Taylor Swift's Jewish producer wins at Grammys while most other Jewish nominees miss out

Jack Antonoff has worked with Lorde, Taylor Swift and the 1975 as well as many other famous names


Jack Antonoff has won Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, at the 2023 Grammys for a second straight year. The pop producer beat out fellow Jew Dan Auerbach to win the trophy.

It is Antonoff’s second win in a row in the category and a fourth consecutive year of nomination.

His production credits were for Florence and the Machine’s Dance Fever, the soundtrack to Minions: The Rise of Gru, Taylor Swift’s All Too Well (10 Minute Version), Diana Ross’ I Still Believe, and the 1975’s Part of the Band. His work on Taylor Swift’s Midnights and the 1975’s Being Funny in a Foreign Language, is eligible next year.

Before this weekend Antonoff had won seven Grammys. After bagging his first two in 2013 with Fun., he picked up four more between 2016 and 2022, for two records apiece with Taylor Swift and St. Vincent.

Antonoff was born in suburban New Jersey to a Jewish family and attended the Jewish Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County.

He is known for wearing his Star of David necklace on red carpets and, everywhere else.

According to his then-girlfriend Lena Dunham, he ordered the jewellery “the minute Nazis became a fucking mainstream thing again,” in the wake of the 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville.

He met Taylor Swift in 2012 and was instrumental in all her albums since 1989, including the critically acclaimed Folklore and Evermore duo. After the release of Folklore, Swift said that Antonoff is basically “musical family.”

“He has this thing he does—‘I didn’t bring my wallet,’” his sister Rachel says. “I think he just values things staying the same. He’s not cheap; he’s actually very generous. He’ll take you somewhere and fly you first class. But he’ll still never pay for the bagels.”

Another proud Jew to claim a trophy this year was Steven Feifke for "Large Jazz ensemble album". Feifke is a celebrated pianist, composer, orchestrator and conductor of the Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra.

There were several other Jewish nominees at the Grammys this year. The most famous among them included the prolific blockbuster film scorer Hans Zimmer, nominated in the best soundtrack compilation category for his work on “Top Gun: Maverick.”

James Ginsburg, son of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an accomplished classical music producer and record label owner, was up for best classical producer of the year.

Randy Rainbow, the musical comedian who often mocks political figures, was put forwarded for best comedy album for “A Little Brains, A Little Talent.”

Tony Kushner, the playwright who through his collaborations with Steven Spielberg has become one of Hollywood’s most prominent Jewish screenwriters, was nominated for best musical theatre album, for a revival of the 2003 musical he co-wrote, “Caroline, or Change.” The soundtrack to Spielberg and Kushner’s “West Side Story” remake was also nominated in the compilation category.

Flora Purim, a Brazilian-Jewish jazz and world music icon was nominated for best Latin jazz album, for “If You Will,” her first solo release in over a decade.

Dan Auerbach, the frontman for the rock duo The Black Keys, was nominated in the same category as Antonoff, for his production work outside of his band. Auerbach’s father is Jewish, and the rocker lost several relatives in the Holocaust. The Black Keys were also up for two separate awards, including best rock album for their latest, Dropout Boogie.

Meanwhile, Billy Crystal - who was nominated for Best Musical Theatre Album for his work on Mr. Saturday Night - celebrated 25-time Grammy Award winner Jewish Musician Vladimir Horowitz.

Whilst introducing an all-star performance by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Chris Stapleton, he told the crowd, “I got to shake hands with Vladimir Horowitz!” urging them to “google him!”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive