Alumnus John Jorgenson Receives Grammy Nomination
A Redlands alum has received a Grammy nomination in the country instrumental category for his work with country superstar Brad Paisley.
John Jorgenson, who graduated from Redlands in 1978, received the nomination for his collaboration with Paisley on the song "Cluster Pluck."
Jorgenson is one of several guest pickers who trade guitar rifts throughout the song. Other guitarists in the mix include James Burton, Vince Gill, Brent Mason and Steve Wariner.
The standout musician, who performed at the university in June, credits Redlands with broadening his instrumental horizons. Jorgenson is known in part for his role as one of the pioneers of the American gyspy jazz movement. "The U of R gave me a place to be able to develop on many different instruments, as I took a degree in bassoon, clarinet and saxophone performance, while also performing on guitar and bass during my years there, as well as some singing and a little acting," said Jorgenson.
Shortly after graduating, Jorgenson gained national attention in the mid-1980s with The Desert Rose Band, a group he co-founded with Chris Hillman. The band had five chart-topping singles, as well as numerous awards. Jorgenson also won the Academy of Country Music's "Guitarist of the Year" award three years in a row.
Jorgenson then joined another award-winning group, the guitar trio The Hellecasters. Initially formed just for fun, the group won both "Album of the Year" and "Country Album of the Year" from readers of Guitar Player magazine for their debut record, "Return of the Hellecasters."
He toured for six years with Elton John and has performed with artists including Billy Joel and Sting. Jorgenson's compositions also have been featured in numerous television and film scores.
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