Meet the Pinoy who worked on a Grammy-winning album

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News 

LOS ANGELES — Musician Dennis Sy shows it’s never too late to follow your passion.

While he grew up with music throughout his life, he is an IT professional by trade, migrating to the US in 1994.

 “I thought I was saying good bye to my music and apparently music didn’t want to leave me so I’m still here doing it after all these years,” said Sy.

While he continues his work in IT, this past Grammy season, Sy was able to be a part of a winning album.

Sy served as an assistant producer for Ted Nash’s Big Band Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom.

 The album won the Grammy this year in the Big Band Jazz category.

 “The album speaks more about the vision of Ted Nash in coming up with Presidential Suite,” said Sy. “What he did for me was genius… in a sense what he wanted to convey was hope and listening to a lot of speeches by famous world leaders, like John Kennedy like Nelson Mendela, like Neru the first prime minister of India. What he discovered was outside, the message of hope, there is a certain tonality and pitch in every one of those speeches. “

The Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Ted Nash released the album in 2016, during the election year. 

Sy was brought on board by fellow musicians and other producers, assisting in putting together the large ensemble at the famed Lincoln Center. 

 “It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of brainstorming a lot of things that people don’t see that’s involved in being in the music industry in producing an album those are the things that we do,” he said. “As artists, we all want to grow, and every experience that allows us to grow is something that we shoot and look for and this presented itself — so I’m just privileged to be a part of it.” 

With the experience of working on a Grammy-winning project, the Filipino-Chinese-American musician will continue working on his own music, with fellow independent artists — and he’s hoping to show off Asian culture in those upcoming projects. 

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