Jonathan Gautier has gone from Lakeland to Los Angeles, and back. The graduate of Polk County public schools won the biggest award in music.

He has been honored for his work on Taylor Swift’s album, “Midnights,” which just won the Grammy for Album of the Year.

“I keep telling people that, simply, it was just crazy,” Gautier said. 

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At the height of the pandemic, violinist Bobby Hawk was looking for a place to record a few tracks for a producer in New York who had sent some instructions.

“I would try to guess what this was for based off of what we were hearing,” said Gautier.

Time after time, following requests from producer Jack Antonoff or engineer Laura Sisk, Hawk and Gautier found that their riffs were winding up on Taylor Swift songs.

“Folklore” won a Grammy for Album of the Year in 2021. But when she was nominated – when they were nominated – for the Grammy for Album of the Year for “Midnights,” Gautier flew to LA with his wife to see the big moment, which he didn’t believe at first.

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“I literally was Googling something that was happening right in front of me,” he said.

He has now been honored with three Grammys for producing Hawk’s violin parts on thirty of the songs on Taylor Swift’s most recent albums. 

If he ever gets to meet her, this is what he wants to say:

“Beyond the music that she writes, her way of collaborating with other artists and bringing those artists to the forefront has just been really inspiring as a producer,” Gautier said. 

There are lots of reasons he has gone from Lakeland to LA and back. He credits his childhood in the school system in Polk County, where his wife, Jessica, teaches. 

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He also credits his grandfather, to whom he dedicated his studio.

“His phrase was ‘the world needs dreamers,’” he said. “And I took that, and I just ran with it the rest of my life.”

There’s no telling how far one note can travel.

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