Bay Area Musician Earns Grammy for Work on Reggae Album - NBC Bay Area
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Bay Area Musician Earns Grammy for Work on Reggae Album

Mario Silva earns Grammy for his work on Morgan Heritage's "Strictly Roots'" album.

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    A Bay Area musician was among those awarded at Monday night's Grammys. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Monday, Feb. 15, 2016)

    A Bay Area musician was among those awarded at Monday night's Grammys.

    Mario Silva, a well-known jazz artist residing in Oakland and a graduate of California State University, East Bay, earned a Grammy for his work on Morgan Heritage's "Strictly Roots," which won Best Reggae Album of the Year.

    "I'm really excited for Mario," said Dr. Mitch Butler, Silva's instructor at Cal State East Bay. "He's one of the hardest workers in the program here."

    Butler, director of Jazz Studies at the Hayward university, served as Silva's trumpet teacher.

    "I knew him before because he was one of the busiest musicians in the Bay Area," Butler said. "He garnered the respect of all the Bay Area musicians as a great player and good person."

    Silva started playing trumpet at 16. It did not take long for him to get noticed because he became a professional at 19.

    The Grammy award winner specializes in Jazz, R&B and Salsa, but can play all types of music and nearly every instrument from trumpet to piano. Silva played trumpet on the Grammy award-winning album.

    Last year, Silva decided to pursue his Masters degree at Cal State East Bay in the university's world-renowned music department.

    "To have one of our people come in as a regular student playing with our students to suddenly be thrown into a world stage, it's a pretty rare occurrence," said Buddy James, media director for the university's School of Arts. "It's been great and very exciting for all of us."

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