Two albums by Arizona artists will compete in the same category at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which will air live on CBS and Paramount + from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday, January 31.

Rachel Eckroth, who got into jazz playing keyboards in jazz band Thunderbird High School and now lives in Tucson, is up for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album against legendary session ace Steve Gadd, who lives in Phoenix for almost two decades.

Eckroth and her husband, bassist Tim Lefebvre, moved to Tucson, where she created most of the music for “The Garden” during the pandemic.

In addition to playing bass, Lefebvre produced the Grammy-nominated album, which also features contributions from guitarist Nir Felder, saxophonists Donny McCaslin and Andrew Krasilnikov, large modular synth Austin White, and drummer Christian Euman.

Eckroth also tours with Rufus Wainwright and St. Vincent, whose “Daddy’s Home” is shortlisted for Best Alternative Music Album (and is slated to be shortlisted for Album of the Year).

Eckroth plays with Rufus Wainwright, St. Vincent

“St. Vincent was just nominated as well, so we just texted congratulations,” Eckroth told Arizona Republic shortly after learning she had been nominated. “I hope she wins this.”

Gadd is ready for a live album with the Steve Gadd Band, “At Blue Note Tokyo”.

The drummer group includes Jimmy Johnson on bass, Walt Fowler on trumpet, David Spinozza on guitar, and Kevin Hays on keyboards and vocals.

Steve Gadd.

Other nominees for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album are Randy Brecker and Eric Marienthal for “Double Dealin ‘”, Taylor Eigsti for “Tree Falls” and Mark Lettieri for “Deep: The Barytone Sessions, Vol. 2”.

Eckroth has two concerts in Phoenix on the horizon. On Saturday February 26, she will join St. Vincent at Tempe Beach Park for the Innings Festival, headlining the second stage before the Foo Fighters reach the main stage.

But first, on Saturday, December 4, she will perform songs from “The Garden” at the Nash in downtown Phoenix with a trio featuring Lefebvre and Euman. Tickets cost between $ 32 and $ 40 ($ 12.80 for students) on thenash.org.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-4495. Follow him on twitter @EdMasley.

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