A jazz album honoring a 6-year-old girl killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, more than three years ago is among the nominees at this year’s Grammy Awards.
Jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene turned to music after his daughter, Ana Marquez Greene, was killed in her classroom when Adam Lanza, 20, stormed into her school on Dec. 14, 2012. He killed 20 young children and six adults.
"The grief process is ongoing," Greene told ABC News. "There is not a day that goes by that doesn't have tears and just incredible sadness, sometimes anger and frustration at many things ... Music is a language in and of itself, and it's a language for me that kind of picks up where words leave off."
The songs that Greene composed eventually became the album, “A Beautiful Life,” and it has been nominated for two Grammys – best jazz instrumental and best arrangement for vocals.
Greene told CBS that while he is honored by the nominations, he wishes he never had to make an album like that.
“I wish my little girl were here,” he said.
Ana, who liked to sing and dance, is also featured singing the hymn, "Come, Thou Almighty King," while her brother plays on the piano, just a few months before she was killed. Her classmates from Canada, where the family lived for a few years, also sing on the track.
A portion of the album’s proceeds have been divided between two charities that Greene and his wife Nelba Marquez-Greene set up to fund an arts program and to promote empathy and compassion in at-risk children.
“My life will forever be different without my little girl in it, especially the way she was taken from us," he said. "Just the whole community that surrounds the music industry has really stepped up and been there for my family and me in so many ways. The album is testament to that."
According to Greene, more than 40 musicians and technicians volunteered their time to help him honor his daughter and put the album together.
“We feel like whatever statement you make musically, in the wake of the horror you have had to suffer, would be really, really powerful, and something that the world needs to hear,” he said.
The 58th Grammy Awards air live from Los Angeles on Feb. 15 on CBS. LL Cool J will host the show for the fifth year in a row.