Grammy Awards! | Vince Cherico

Grammy Awards!

Here is a partial reprint of an email that I sent to The Offense of The Drum album team who did not attend The 2015 Grammy Awards Weekend in Los Angeles:

"On Saturday our Grammy team was in place with Arturo, Kabir, Eric, Jana and myself.  That afternoon, we attended the Special Achievement Awards and Nominees Party at the Wilshire Ebell Theare and that evening we had our "Offense of The Drum" dinner party in Studio City.  Arturo graciously invited Emilio Solla, our friend and fellow nominee also in our category, to join us.  While the awards were on all of our minds, we had a great time and maintained a positive, hopeful vibe, wishing each other good luck.  

On Sunday at the Awards Premiere Ceremony, where over 70 categories were announced, we all waited just under 2 hours for the Latin Jazz category to be announced.  When host John Waters started announcing "the winner is Aaarrrrturo…"  I couldn't believe it was happening!!!  Later I heard Mr. Waters actually called us: The "African" Latin Jazz Orchestra... maybe he was at Symphony Space last week???  (Edit:  we had the great African guitarist, Lionel Loueke as our guest at Symphony Space two weeks before)

From that moment everything changed for us (like being in a dream) as we approached the stage.  At the podium, Arturo was amazingly composed and spoke deeply with thanks, while championing our musical convictions.  Then we were escorted backstage, which began an amazing behind the scenes journey through a labyrinth of hallways and rooms for a continuous series of photo sessions and press conferences. The Grammy staff was amazing and supportive at every turn!  It was not a dream - we were Grammy Winners!

For the rest of the night, I don't remember my feet actually touching the ground!  For me, this was one of the most mind-blowing moments that I have ever experienced, as suddenly, before my eyes, we are receiving the highest honor of our industry!  In truth, it was my realization that this was actually the culmination of our hard work and excellence that we all contributed to The Offense of The Drum! I was moved to tears and will never forget that moment!   

Afterwards, we went outside to the plaza across from the Staples Center still in shock, to get some air, and trying to absorb what just happened to us.  We then went to the Staples Ctr. for the Telecast Awards Show, and later that night to the Convention Center for The After Party, which was off the hook!!!  Interestingly for me as the weekend developed, I began to realize that this immense gathering of musicians, and industry members from all genres was actually full of camaraderie, positive vibes and sharing together.  To be honest… not what I expected, but certainly inspired me to want to come back again in the future!

My decision to go to LA for Grammy weekend was to support Arturo, represent our band and to have that "once in a lifetime" experience.  While I don't play music to win awards, I do appreciate being recognized and nominated, so I was excited for this opportunity.  But I did have second thoughts about going: from theories of jinxing our win by being there, hearing assumptions of other probable winners, and fearing it may just be totally jive. Of course, now I am forever grateful for the opportunity and for sticking to my decision to attend.

…. When we were questioned at the press conferences about “what's next for ALJO”, Arturo startled the press with the buzz about ALJO’s latest recording in Cuba!  He proved that we are already ahead of the curve…  this is an exciting time for ALJO! "

My experience in Los Angeles during Grammy Weekend filled me with gratitude for everyone and everything that I have in my life and for the opportunity to be living my dreams!