Some UCF musicians have been hitting some high notes recently, inching a step closer to possibly winning Grammy Awards.

The Grammy process is in the early stages for the awards to be presented in 2016, and music-industry leaders are now voting on the names that made it to a short ballot to determine which musicians will become official nominees.

Making the short ballot were:

  • Best Large Jazz Ensemble – Into The Mystic, The Flying Horse Big Band, a student group directed by Jeff Rupert, UCF’s director of jazz studies  
  • Best Engineering – Into The Mystic, The Flying Horse Big Band
  • Best Jazz Group – En Plein Air, The Jazz Professors
  • Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella – Greensleeves, Jeff Moore, director of the School of Performing Arts, and independent artist Kevin Lucas.       
  • Into the Mystic was released this past summer, and Rupert describes it as a jazz big band album that includes new innovative and repertory works. Songs on the album are classics by Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, James Brown, Van Morrison, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, and others.

    En Plein Air presents songs inspired by the art of Claude Monet. The Jazz Professors are made up of Rupert on tenor saxophone, Per Danielsson on piano, Richard Drexler on bass, Bobby Koelble on guitar, Michael Wilkinson on trombone, and Marty Morell on drums. A special guest on the album is Mike Mossman.

    Both The Flying Horse Big Band and The Jazz Professors record on UCF’s Flying Horse Records.

    Moore said Greensleeves was released in August and has been getting radio play in New York and Los Angeles. He said the arrangement of the traditional English song has a variety of influences, with predominantly an African and Afro/Cuban-inspired treatment. 

    The official Grammy nominations are expected by early January.