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Multiple Indie Collaborative Members Win at the 2023 Grammy® Awards

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

06 Feb 2023 • Los Angeles • For Immediate Release

The Indie Collaborative (IC), a group of more than 2,000 independent music industry and creative professionals, is pleased to announce that multiple IC members have won big at the 2023 Grammy® Awards. Tthe Grammy Premiere show takes place at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. This event is where the vast majority of Grammys are awarded every year, just prior to the main telecast at 8pm on CBS.

The Indie Collaborative members who won or were nominated for Grammys this year include:

Wouter Kellerman, a classically-trained South African flautist who writes original music and puts on engaging concerts that combine Classical and African rhythms and melodies. Wouter won a Grammy once before in 2015, and has been nominated several times since, winning again this year. He won the Best Global Music Performance Grammy for his work “Bayethe,” a collaboration with Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode.

Ricky Kej is an American-born Indian composer and environmentalist based in Bangalore. He won in 2015 for his collaboration with Wouter Kellerman, SAMSARA WINDS, and in 2022 for his collaboration with Stewart Copeland (the former drummer of The Police), called DIVINE TIDES. They won again this year with the Dolby Atmos mix of this album in the Best Immersive Album category.

Arturo O’Farrill is a Mexican-born Jazz pianist based in New York City. He has won numerous awards for his AfroCuban composition and performances, including five previous Grammys and even more nominations. He won this year in the BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM category for his album FANDANGO AT THE WALL IN NEW YORK, which was produced by another Indie Collaborative member, multi-Grammy Award-winner, Kabir Sehgal.

Masanori Takumi, affectionately known simply as “Masa” is a Japanese multi-instrumentalist and composer who won several Grammys in the past from his work with the group Sly and Robbie. He won the Best Global Music Album Grammy this year for his album SAKURA, produced by Indie Collaborative Member and Grammy Award-Winner, Lonnie Park.

The Best Children’s Music Album Grammy was awarded to a group called The Alphabet Rockers, a San Francisco-based group headed by Tommy Soulati Shepherd, Jr. and Kaitlin McGaw. The duo brings children into their group to sing, rap and inspire their audiences with positive, affirming messages of inclusion and understanding. Their winning album is called THE MOVEMENT. The Chicago-based duo Wendy & DB, who are also IC members, were also nominated in this category.

Oklahoma-based Kitt Wakeley won the Best Classical Compendium Grammy for his album AN ADOPTION STORY. An adopted child himself, Kitt and his wife Melissa have adopted three children of their own. He told this very personal story in music in this instrumental masterpiece. Three out of the five nominees in this category were IC members! New York-based clarinetist Seunghee Lee was nominated for her album ASPIRE, and Grammy winning film composer Christopher Tin was nominated for THE LOST BIRDS.

Several of the nominees in the Best New Age, Ambient or Chant album category were IC members, including Cheryl B. Engelhardt for her album THE PASSENGER, Paul Avgerinos for his album JOY, and Madi Das (with Dave Stringer) for his album MANTRA AMERICANA.

New York City based conductor Michael Repper won the Best Orchestral Performance Grammy for WORKS BY FLORENCE PRICE, JESSIE MONTGOMERY, VALERIA COLEMAN, with the New York Youth Symphony.

Several other IC members were nominated this year, including Slovenian born Classical guitarist Mak Grgic (Best Classical Instrumental Solo); Austin-based SaulPaul for his work producing the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album by poet Ethelbert Miller called BLACK MEN ARE PRECIOUS; Matt B was nominated in Best Global Music Performance for his song "Gimme Love" featuring Ugandan singer Eddie Kenzo, Boston-based Neave Trio, nominated for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance; Nashville-based Armand Hutton was nominated in the Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella category; and LA-based composer Austin Wintory (a previous Grammy winner) was nominated for Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media.

On the Friday before the Grammys, the Indie Collaborative staged a special sold out concert featuring many of these nominees and winners each performing a song, including: Wouter Kellerman, Masa, Paul Avgerinos, Mak Grgic, Matt B and Eddie Kenzo, The Alphabet Rockers, Kitt Wakeley, Wendy and DB, Cheryl B. Engelhardt, SaulPaul, Neave Trio, Arturo O’Farrill, Seunghee Lee, Austin Wintory, Renaissance Heart, and previous Grammy winners Opium Moon. The concert was hosted by IC co-founder Grant Maloy Smith, who also performed the final number.

The Indie Collaborative was founded in 2015 by Emmy Award winning Musical Theater lyricist, playwright and novelist Eileen Sherman and Billboard Top 10 American Roots recording artist Grant Maloy Smith. The purpose of the IC is to foster collaborations among creative artists, principally in the musical arts. In eight years the group has grown to having more than 2,000 members, more than 1,000 of whom have their profiles on the IC website.

IC artists represent every kind of music from Pop to Rock, Jazz, Classical, Musical Theater, New Age, Children’s, World, Country, American Roots, Regional Roots, Folk, Gospel, Bluegrass, Contemporary Instrumental, Blues....and so many more. These members come from all over North and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania and Asia. Many are award winning artists, including Grammy®, Tony® and Emmy® winners.

In addition to showcases at which any of their members are eligible to perform, the IC also produces curated shows, including two at Carnegie Hall and one at Lincoln Center. Artists, creatives, producers - essentially anyone involved in the creative arts - are encouraged to join the Indie Collaborative at no charge, by joining on the official website at

175 views2 comments


Vibberts Mixing
Vibberts Mixing

A fantastic group of talented people! I'm happy to be a part of it.


Minstrel Streams
Minstrel Streams

Congrats to our fellow IC members. It is a blessing and honor to be a part of this amazing group.

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