Rice Owls win big at Grammy Awards

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Rice historian Doug Brinkley and alumna Germaine Franco took home the gold at the 65th annual Grammy Awards Feb. 5 in Los Angeles.

Grammy winners
Doug Brinkley and Germaine Franco

Brinkley, the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Professor of Humanities, won in the Best Latin Jazz Album category for his work co-producing “Fandango At The Wall In New York” by Arturo O’Farrill and The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, featuring the Conga Patria Son Jarocho Collective. He was also nominated in the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album category for his co-production of Ethelbert Miller’s “Black Men Are Precious.”

This is Brinkley’s second Grammy. In 2017, he won in the Large Jazz Ensemble category for producing the Ted Nash big band album “Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom.”

Additional information on Brinkley’s work can be found at https://douglasbrinkley.com/.

A decorated composer, Franco won in the Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media category for her work on the Disney film “Encanto.” The Grammy is her first.

Franco studied percussion at Rice's Shepherd School of Music, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1984 and a master’s in 1987. It was during this time she started writing music in addition to performing.

Since moving to Los Angeles in 1988, Franco has built a career working with film directors, storytellers and production teams on studio blockbusters, independent features, documentaries, television series and immersive attractions, in addition to composing concert and choral music. She was the first Latina invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences music branch and the first to receive the Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature, for her work in Disney's "Coco" — on which she became the first woman to score a Disney film. Her work on “Encanto” also landed her an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score, her first and a first for a Latina in that category.

More information on Franco’s career can be found at https://www.germainefranco.com/ .

For a complete list of Grammy nominees and winners, visit https://www.grammy.com/news/2023-grammy-nominations-complete-winners-nominees-list.