Broadway show “Dear Evan Hansen” won Best Musical Theatre Album. Allegro asked musicians how it felt to play at the Grammys (or win a Grammy!), and this is what some of them told us…

I feel incredibly fortunate to work on projects that strike that special chord in me, the one that compels me to dive wholeheartedly into a record without any hesitation, happily putting in countless hours as I strive to make the best album possible. To be recognized by NARAS with one of the highest honors in the music industry is extremely gratifying, and it fills me with immense pride.

– Alex Lacamoire

The most moving part of getting to perform on the Grammys and on a winning album was finding that I had so many friends and colleagues nominated, performing, and in the audience. The Grammys can seem impersonal and narrowly focused, but those recognized are musicians and creators who pour their heart and soul into making music every single day, occasionally fortunate enough to find accolades on such a scale. There are many, many artists creating meaningful work that will never get such a special opportunity, but most of those who do get recognized have worked tirelessly for years to build the skills and momentum to make it there.

– Justin Goldner

I still have goosebumps from performing at the Grammys with Kesha. I am so grateful and honored to have been part of something so powerful, moving and real! It was amazing to be able to stand not just as a musician, but as a woman, at this important time in history. What can I say? I love my job and I have been blessed to share the stage with so much talent and such inspiring people. It will be a memory that I will never forget!

– Francesca Dardani

The sheer depth of playing at the Grammys hit me in retrospect. Call it shock, but in the moment all of my focus was on performing the music. Especially on Kesha’s “Praying,” which means so much in today’s social climate. To my surprise, two days later I was told that I played percussion on a recording that won a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album!

– David Rozenblatt

It was such a pleasure to get to be a part of “Dear Evan Hansen.” Justin Paul and Benj Pasek wrote such beautiful songs, and Alex Lacamoire’s orchestrations are immaculate. It felt more like making a pop record than a cast album, and hearing the final mixes gave me a whole new perspective on the songs I play every night on Broadway.

– Dillon Kondor

It was a unique Broadway moment. We had a live 18-piece orchestra with Patti LuPone singing in the original key of her star-making “Evita” performance. It was mesmerizing. The audience was electric.

– Patrick Vaccariello

I’m Very thankful to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino for creating the blueprint that we follow today. All they needed was an instrument and a microphone to create magic. I’m glad we could pay tribute to their genius in front of the world.

– Jon Batiste

What’s not to like? Playing the Grammys at Madison Square Garden with a great live orchestra! I had a blast and am so happy to see the awards show in NYC.

– Scott Wendholt