We’re delighted to report that a member of the BTRtoday family was awarded the highest honor in music.
This Sunday, BTRtoday DJ Linus Wyrsch won a Grammy for his work with Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats, whose album All the Sounds was named best children’s album of the year at the 61st Grammy Awards.
“It’s an indescribable feeling that still needs to be fully processed,” Wyrsch said, adding that the award is of unimaginable importance in the music industry.
Wyrsch has produced and hosted BTRtoday shows “The Jazz Hole” and “The Jazz Hole Live” for 10 years, interviewing high-caliber guests and spotlighting the most exciting sounds in today’s jazz scene. But Wyrsch isn’t merely a student of jazz. The Swiss native is also a Berklee College of Music-trained musician who has worked with the world’s top jazz and Latin musicians like Cesar Camargo Mariano, Bucky Pizzarelli, Andy McGhee, David Hazeltine and Oscar Castro-Neves as well as film composers like Alan Silvestri and Howard Shore.
Wyrsch’s clarinet work has been featured on more than 20 albums, including his duo release Live at Villa Irniger with Swiss pianist Claude Diallo. But it’s his work for Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats, a Brooklyn ensemble that’s brought jazz age-inspired music to families across the world since 2014, that brought the attention of the Grammy Awards.
Wyrsch described songwriter, composer, producer, ukulele player and vocalist Lucy Kalantari as “a force of nature” for reasons that become obvious when you watch the videos for her upbeat, instantly engaging songs.
Kalantari studied at the Purchase Conservatory of Music and dabbled in styles ranging from industrial music to singer-songwriting before she found the perfecting pairing for her voice when she picked up a ukulele. In 2013, motherhood put another piece of her musical puzzle in place. While caring for her newborn son, she composed a handful of upbeat ukulele ditties that formed the backbone of her debut kids’ album Pockets Full of Joy..
Wyrsch said the Grammy nod reflected Kalantari’s commitment to her art and vision.
“A nomination alone is a recognition of hard work and dedication, which is especially well-deserved for a bandleader with as much drive as Lucy Kalantari,” Wyrsch said.
The Jazz Cats have released four albums in the last four years, with each featuring Wyrsch on clarinet. Their jaunty jazz tunes like “My Mommy Is a Mummy” and “I Know a Little Fellow” (featuring son Kalantari’s son Darius on Cello) have delighted children the world over.
While they’ve been honored with accolades like the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor and the Independent Music Award, Wyrsch was blown away by the Grammy nomination.
“It was already a big honor just to have been nominated, so I sort of stuck with that thought since I knew about the nomination,” he said. “But when they announced the Best Children’s Album category, things got real and once I heard ‘All The Sounds by Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats,’ I couldn’t help but let out a big cheer.”
Being among so many great artists at the awards ceremony reminded Wyrsch that awards were secondary to the honor of thriving as a working musician. “The music itself is already the biggest reward, as is the privilege to be able to do music professionally,” he said, adding that he can’t wait to see what Kalantari is planning to do next.