The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. held its 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Sunday, with Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Ho, A.R. Rahman and Daniel Ho figuring prominently as Asian and Asian American awardees.
The awards are categorized by nominees from recordings released from October 1, 2008 through August 31, 2009, and portions were televised live on CBS Television.
The CD “Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs Of Joy And Peace” (Sony Classical label) was nominated in the Best Classical Crossover Album (awarded to artists and conductors).
The project includes Yo-Yo Ma, Odair Assad, Sergio Assad, Chris Botti, Dave Brubeck, Matt Brubeck, John Clayton, Paquito d’Rivera, Renée Fleming, Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Natalie McMaster, Edgar Meyer, Cristina Pato, Joshua Redman, Jake Shimabukuro, Silk Road Ensemble, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Wu Tong, Alon Yavnai and Amelia Zirin-Brown).
Also nominated in the category were “A Company Of Voices: Conspirare In Concert” (Harmonia Mundi) with Craig Hella Johnson, conductor; with Tom Burritt, Ian Davidson and cellist Bion Tsang.
Tsang is a Michigan born Chinese American who is now faculty of The University of Texas at Austin. He studied at the Juilliard School and graduated from Harvard University and earned a master’s degree from Yale.
Also nominated was “The Melody Of Rhythm” (E1 Music) with Leonard Slatkin, conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; and features Béla Fleck, Indian tabla player, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer.
Other nominees in the category include Paquito D’Rivera Quintet; Quartet San Francisco; and Theo Bleckmann; Kneebody.
The Producer Of The Year, Classical, went to Steven Epstein, for several productions, including “Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs Of Joy And Peace.”
“Masters Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Volume 2 (Various Artists)” of the Daniel Ho Creations label, won for Best Hawaiian Music Album (Vocal or Instrumental) in the American Roots categories. The project included Daniel Ho, George Kahumoku, Jr., with Paul Konwiser and Wayne Wong, producers.
Also nominated were Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho for the CD “He Nani” (Daniel Ho Creations); Amy Hanaiali`I for the “Friends & Family Of Hawai`i” (UA Records); and Ho`okena for “Nani Mau Loa: Everlasting Beauty” (Ho`omau Inc.).
The soundtrack album for “Slumdog Millionaire” (N.E.E.T./Interscope Records) won for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.
The A.R. Rahman song, “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire (N.E.E.T./Interscope Records; Publisher: KM Musiq) won for Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media. The award is shared by Gulzar, A.R. Rahman and Tanvi Shah, songwriters and A.R. Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer and Vijay Prakash.
Mamadou Diabate won in the Best Traditional World Music Album category with “Douga Mansa” (World Village label). The other nominees were: Rahim Alhaj and Amjad Ali Khan for “Ancient Sounds” (UR Music); Liz Carroll & John Doyle for “Double Play” (Compass Records); John Santos Y El Coro Folklórico Kindembo for “La Guerra No” (Machete Records); and Ten Drum Art Percussion Group for “Drum Music Land” (Wind Music).
Béla Fleck won for Best Contemporary World Music Album with “Throw Down Your Heart: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 – Africa Sessions” (Rounder label). The other nominees included: Amadou & Mariam for “Welcome To Mali” (Nonesuch); Femi Kuti for “Day By Day” (Mercer Street Records); Oumou Sangare for Seya (Nonesuch); and Omar Sosa for “Across The Divide: A Tale Of Rhythm & Ancestry” (Half Note Records).
There were several notable artists that were nominated but didn’t walk away the award.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with lead singer Karen O, a Korean-Polish American, was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for “It’s Blitz!” (DGC Records/Interscope). The award went to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix for his “Phoenix” recording (Loyaute/Glassnote Records label).
Hiroshima and its album, “Legacy” (Heads Up International label) was nominated Album Of The Year in the Best Pop Instrumental Album. The award went to Booker T. Jones for his “Potato Hole” recording (Anti label).
The heavy metal band Metallica, with lead guitarist Kirk Lee Hammett, a Filipino American, was nominated in the Best Hard Rock Performance for the song “The Unforgiven III”, a track from their “Death Magnetic” CD (Warner Bros.)
The award went to AC/DC for its “War Machine” performance, a Track from: “Black Ice” (Columbia label).
Kitaro was nominated in the Best New Age Album category for his “Impressions Of The West Lake” CD (Domo Records). The award went to David Darling for his “Prayer For Compassion” recording (Wind Over The Earth label)
Museop Kim is a baritone who performed with the Wolf Trap Opera Company on “Musto, John: Volpone”, which was nominated for Best Opera Recording (awarded to conductor, producers and principal soloists). Also nominated is the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Cappella Amsterdam for “Tan Dun: Marco Polo” performance, which features baritone Zhang Jun.
The award went to “Britten: Billy Budd” with Daniel Harding, conductor; Ian Bostridge, Neal Davies, Nathan Gunn, Jonathan Lemalu, Matthew Rose and Gidon Saks; John Fraser, producer for the London Symphony Orchestra; Gentlemen Of The London Symphony Chorus (Virgin Classics label).
Twenty-two year old Chinese born pianist Yuja Wang, a 2008 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, was nominated for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra) for her CD of “Sonatas & Etudes” (Deutsche Grammophon label).
The award went to “Journey To The New World”, with Sharon Isbin, Joan Baez and Mark O’Connor (Sony Classical label).
In the Best Chamber Music Performance category, “Takemitsu, Toru: And Then I Knew ‘Twas Wind”, a track from “Debussy & Takemitsu: Air: Music For Harp, Flute and Strings” (Telarc), was nominated for its performance by Yolanda Kondonassis, Cynthia Phelps and Joshua Smith.
The award went to “Intimate Letters” performed by the Emerson String Quartet (Deutsche Grammophon label).
Sandra Oh was part of the collaboration of various artists that narrated for a recording of “The Maltese Falcon: Dashiell Hammett (Blackstone Audio Inc.), that was nominated in the Best Spoken Word Album. The award went to Michael J. Fox for “Always Looking Up” (Hyperion Audio).
Szu Wei Cheng and Hui Chen Huang, art directors on the Tathagata (Wind Music) project were nominated for Best Recording Package. The award went to Stefan Sagmeister, art director on “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today” (David Byrne & Brian Eno – Todomundo/Opal label).
Masaki Koike, art director on the “Phish” (Rhino) project, is nominated in the Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package for “The Clifford Ball.” The award went to “Neil Young Archives Vol. I (1963-1972)” (Reprise label).
“Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio From Symphony No. 10” (BSO and SFS Media labels) won for Best Classical Album of the year; Best Engineered Classical Album; and Best Choral Performance.
The Best Orchestral Performance by a Conductor and Orchestra went to “Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé” with James Levine, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Festival Chorus (BSO Classics label).
Best Instrumental Soloist Performance With Orchestra went to “Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3:” with Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor; Evgeny Kissin and the Philharmonia Orchestra (EMI Classics label)
Best Small Ensemble Performance went to David Lang for “The Little Match Girl Passion”, Paul Hillier, conductor; Ars Nova Copenhagen & Theatre Of Voices (Harmonia Mundi label).
Best Classical Vocal Performance went to “Verismo Arias” (Decca label).
Best Classical Contemporary Composition went to composer went to Jennifer Higdon for her “Percussion Concerto” (London Philharmonic Orchestra).