Blog January 28, 2014
Afropop Takes On The Grammys
The Grammys have come and gone, and, as seems to be the case each year, the music industry’s biggest awards show did not devote a single moment of airtime to the kind of music that we cover here at Afropop. Nevertheless, the Grammys did recognize the works of several artists that are in our purview. Other than what exactly was going on with Pharrell’s hat, here are a few of the Grammy categories that caught our attention, even though they got overlooked on the big night. Paquito D’Rivera and Trio Corrente got the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album. Paquito, the Cuban bandleader who’s now won five Grammys, teamed up with the Brazilian Trio Corrente on Song for Maura. Check out Paquito’s richly textured clarinet below: For Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album, La Santa Cecilia took home the prize for Treinta Dias. The Los Angeles-based band, led by the soft but emotively voiced Marisol Hernández, powerfully attacks U.S. immigration policy with “Ice El Hielo.” Watch the band performing it for Pandora below:   Ziggy Marley got the award for Best Reggae Album. His In Concert recording captures over an hour of live performances from his 2012 world tour, playing the roots reggae that he learned from that man who shares his last name. You can hear the whole album below:   In the World Music category, Gipsy Kings and Ladysmith Black Mambazo tied for the win, the Gipsys for their album Savor Flamenco and Ladysmith for Live: Singing For Peace Around the World. Gipsy Kings get a lifetime pass for their cover of “Hotel California” in a very memorable movie scene. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the South African choral group formed back in 1960, deserves its many accolades for those gorgeous mbube and isicathamiya harmonies. Hear a track from the new Gipsy Kings album below:   We don’t want to say that the award winners listed above don’t deserve recognition, but most of them have already won several Grammys before. So it’s gratifying to see a young group with something to say like La Santa Cecilia sneak in. Let’s face it, the Grammys aren’t privy to all the new stuff, but hey, that’s what you read us for.