Many Bay Area artists are lining up for a Grammy Award – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Delicate a cappella harmony with local gritty blues: Bay Area Grammy nominees are in the house.
The Bay Area will be well represented at the Grammy Awards. This year, there are 21 nominees from the San Francisco chapter representing a wide range of genres.
While some of the performers belong to other chapters across the country, they have ties to the Bay Area.
Vallejo’s HER has eight nominations, including “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year.”
” I could not believe it. This is crazy!” SHE said.
In an interview with CBS, she paid tribute to her fellow nominees.
“Really, really dope to see only women kill him,” she said.
Rapper Saweetie was born in Santa Clara. She is in the running for “Best New Artist” and “Best Rap Song”.
“Mr. San Francisco” Tony Bennett is up for a handful of awards with Lady Gaga, for their collaborative jazz album.
Another San Franciscan, Jake Heggie, is up for “Best Classical Solo Vocal Album” for a recording made with opera star Jamie Barton. He showed off a shiny, shiny medal during his Zoom interview.
“This is from the recording academy and it’s my Grammy nominee medal!”
The Grammy Awards show, which was postponed due to a COVID outbreak, was later rescheduled for April 3 in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, Heggie and Barton were already scheduled to perform their nominated work at UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall.
“Our category will be announced as we play. We’ll have it backstage! And we’ll have a bottle of champagne ready to toast whoever wins,” Heggie said.
Also nominated: San Francisco Symphony Orchestra for “Best Orchestral Performance”.
The nominated work is “Throughline” by Nico Muhly.
Due to the pandemic, the recording features individual recordings later assembled through a complex editing process.
Only a few of the orchestra could be on stage at any time.
The wind instruments were recorded individually, as were the soloists around the world.
“I knew the general brief was to show the musicians at the symphony but incorporate the collaboration partners and everything was going to be distanced,” said composer and arranger Muhly.
The symphony has another nomination: award-winning music director Michael Tilson Thomas and engineer Jack Vad are up for “Best Classical Compendium.”
But how about a different kind of classic: Bay Area blues legends Charlie Musselwhite and Elvin Bishop are up for “Best Traditional Blues Album” for “100 Year of Blues,” which was recorded in Bishop’s garage.
“It’s really easy to work with Elvin because we kind of think alike when it comes to music, especially the blues,” Musselwhite said.
“Charlie has a very strong identity; a sense of their own identity and that makes it easier to manage because you know what you’re going to get. It’s going to be fine and all you have to do is go with the flow,” Bishop added.
A Bay Area nominee is up for an album that’s part of a healing journey.
The Peninsula’s Laura Sullivan is nominated in the ‘Best New Age Album’ category for her recording ‘Pieces of Forever’.
The pianist wrote it during the pandemic after losing her father to Alzheimer’s disease.
KPIX asked her about a song called “When We Were Happy.”
“When we were happy, you know, it’s about those memories. I think we all collect these memories throughout our lives that are so precious that they’re pieces of forever that you carry on with us,” Sullivan explained.
Among the local nominees is a super cool twist: a string quartet nominated for Best Jazz Instrument.
“It’s a big deal because I still feel like we’re more of a jazz band in our hearts,” said musician David Balakrishnan.
Balakrishnan is the founder of the Bay Area Turtle Island Quartet. They are nominated for a recording made with the great jazzman Terence Blanchard “Oh, it is so linked to the art of Wayne Shorter, the formidable legend of the saxophone. Terence said one of Wayne’s definitions of jazz, he says jazz means ‘I dare you’ and this record has that quality because it has unusual combinations of sounds,” Balakrishnan said.
Finally, there are multiple nominations between two legendary engineers: Leslie Ann Jones of Skywalker Sound and Michael Romanowski of Coast Mastering.
They are up for “Best Immersive Audio Album” and “Best Engineering Album, Classical”.
“If I win, I’m going to jump for joy,” Romanowski said.
The immersive album involved the US Army Field Band, more than 60 soldiers crammed into Skywalker Sound’s massive soundstage.
“I have to say that these musicians are just fantastic. They would play for any band anywhere in the country, but they chose to play in the military,” Jones said.
Their second split nomination was to record the all-male film a cappella together known as the Chanticleer. It was a joy.
These three engineers have recorded and mastered countless albums.
“I work with great songwriters, singers and instrumentalists, I’m always a bit impressed,” Jones exclaimed.
Other nominees with Bay Area ties include Will Chason and Scott McDowell for their engineering skills on Kanye West’s “Donda.” They are in the running for “Album of the Year”.
Ledisi, who grew up in Oakland, has a nomination for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.”
The Sacramento Deftones have two nominations: for “Best Rock Performance” and “Best Metal Performance”.
Will Ackerman, who grew up in Palo Alto, is also up for “Best New Age Album.”
Sergio Assad has two nominations for “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble” and “Best Classical Music/Contemporary Composition”.
And Marin County great Bonnie Raitt will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.