New Orleans’ Own Rebirth Brass Band Wins Its First Grammy

February 12, 2012
Dominic Massa,

After giving the Grammy audience a uniquely New Orleans performance of a song from its nominated album, the Rebirth Brass Band scored its first Grammy award Sunday.

The award for Best Regional Roots Music Album was one of 78 presented in a special pre-show ceremony, a few hours before Sunday night’s 7 p.m. broadcast on CBS and WWL-TV.

“This is a win for New Orleans, like the Saints winning the Super Bowl again,” said co-founder Keith Frazier in his speech. He was joined on stage by the band's members.

Rebirth was nominated/earned for its Basin Street Records album “Rebirth of New Orleans.” Band members performed at the pre-show event, parading through the audience and onto the stage with “Do It Again,” a song from the album.

Rebirth was nominated along with several other Louisiana artists in the “Best Regional Roots Music Album” category. The other local nominees were Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, for their album “Grand Isle,” and Zydeco artist C.J. Chenier, for his “Can’t Sit Down.”

Rebirth was founded in 1982 by tuba player Philip Frazier, his brother, bass drummer Keith Frazier, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and other school marching band members from Joseph S. Clark Senior High School.

Rebirth was one of a handful of Louisiana nominees, including rapper Lil Wayne, who was nominated for five awards.

R&B singer Ledisi, who was born in New Orleans, was also nominated, but did not take home an award for Best R&B performance.

Harry Connick Jr. lost out to Tony Bennett’s Duets II album, in the category of traditional pop vocal album.

The gospel group Trin-i-Tee 5:7, made up of New Orleans natives, was nominated but did not take home the Grammy for gospel album when it was handed out in the pre-show ceremony.

Local favorite Marcia Ball was nominated for blues album, but also did not take home an award.

Local advertising executives Sid Berger and Gwynn Torres, collaborating under the name The Banana Plant, were nominated for Best Children's Album, for "Gulf Alive," but did not take home the Grammy.

New Orleans music legend Dave Bartholomew was awarded a special Trustees Award in a Saturday night ceremony. Bartholomew, 91, was unable to attend, but his sons accepted the award on his behalf. The Grammy honored Bartholomew’s many years of work as a trumpeter, bandleader, arranger, composer and producer, including on most of Fats Domino’s hits.