As the dust settles on the big announcement of Grammy nominee that took place last night, it’s always interesting to sift through all 81 Grammy award categories. The past few years, these categories have included a high number of locally bred artists and songwriters; this year, I count at least four Grammy nominees with Minnesota ties.
Minneapolis kid-friendly indie-folk duo the Okee Dokee Brothers were nominated in the Best Children’s Album category for their third album, Can You Canoe? The album was inspired by a 30-day canoe trip down the Mississippi River that they completed last year, starting in Minneapolis and ending at the St. Louis Arch, and features a guest appearance by Garth Hudson of the Band.
Accompllished Mexican singer-songwriter Lila Downs picked up a Best Regional Mexican Music Album nomination for her Pecados Y Milagros, which came out in late 2011. As Chris Riemenschneider wrote extensively about this fall, Downs now calls Mexico home but she spent a large portion of her childhood growing up in Roseville; her father, Allen Downs, was a professor of art and cinemetography at the University of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Orchestra, despite its recent lockout and financial woes, picked up a nod in the Best Orchestral Performance category for their rendition of Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5, led by conductor Osmo Vänskä.
And composer Rene Clausen, who teaches at Corcordia College in Moorhead, was nominated for three separate categories: Best Engineered Classical Album, Best Choral Performance (for the Kansas City Chorale), and Classical Producer of the Year.