Grammy Nominations Include Local, Lesser-Known Artists

The headlines are buzzing with the release of celebrity nominations for the upcoming 57th annual Grammy Awards, but there are also more than a few lesser-known artists in the list. Most major media sources are focused on Sam Smith, Beyonce, and Pharrell Williams’ 2015 Grammy nominations. Alternatively, smaller news agencies are proudly recognizing their local celebrity talent.

In San Diego, U-T News announced there were 10 Grammy nominations in the city. The San Diego-based bluegrass band Nickel Creek has two Grammy nominations: one for Best Americana Album and the other for Best American Roots Performance. Other San Diego residents up for Grammy nominations are Wu Man, Nathan East, Anoushka Shankar, and Chris Thile.

The Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York, profiled two Grammy nominations at the Eastman School of Music. Both of them have received previous Grammy nominations, and altogether they have five for the 2015 awards. Paul O’Dette, professor of lute, got his Grammy nomination for Charpentier in the Best Opera Recording category.

Robert Ludwig, an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, is up for four Grammy nominations including two for Album of the Year for Pharrell Williams’ GIRL and Beck’s Morning Phase. He is also in the Grammy nomination pool for Best Engineering Album Non-Classical, Best Historical Album, and Record of the Year.

Lafayette, Louisiana’s The Advertiser reports that three local bands have received Grammy nominations. Christine Balfa and Kristi Guillory of the mostly female Cajun band Bonsoir Catin have a Grammy nomination for Best Regional Roots Album.

About the 2015 Grammy nomination, Christine Balfa said, “I was kind of hoping, but I never really thought that it would happen…. I just really love our new record. It makes me feel good that some folks have recognized it.”

Also in the running for the Best Regional Roots Album Grammy nomination are The Magnolia Sisters and Jo-El Sonnier. Other contenders for the same Grammy nomination are Joe Tohonnie Jr. and Hawaiian musician Kamaka Kukona.

In Summerville, South Carolina, a Grammy nomination-related committee named a local teacher as a finalist in the Music Educator Award. The Post and Courier said William Bennett, a music teacher at Cane Bay High School, is one of 10 teachers who have left a “remarkable impact on students’ lives.” The winner will receive an honorarium onstage along with other 2015 Grammy nominees.

In Bengaluru, India, The Bangalore Mirror reports that a local man that is also a North Carolina native has earned a Grammy nomination. Ricky Kej is in the category for Best New Age Album of the Year for his album Winds of Samsara. The other Grammy nomination for the same album is South African flutist Wouter Kellerman.

About the nomination, Kej says, “It is a proud moment for me to go down in history with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Enya and Enigma. This album is a dream come true for me, as it has challenged us as artists to push borders and to have the one common thread truly be the universal language of music. A recognition such as this humbles me and motivates me to continue spreading the message of peace and harmony through my music.”

The Grammy nominations for the 2015 awards show will be announced on February 8. Go to the official website for a full list of Grammy nominations.

[All photos in this article are from the linked sources.]