GRAMMY Nomination for USF Jazz CD Arranger

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 4, 2009) – A GRAMMY nomination has just been added to the critical acclaim around the University of South Florida Center for Jazz Composition’s first CD project, The Comet’s Tail: Playing The Compositions of Michael Brecker featuring Chuck Owen & The Jazz Surge and guest artists. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences recognized Vince Mendoza in the arranger category for his charts on the CD for the piece “Slings and Arrows.” A prominent Los Angeles-based composer, Mendoza was commissioned by Chuck Owen, the center’s director to contribute to a work celebrating the work of the late saxophone star Michael Brecker. Mendoza, along with Gil Goldstein was a frequent behind-the-scenes Brecker arrangers. Grammy winners will be announced Jan. 31 in Los Angeles.


“The Comet’s Tail” was released Fall 2009 to great reviews, “Sensational.  One of the year’s great jazz discs,” Buffalo News; “A truly outstanding recording.  Explosively played. . . .   Deserving of universal attention,” Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide; ". . . a memorable gem,” Jazziz magazine.


USF professor Jack Wilkins is featured on “Slings and Arrows,” the GRAMMY nominated song. Michael Nastos of All Music Guide describes Wilkins playing as skillful and clever, comparing him to “Michael’s post-Coltrane voicing’s.” 


“The Comet’s Tail” is available in the USF bookstore for purchase or on the College of The Arts online store at For additional information about “The Comet’s Tail” visit



The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.