December 18, 2011
Cesaria Evora, 70, who started singing as a teenager in the bayside bars of Cape Verde in the 1950s and won a Grammy in 2003 after she took her African islands music to stages across the world, died Saturday. Ms. Evora, known as the "Barefoot Diva" because she always performed without shoes, died in the Baptista de Sousa Hospital in Mindelo, on her native island of Sao Vicente in Cape Verde, her label Lusafrica said in a statement on its website. Ms. Evora retired in September because of health problems.
December 2, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - In 2009 after she received four Grammy nominations, young British soul singer Adele said she didn't deserve to win one. She was simply looking ahead to what would hopefully be a long career. "A Grammy is like an Oscar," Adele said in between drags of a cigarette - one of six she smoked during an hour-long interview at West Hollywood's London Hotel. "You win an Oscar when you give the performance of your life. I hope this isn't the performance of my life. " Fast-forward two years and the concern is no longer whether the 23-year-old artist has already given the performance of her career, but rather whether she'll be able to perform again.
December 2, 2011 |
Cheltenham-born jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker landed among the big Grammy nomination-night winners, with nominations for four golden gramophones, the same number as such illustrious pop stars as Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Mumford & Sons, and Bon Iver. Brecker's nominations Wednesday night stem from his work on The Jazz Ballad Song Book , recorded with the Danish Radio Big Band and Danish National Chamber Orchestra and released on Half Note Records this year. His nominations include improvised jazz solo, best large jazz ensemble, best instrumental composition, and instrumental arrangement.
December 1, 2011 |
Adele scored six Grammy nominations Wednesday night, including for record, song, and album of the year, but the owner of 2011's best-selling album with 21 wasn't the night's top nominee - and that wasn't the evening's only surprise. Kanye West came away with a leading seven nominations, including a bid for song of the year for his all-star song "All of the Lights. " However, the album from which it came - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, heralded by many critics as the best album of 2010 - was shut out of the best album category, and all of his other nominations were relegated to the rap fields.
October 9, 2011
Pop Ashes & Fire (PAX-AM/Capitol ***1/2) Ryan Adams has not always exercised a lot of quality control over his relentless stream of releases, but Ashes & Fire follows a quiet period in his career. It's his first album since disbanding the Cardinals and one of his best since his post-Whiskeytown debut, Heartbreaker . Like that album and the paired Love Is Hell EPs, Ashes & Fire is a down-tempo, mostly acoustic affair, focusing on soft, somber ballads.
July 15, 2011 |
Grammy Award-winner Estelle, a headliner at this weekend's Global Fusion Festival, brings roots from three continents, making her a perfect fit for this celebration of cultural diversity. The singer, of Senegalese and Grenadan descent, is a protégé of University of Pennsylvania grad John Legend and promises a show Saturday that will combine those heritages. "I have roots from three different continents - Africa, West Indies/Americas, and Europe. I'm so excited that I get to perform and show people what it's like to fuse those cultures together," Estelle said in an interview.
July 9, 2011
Manuel Galban, 80, a Grammy-winning Cuban guitarist who rose to international fame as a member of the Buena Vista Social Club, died Thursday of a heart attack in Havana. "It is a very sad day for Cuban music and fans of Cuban Music," said Daniel Florestano, longtime manager of both Mr. Galban and the Buena Vista Social Club, in a statement issued by Mr. Galban's publicist. "Galban's enormous impact worldwide with his unique guitar sound and warm smile will be missed by many. " Born in Gibara, in the eastern province of Holguin, Mr. Galban made his professional debut in 1944, according to the statement.
May 20, 2011
Odell Brown Jr., a musician who cowrote one of Marvin Gaye's biggest hits only to soon find himself a victim of depression and destitute, has died. Mr. Brown, 70, died May 3 in his Richfield, Minn., home after moving to the Twin Cities area in the mid-1990s and stabilizing his professional and personal life. He began playing piano in his hometown, Louisville, Ky., tapping out classical songs at age 4. He broke through musically while living in Chicago, when his jazz group Odell Brown & the Organizers received Billboard's "Best New Group" award in 1966.
April 27, 2011 |
Can the Grammys do anything right? This month, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, responding to years of criticism that the Grammy Awards were hopelessly out of touch, decided to do something about it. Academy president Neil Portnow announced that instead of giving out 109 golden gramophones at next year's 54th annual awards, it would give out 78. The Grammys have been widely mocked - by this critic, among others - for being...
April 7, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Men and women will compete head-to-head, some of the more exotic awards such as best Native American album and best spoken-word children's record have been eliminated, and the number of categories has been reduced by more than 30 in the biggest overhaul in the 53-year history of the Grammys. While no musical genres will be excluded from Grammy contention, the changes will make the awards a lot more competitive. "It ups the game in terms of what it takes to receive a Grammy and preserves the great esteem in which it's held in the creative community, which is the most important element," Neil Portnow, chief executive of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.