Thursday, December 4, 2014

Upper Darby Student Headed Back to the Grammys

Immanuel Wilkins
An Upper Darby High School senior will be headed to the Grammys for a second year in a row.

Immanuel Wilkins was selected yet again to play the alto sax with the Grammy Foundation’s Grammy Camp- Jazz Session band, a program that selects over 30 student jazz musicians from across the country to perform and learn with each other and prolific musicians for the week leading up to the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

Among the perks that come with the program include attending the biggest night in music as guests of the Recording Academy on Feb. 8.

Wilkins, 17, is the only student from Pennsylvania to be selected for this year’s camp, and one of only four from last year to be selected again.

Starting Feb. 2, this year’s 32 singers and instrumentalists will be under the musical guidance of Justin DiCioccio of the Manhattan School of Music, Dr. Ron McCurdy of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and associate choral director Susanna Wegner of Kansas City, Missouri.

The students are slated to do public performances at Spaghettini & The Dave Koz Lounge on Feb. 3, Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment on Feb. 5, and as part of Grammy In The Schools Live! — A Celebration Of Music & Education on Feb. 4 at the Nokia Club in Los Angeles. The latter event will feature a yet-to-be-named special guest artists.

The jazz session camp will also perform at the Grammy Celebration after party following r the Grammy Awards.

From Feb. 5-7, the students will record at Capital Studios & Mastering, with a final album to be released to all major online music outlets sometime after.

Last year Wilkins, along with Yesseh Furaha-Ali, another Upper Darby student in the jazz session band, played with the group Vampire Weekend, who would go on to win a Grammy a few days after the performance for best alternative music album.

"Since 1993, GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session has been gathering the top high school jazz singers and instrumentalists for an extraordinary GRAMMY Week experience where young people have the opportunity to play with their peers and with GRAMMY-nominated and GRAMMY-winning artists at a range of events," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy in a press release. "When we look back at the students who have participated over the years, it really is the best and the brightest in the genre and this year's group is no exception."

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