By Greg Goodwin
Music professor Jeffrey Holmes won a Grammy Feb. 8 in the Best New Age Album category for his role on keyboard on the Paul Winter Consort album “Silver Solstice.”
Speaking the day after, Holmes said he went upstairs during the show to check the winners on the Grammy Award website, assuming the winner from his category would not be televised. After checking the website countless times, yielding unvarying results he called his wife just to make sure. It was true, he had won a Grammy.
He described the win as “an unexpected pleasure.”
Holmes recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with the Department of Music and Dance. He is the director of the Jazz and African American Music Studies Program as well as Jazz Ensemble I. In addition to playing keyboard, Holmes is a composer, trumpeter, drummer and pianist. Over his professional performing career he has played with industry notables such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sammy Davis Jr., Louis Bellson, Henry Mancini and Mel Torme.
When asked whether his prestigious win would affect his career path Holmes dismissed the notion, saying that it won’t effect what he’s doing, and reiterated that the win was surprising.
“Really, it was fun just to be nominated,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting to win.”
In addition to teaching, Holmes is currently working on two projects. He is playing lead trumpet on an upcoming Big Band album featuring the New England Jazz Ensemble, as well as writing for a new musical entitled “The Hatch.”