Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra Celebrates GRAMMY® Win for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album at the 65th GRAMMY® Awards, Marking A Historic First-Time Win for Feifke, Youngest Ever Winner of the Large Ensemble Category in Recording Academy History

The eponymous debut album co-led by Steven Feifke and Bijon Watson brought home the Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album GRAMMY® at the 65th GRAMMY® Awards on Sunday, February 5 in Los Angeles. This historic feat makes Cellar Music Group the first ever Canadian jazz label in history to win a GRAMMY® award.

Named among Best Albums of 2022 by DownBeat Magazine

This past Sunday, February 5th at the 65th Annual GRAMMY® Awards in Los Angeles, California, Steven Feifke and Bijon Watson — co leaders of the Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra — brought home the GRAMMY® Award in the Best Large Ensemble Jazz category for their eponymous debut album. 

Two jazz greats lead a vibrant ensemble with nearly five decades of jazz musicians represented on Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra, released in September 2022 via Canadian jazz label Cellar Music Group and Brooklyn-based La Reserve Records. It is a historic victory. In the six-decade existence of this award, Steven Feifke is the youngest recipient ever. No one — not Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie — won it sooner. This extraordinary first-time win for Feifke and Watson also marks a landmark feat for Cellar Music Group, the first-ever Canadian jazz label to claim a GRAMMY® win. 

“What an incredible honor,” Feifke stated in his acceptance speech. “Thank you so much to the recording academy, to all of our peers and friends in the audience tonight. This album for us is truly a mission of celebrating and showcasing generational diversity and I’m so proud to be here with my mentor and collaborator on this project, Bijon Watson.”

Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra features renowned lead trumpeter Bijon Watson whose iconic trumpet sound can be heard in such iconic grammy-nominated ensembles as the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the John Daversa Progressive Big Band as well as alongside such superstars as Natalie Cole, Michael Buble, and Diana Krall, and can be seen in the award-winning film “La La Land.” Recognized as one of the leading composers for Big Band by the Recording Academy, Steven Feifke is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a two-time semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Piano Competition. At just 31 years old, Feifke has built an astonishing musical resumé, having appeared on over forty records to date, with DownBeat Magazine calling his music “an air of infectious joy.” His spellbinding 2021 debut record Kinetic received critical acclaim, propelling Feifke’s name among lists of top-tier contemporary big band leaders. This past April, he further cemented that status with the release of an intimate trio release, The Role of the Rhythm Section (★★★★ Downbeat Magazine).

On Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra, a diverse blend of voices comes together to create an overall sound thoughtfully and meticulously sculpted by Feifke’s stellar orchestrations. In the spirit of Art Blakey and Horace Silver, this large ensemble was formed with an emphasis on mentorship – and though there’s two decades between them, Feifke and Watson are like-minded in their approach and perspective. Personnel includes jazz heavyweights Kurt Elling, Ulysses Owens Jr., Mike Rodriguez, Roxy Coss, and more.

Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra marks Watson’s first big band album release as a co-leader and the first recorded collaboration between the two artists, making this recognition all the more exhilarating. This is both Steven and Bijon’s first GRAMMY® nomination and win, as well as the first for Cellar Music Group and La Reserve Records.  


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