Louisiana Winners at the Grammy Awards

February 2, 2017

Jan Ramsey, Offbeat Magazine

Louisiana musicians made another strong showing at the Grammy Awards last night, with The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) taking home the prize for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” with last year’s Book One CD. Trumpeter Terence Blanchard won the “Best Improvised Jazz Solo” award for the solo he took on the song “Dancin’ 4 Chicken” from the Jeff “Tain” Watts’ album, Watts.  And in the category almost guaranteed for a home-state winner, Buckwheat Zydeco took the “Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album” Grammy for Lay Your Burden Down.

Buckwheat Zydeco beat out Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet (Alligator Purse), The Magnolia Sisters (Stripped Down), The Pine Leaf Boys (Live At 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival), and Cedric Watson et Bijou Créole (L’Ésprit Créole) for the “Best Zydeco/Cajun” award.

Other Louisiana-related nominees included Allen Toussaint, whose Bright Mississippi album (voted Album of the Year by OffBeat readers in this year’s Best of the Beat Awards) lost out to Chick Corea and John McLaughlin Five Peace Band’s Five Peace Band – Live for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual Or Group”.

Dave Matthews Band’s Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King album, which was recorded at Piety Street Studio in the Bywater, lost out in “Album of the Year” and “Best Rock Album”. Harry Connick, Jr.’s Your Songs came up short against Michael Buble in the “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album” category. Singer Ledisi, who was born in New Orleans, had two nominations with her album Turn Me Loose—“Best R&B Album” and “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance”, but went home empty-handed.

New Orleans resident Harry Shearer also went 0-2 in the nominations for his parody-rock group Spinal Tap, whose album Back from the Dead was up for the “Best Comedy Album” and “Best Recording Package” awards. Lastly, producer Larry Klein, who worked with Zachary Richard on his cover of “Acadian Driftwood”, lost to Brendan O’Brien in the “Producer of the Year, Non-Classical” category.

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