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Purchase Alumna Wins “Best Children’s Album” Grammy Award

Lucy (DeJesus) Kalantari ’98 (studio composition) won a “Best Children’s Album” Grammy® Award for All the Sounds.

Lucy Kalantari is a GRAMMY® winning songwriter, composer and producer based in Brooklyn, New York, making jazz age inspired music for families. She’s the frontwoman and bandleader for Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats. Her band and music have been featured on Snug’s House (formerly Sprout House), the musically-infused programming block on Universal Kids. Her songs are on steady rotation on SiriusXM Kids Place Live and other family radio programs around the country. 

Before making her acceptance speech, she gave the Grammy to her 5-year-old son saying “Don’t drop it.” She went on to say, “I have been making music all my life. I have to honor all the sounds in my heart and in my head. This is beautiful. This is such an honor to be on the ballot with all these nominees. This album was written and recorded by a Latina woman. It was produced by a woman.” She appeared overwhelmed by her win. 

Born in the United States to Latino parents (Dominican mother and a Puerto Rican father), she grew up in a Spanish-speaking household. She writes primarily in English, with a few bilingual surprises.

Kalantari went to the Purchase Conservatory of Music for composition and production. She has published many works in various genres spanning from singer-songwriter to industrial rock.

After being introduced to the ukulele by a colleague, her writing took a shift as she created sounds inspired from the bygone jazz era. Listeners likened her laid back voice to that of Billie Holiday, and Kalantari herself noticed how natural it felt to sing and write in this style.

Luch Kalantari and family at the Grammy Awards