Bruce Hornsby and 10 Other Famous University of Miami's Frost School of Music Alumni | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Bruce Hornsby and 10 Other Famous University of Miami's Frost School of Music Alumni

The University of Miami's Frost School of Music is a hotbed of talent. Case in point, Bruce Hornsby (though not the Range) graduated from the program in 1977. 

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We all know Hornsby for his hit "The Way It Is," a moving statement about the state of American race relations, which landed him a 1987 Grammy for Best New Artist. But after that, Hornsby continued to make his presence known, tampering with his template and expanding his parameters by working with everyone from Elton John to Bela Fleck. The reason why Hornsby draws such hurrahs has a lot to do with his remarkable diversity. He's managed to cross several stylistic boundaries, from the early rural ballads to the populist platform he ascended by joining the Grateful Dead for two years. 

Today, on Hornsby's birthday, we celebrate his career and those of other graduates of the UM's Frost School of Music. 

10. Pat Metheny 

Known for his efforts at merging elements of progressive and contemporary jazz, post-bop and Latin jazz, this fuzzy-haired guitarist can claim three Gold Records and no less than 19 Grammy Awards. Considered one of the most influential fusion guitarists of the past 30 years, he's managed to break down the barriers between jazz and rock, while appealing to audiences of both. 

Metheny attended UM only briefly in 1972, but notably, bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottleib, fellow founding members of the first essential Pat Metheny Group, were both University of Miami graduates.

9. Ed Toth 

A 1994 graduate of the Frost School of Music, Toth scored his first hit as a member of the band Vertical Horizon, which recorded the multi-platinum Everything You Want and the number one hit of the same name. He found further fame when he became one of the two drummers in the Doobies Brothers, following the death of original member Keith Knudsen in 2005.

8. Ben Folds

Folds attended the Frost School of Music on a percussion scholarship, but he ended up dropping out with one credit to go before graduating. In fact, he's fond of telling audiences what happened when he gave a jury recital that would count as his grade for the entire semester, Folds showed up with a broken hand which he received after defending his roommate from a bunch of bullies they had encountered the night before. Unfortunately, the faculty members in attendance insisted he play anyway. As a result, Folds lost his scholarship, and he was so pissed off, he threw his drum kit into Lake Osceola.

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Lee Zimmerman

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