Voting members of the recording academy for your consideration:

the sky remains
Josh Nelson

Produced by Josh Nelson and Anthony Wilson

Wonders never cease here, as Nelson’s imagination carries us to unexpected places and uncovers topics and stories hidden in the mists and mortar of Los Angeles... he paints subtle gestures, sophisticated thoughts, and broad strokes…the end result is a work that speaks to an arranger’s mind, a songwriter’s sensibility, and a historian’s eye… It’s more than enough to keep the mind and emotions busy and happy.
— All About Jazz
An impressionistic musical look at facets of L.A., this will open your ears to a jazzy, L.A. you probably never considered.
— Midwest Record


 Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

“The Architect"

Best Instrumental Composition


Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

“Lost Souls of Saturn” (composed by Russell Garcia) 

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals

“Pitseleh” (composed by Elliot Smith)
“Ah, Los Angeles” (composed by Josh Nelson)

Song Of The Year  

“Run” (composed by Josh Nelson and Kathleen Grace)


The Sky Remains is a love letter to Los Angeles. The third in his Discovery Project series, Josh Nelson unearths hidden gems and little-known stories about his hometown. From the lurid tale behind benefactor and namesake of L.A.’s famous Griffith Park to the sad transition of wondrous Pacific Ocean Park to an eyesore on the beach to the forgotten, bittersweet story of Mack Robinson. A silver medal winner in the 1936 Berlin Olympics (coming in second to Jesse Owens), Mack was also the brother of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and later became a hero in his own right through his civic activism on behalf of the City of Angels. The Sky Remains blends narrative and music in persuasive fashion. Throughout this ambitious outing, Nelson and his talented crew of fellow Angelenos convey sentiment about the city and its treasures while uncovering lost history and acknowledging a few L.A. icons along the way. “I’m definitely in awe of what’s in this city and its quiet history,” says the prolific composer. “Maybe it’s just a product of having been born here, but I’m discovering new things and stories about it that were just sitting right under my nose. And I’m hoping that people who hear these stories might be interested in learning more about the fascinating history of Los Angeles.”

In 2006, Nelson was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. His debut album as a leader,  2004’s Anticipation, garnered attention while his 2007 followup, Let it Go, was hailed by Jazz TimesAll About Jazz and Jazz Review as a fully-realized breakthrough album. Nelson’s next album, 2009’s I Hear a Rhapsody, had him re-imagining Jerry Goldsmith’s “Theme From Chinatown,” Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Here’s That Rainy Day” and Elliott Smith’s “Everything Means Nothing To Me” while contributing seven affecting originals. With 2011’s sci-fi influenced Discoveries, Nelson introduced his Discovery Project, an immersive multi-media presentation combining video, performance art, light and art installations with his original music. He followed with another ambitious Discovery Project in 2015’s Exploring Mars, which wedded evocative musical themes to spectacular NASA/JPL video footage of the Red Planet.


Brian Walsh (1, 2, 8, 9, 10)

Bass Clarinet

Brian Walsh (3, 5, 6, 7, 10)

Alex Boneham (all tracks)

Dan Schnelle (all tracks)

Hammon B-3 Organ
Larry Goldings (2, 9) 

Aaron Serfaty (6)

Piano, Composer, Arranger
Josh Nelson (all tracks)

Kathleen Grace (1, 2, 7, 9), Lillian Sengpiehl (1, 5, 6), Josh Nelson (9), Anthony Wilson (7, 9)

Anthony Wilson (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10)

Chris Lawrence (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Alto Saxophone
Josh Johnson (1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10)

Josh Johnson (6)