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Danbury Professor Comes Up Short In Bid For Grammys

Jimmy Greene, a Western Connecticut State University Music professor, was nominated for two Grammy awards. His 6-year-old daughter, Ana, died in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.
Jimmy Greene, a Western Connecticut State University Music professor, was nominated for two Grammy awards. His 6-year-old daughter, Ana, died in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. Photo Credit: Contributed by Western Connecticut State University

DANBURY, Conn. -- Jimmy Greene, a music professor at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, came up short in his bid to win two Grammys on Monday night.

Greene, who lives in Newtown, had been nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for "Beautiful Life," and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for his arrangement of his composition, “When I Come Home,” featuring vocalist Javier Colon.

Greene was inspired to make the jazz album in memory of his daughter, Ana Márquez-Greene, who was 6 when she was killed in the Sandy Hook shootings.

The award for best jazz instrumental went to John Scofield for "Past Present," and the best arrangement, instrumental, and vocals award went to Maria Schneider for a track on her album, "Nothing Has Changed," arranged by David Bowie.

These were Greene's first Grammy nominations. The album, released in fall 2014, was Greene's 10th album as a leader.

“I want to give a sense of how Ana lived,” Greene said of the album on his website .

It features Greene’s customary instrumental jazz with Christian music, standard ballads and three original songs framing his own lyrics.

“Ana loved to sing and she sang beautifully,’’ Greene said on his Facebook page. “That is why I made sure her singing voice was on the first track of 'Beautiful Life.' The world needs a lot right now, but I felt that hearing her voice and knowing her name would be important for people going forward."

Ana and her twin brother, Isaiah, are included in the album.

A portion of proceeds from sales of "Beautiful Life" go to two charities set up in Ana’s memory: The Ana Grace Project and the Hartford-based Artists’ Collective.

Greene is an assistant professor of music and coordinator of jazz studies at Western Connecticut. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Hartt School in Hartford and holds a master's degree from Boston University.

Ana and 19 other first-graders and six teachers were killed at Sandy Hook, the deadliest shooting at a U.S. elementary or high school.

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