Local Artists Get Big News on Grammy Night

Artists with San Diego ties got big news early at the 57th Grammy Awards


Three San Diego musicians took home awards at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre Sunday evening.

The Recording Academy started to release the winners of nearly 70 non-televised categories at 12:30 p.m., hours before the awards ceremony was set to begin.

Nominated for three awards, Nickel Creek mandolinist Chris Thile was up for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album and Best Engineered Album Non-Classical for his recent collaborative album with bassist Edgar Meyer, "Bass & Mandolin." The duo were also nominated for Best Instrumental Composition for their song, "Tarnation." They lost that category to John Williams for "The Book Thief," and lost to Beck in the Best Engineered Album Non-Classical category for his 2014 album, "Morning Phase." However, Thile and Meyer didn't go home emptyhanded -- they took home the trophy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

Thile and Meyer's win unforunately shut out a couple other San Diego artists also in the running in that category: World-renowned bassist Nathan East -- who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from UCSD and has recorded or performed with Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, George Harrison and Daft Punk (among others) -- was up for the award for his 2014 solo self-titled debut full-length, as well as Mindi Abair for her "Wild Heart" album -- on which San Diego drummer extraordinaire Jake Najor performed [read our SoundDiego interview with Najor]. 

Also getting in on the winner's podium on Sunday was former San Diegan Gregory Porter, who guested on Dianne Reeves' "Beautiful Life" album -- which won the award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. SoundDiego jazz blogger Robert Bush also noted that guitarist/composer Peter Sprague contributed to Reeves's album as well, with a co-writing credit on one of the songs on "Beautiful Life."

Nickel Creek, who originally hail from North County, were in the running for Best Americana/Roots Performance for their single, "Destination," and Best Americana Album for "A Dotted Line." They lost to Roseanne Cash for both: Her song, "A Feather's Not a Bird" took Best Americana/Roots Performance, and her album, "The River & the Thread" won Best Americana Album.

The category for Best World Music Album was also rich with artists with local ties. Anoushka Shankar, Ravi Shankar's daughter and half-sister to Norah Jones who grew up in Encinitas, was nominated for her 2013 release, "Traces of You," and Carlsbad resident Wu Man was nominated for "Our World in Song" for her collaboration with Luis conte and Daniel Ho. Both lost to Angelique Kidjo and her album, "Eve." 

"Juke Joint Chapel," the most recent album by famed blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite was up for Best Blues Album -- but lost Sunday to Johnny Winter's "Step Back." Musselwhite's album was produced by Chris Goldsmith, who works at the Belly Up and is already a multiple Grammy Award-winning record producer. He's also worked with Blind Boys of Alabama, Aaron Neville, Chrissie Hynde and Ben Harper -- and spearheaded the Belly Up's recent foray into the online music merchant market, with their Belly Up Live series [read our article about it here].

Artists with local ties were also recognized in some of the jazz categories, including 2013 San Diego Music Awards Artist of the Year Gilbert Castellanos, who, as part of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, was nominated for "LA Treasures Project" in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. They lost to Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and their album, "Life In the Bubble."


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