Grammy Gurus — An Award-Winning Neighborhood
The Grammy Awards celebrates music’s finest through a system of tiered nominations and voting from its industry players. This year, of the approximate 300 pre-nominations, a whopping 23 original songs came from The Sarah Kelly Music School located on the 2nd floor of Market Street in The Woodlands.
Under the high octane and passionate musical tutelage of 2x Grammy nominee Sarah Kelly and her Swedish husband and music producer Jonas Ekman, vocal and musical production are mentored to over 200 students, whose ages range from 7 to 57, with a robust waiting list behind them. Students from all over the world travel to The Woodlands to have the chance to live and study with Kelly and Ekman, whose inexhaustible and intoxicating energy permeates everything they do.
“We produce a professional demo over the course of study so upon graduation each student has a tangible product,” says Ekman.
“More than music school we give students a study in music entrepreneurship with skills that translate to other fields,” explains Kelly. Originally from Chicago, Kelly has released 5 albums including the rock gospel “Take Me Away” and “Where the Past Meets Today”, which earned her Grammy nominations. Kelly’s music has been compared to artists Sheryl Crow, Janis Joplin, Norah Jones, Carole King and Sarah McLachlan. Off the success of her albums, Kelly spent years touring and opening for bands like Jars of Clay. Ekman has been producing music for over 20 years and is an accomplished pianist. He also runs nearby Sweekman Productions, a production company and recording studio, where he collaborates with some of the most respected musicians and engineers in Los Angeles and Nashville.
This dynamic musical duo spends their weekdays and nights teaching at the school and weekends at their Galveston Island home relaxing with their four dogs.
The Sarah Kelly Music School’s reputation for producing world class talent has earned them visits by 5x Grammy winner Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson); Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses, Heart); Bill Hearne (Capitol Records Music Group); Jeremy Hunter (Taylor Swift, Tori Kelly); Tobin Hyman (NBC’s The Voice) and Joey Elwood (Gotee Records).
Thanks to Kelly and Ekman, The Woodlands is now officially on the music industry’s map.