Blog November 24, 2021
Pleasant Surprises Among Grammy Nominees

Don’t get me wrong: I like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton as much as the next guy—I even listened to that Holly Dolly Christmas album—but there’s a pattern of the Grammy Awards seemingly running on pure inertia that their annual nominations do nothing to dispel. However, among the 2022 nominees announced this week, there were a few highlights and some pleasant surprises.

Afropop friend Weedie Braimah appears—well, a soloist on his album does— Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, for his solo on Braimah’s “Sackodougou.”

Rhiannon Giddens is up for Best American Roots Song and Best Folk Album for her work with Francesco Turrisi. Among other artists who appeared on our February “Black History of the Banjo” program, Valerie June is also up for Best American Roots Song, and Bela Fleck garnered two nominations, although he’s a perennial contender.

The Best Regional Roots Music Album category is a New Orleans love fest—and why shouldn’t it be?—with Cha Wa, Corey Ledet Zydeco, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Sean Ardoin, and Kreole Rock and Soul nominated along with Kalani Pe’a from Hawaii. While we’re talking about New Orleans, it’s worth pointing out that jazz musician/Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste has the most nominations of all artists with 11.

South African electronic artist Black Coffee is up for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album, making it one of the more internationally oriented categories.

Anyway, of the categories we always keep an eye on, Angelique Kidjo is sitting pretty with a slew of nominations. Two years after dedicating her win to Burna Boy and saying it was now his time, she and Burna Boy have been nominated together for Best Global Music Performance for “Do Yourself.” Femi Kuti and Wizkid have a pair of nominations each as well, proving once again that the best way to win a Grammy is to have already won a Grammy.

Best Global Music Album

Rocky Dawuni: Voice of Bunbon, Vol. 1

Daniel Ho & Friends: East West Players Presents: Daniel Ho & Friends Live in Concert

Angelique Kidjo: Mother Nature

Femi Kuti And Made Kuti: Legacy +

WizKid: Made In Lagos: Deluxe Edition

Best Global Music Performance

Arooj Aftab: “Mohabbat”

Angelique Kidjo & Burna Boy: “Do Yourself”

Femi Kuti: “Pà Pá Pà”

Yo-Yo Ma & Angelique Kidjo: “Blewu”

WizKid Featuring Tems: “Essence”

Best Regional Roots Album

Sean Ardoin and Kreole Rock And Soul: Live In New Orleans!

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux: Bloodstains & Teardrops

Cha Wa: My People

Corey Ledet Zydeco: Corey Ledet Zydeco

Kalani Pe'a: Kau Ka Pe'a

Best Reggae Album

Etana: Pamoja

Gramps Morgan: Positive Vibration

Sean Paul: Live N Livin

Jesse Royal: Royal

Soja: Beauty in the Silence

Spice: 10

So sure, Paul McCartney is up for a lot of awards, but there are gems on the full list, which you can peruse here.

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