SLU alumnus wins Grammy with New Orleans jazz band – The Lion’s Roar
A Class of 1984 SLU graduate recently won a Grammy with his band, the New Orleans Nightcrawlers.
Craig Klein, the band’s trombonist, shared his feelings about the band’s accomplishment.
The Grammy was for Best Regional Roots Music Album, awarded to the Nightcrawlers for their new album, titled “Atmosphere”. According to Klein, it was the first record released in over ten years. The Nightcrawlers have only released five records in their 27 years together, so winning a Grammy on their fifth is a huge achievement for the group.
Klein’s introduction to music began at a very young age. He started with his uncle’s trombone in fourth grade. He stuck to it and practiced for years, citing his uncle as one of his greatest jazz inspirations.
While at SLU Klein was a DJ for KSLU, performed as a member of the local jazz band, and walked with the Spirit of the Southland Marching Band. While he graduated with a marketing degree and spent five years acquiring it, Klein said music was one of his biggest outlets.
“Playing music during my years at Southeastern has honed my skills. It gave me an outlet to play while I focused on getting my marketing degree, ”Klein said.
Klein also said he never expected to win a Grammy during his musical career. His band didn’t have a name when they started in 1994. It started as a writers’ workshop, where members would come to each other’s houses and play until they found a sound they liked. . Their first disc will be released in 1996, two years after the creation of the group.
The Nightcrawlers’ Grammy win encouraged them to keep playing and surpass themselves more than they have in recent years.
They plan to release a new record in October and perform at Jazz Fest this year. Overall, Klein said he was very optimistic about the future and would use the Grammy as a motivational tool to keep striving for his band’s music.
He said, “This Grammy brings recognition not only to us, but also to the city of New Orleans and the marching band community in general. That was the primary focus, emphasizing the culture that was an integral part of New Orleans, when it was mostly an African-American tradition. This music is very sacred, very spiritual. It honors all the musicians who came before us.