Honored in the performing arts category for music, Catalano began playing saxophone at age 7, according to the nomination. By 18, he was touring with Santana and signed to Delmark Records to record his first solo album. At Streamwood High School, he won first place in the Illinois All-State Jazz Saxophone Competition and went on to perform with the Elgin Community College Jazz Band. He holds a degree in music composition from DePaul University.
He has played on three Grammy-winning and 11 Grammy-nominated recordings with artists including Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child and John Legend. His 2016 album, "Bye Bye Blackbird," with David Sanborn, hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, making it one of the best-selling jazz albums of that year.
Honored in the performing arts as an educator, LaVerne Newsome touched the lives of countless aspiring musicians.
“Mr. Newsome provided encouragement, guidance, hope, a sense of direction and a sense of worth to me and countless black youths who were under his tutelage,” a former student, Professor David Baker, is quoted as saying.
Newsome earned a master's degree in music education from Northwestern University. He taught at Alabama’s Talladega College until 1937 when he moved to a high school in Indianapolis, where he chaired the music department. For 37 years, he taught and mentored thousands of students, including trombonist J.J. Johnson, trumpeter Virgil Jones and guitarist Wes Montgomery.
An accomplished violinist, Newsome was the first African American member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, a position he held until 1992. He frequently returned to Elgin to play violin at his parent’s home for their annual music teas to benefit the St. James AME Church.