TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands receives Grammy nomination


TSU's Aristocrat of Bands is the first college band to be nominated for a Grammy, ever.
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 11:24 AM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands has been nominated for a Grammy for their album The Urban Hymnal in the Best Roots Gospel Album category.

The band received a second Grammy nomination for their collaboration on a spoken word single by artist J Ivy.

The groundbreaking album has 10 tracks filled with organic sounds that were created on the TSU campus and features trailblazers within the gospel music industry.

The Aristocrats of Bands is the first collegiate band in history to earn a Grammy nomination.

Sir the Baptist and Aristocrat of Bands assistant director Larry Jenkins records historic...
Sir the Baptist and Aristocrat of Bands assistant director Larry Jenkins records historic gospel album titled The Urban Hymnal with the band on campus.(Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

“This is a tremendous day in the history of our beloved Tennessee State University,” Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of bands, said in a news release. “This is not just a band accolade, but a university-wide accomplishment. I personally appreciate our President Dr. Glenda Glover’s vision for our university.”

Artists, albums and songs competing for trophies at the 65th annual ceremony were announced on Tuesday by the Recording Academy. The Urban Hymnal is one of five nominees in the category.

Music moguls and acclaimed artists such as Jekalyn Carr, Fred Hammond, Kierra Sheard, John P. Kee, Louis York, Dubba-AA, Sir the Baptist, Prof. Jenkins, Take 6, Mali Music and more are on the album.

The executive producers for the album are Aristocrat of Bands Director Dr. Reginald McDonald, Professor Larry Jenkins, two-time Grammy Award-nominated songwriter and artist Sir the Baptist, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and artist Dallas Austin and TSU alum and platinum recording artist Dubba-AA.

“It already felt like we were in this renaissance of sound,” said Sir the Baptist. “Specifically, for gospel, so it felt pretty amazing to add 400 kids playing horns and all of that sort of stuff and woodwinds to the album so. I had that first song already, but it really came to life when we worked with TSU.”

The Grammy Awards will take place on Feb. 5, 2023, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.