On Nov. 13, Georgetown’s Joe McCarthy will sit among the ranks of Gloria Estefan and Juanes as a nominee in the 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards.

In 2002, McCarthy, an adjunct professor in the performing arts department, started the Afro Bop Alliance, a Latin jazz septet, here on the Hilltop.

Initially, he said, the band was merely an outlet for his love of Latin jazz music. “There weren’t really any bands playing the music I wanted to concentrate on; so began Afro Bop Alliance,” he said.

Little did he know that this effort to spread Latin music at Georgetown would lead his band to be nominated six years later for a Latin Grammy in the Best Jazz Album category for their album “Afro Bop Alliance.”

“It is a great feeling to know people enjoy our music enough to warrant such recognition,” he said.

For the album, McCarthy and the Afro Bop Alliance, which has been performing along the East Coast and around the Washington, D.C. area for the past six years, teamed up with the Caribbean Jazz Project, a Grammy-award winning Latin jazz ensemble led by vibraphonist Dave Samuels.

cCarthy performs as a drummer and percussionist for the band, playing alongside Tim Stanley, Luis Hernandez, Dan Drew, Harry Appelman, Max Murray and Felix Contreras. Mixing drums, percussion, trumpet, saxophone, trombone, arranger, piano, bass and congas into their album, McCarthy said they fuse Latin styles and cultures to create their own distinct sound.

For their latest recording, “Camino Nuevo,” they also received accolades – the Best Latin Recording award from the Washington Area Music Association.

cCarthy said his schedule can get hectic trying to balance teaching at Georgetown, performing with Afro Bop Alliance and his other job as the principal percussionist in the United States Naval Academy band.

At Georgetown, McCarthy serves as the faculty adviser for the World Percussion Ensemble and also teaches a class called Introduction to Afro-Cuban Percussion. McCarthy said one of his favorite things about teaching at Georgetown is the opportunity to pass on information about Afro-Cuban music.

“I love teaching as much as I love playing,” he said.

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