Rebirth Brass Band, Lil Wayne, Harry Connick Jr. among Grammy nominees with local ties
Rebirth Brass Band founder Phil Frazier once said he’d rather win a Grammy than be rich. He took a significant step toward the realization of that goal Wednesday night when Rebirth’s Basin Street Records release “Rebirth of New Orleans” was nominated for a Grammy.
The complete list of nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards were released Wednesday night following the Grammy nominations telecast, a sort of pre-awards awards show, on CBS.
Rebirth will compete with two other Louisiana acts in the newly created best regional roots music album category. Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboy’s “Grand Isle” and C.J. Chenier’s “Can’t Sit Down” are nominated in the same category, along with perennial polka favorite Jimmy Sturr and Hawaiian music act George Kahumoku Jr.
Regional roots music is a catch-all category created after several individual “roots music” categories, including Cajun/zydeco and Hawaiian music, were eliminated when the total number of categories was cut from 109 to 78.
Several other nominees boast Louisiana ties.
New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne is up for five awards, including best rap album for “Tha Carter IV.”
Gospel duo Trin-i-tee 5:7’s “Angel & Chanelle Deluxe Edition” is up for best gospel album.
Grammy veteran Harry Connick Jr. is up for best traditional pop vocal album for his “In Concert on Broadway.”
Singer Ledisi Young, who was born in New Orleans but moved to Oakland, Calif., as a girl, received three nominations related to her well-received “Pieces of Me” CD, including best R&B album, song and performance.
Lucinda Williams, who spent some of formative years in New Orleans and south Louisiana, is up for best Americana album for “Blessed.”
The culminating performance of Wednesday night’s nomination telecast on CBS – a clever bit of hype-building that essentially milks two prime-time specials out of one awards show – featured Lady Gaga and Sugarland performing Gaga’s “You and I.”
The cameras focused always exclusively on Gaga and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles. The band’s New Orleanian rhythm section of drummer Travis McNabb and bassist Annie Clements was glimpsed only briefly.
No doubt Phil Frazier and the rest of Rebirth hope they earn more air-time when the Grammy winners are presented Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.
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