July 2011, Week 1


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Thu, 7 Jul 2011 21:32:49 -0400
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Musicians Rally to Force Grammys to Restore Music
Diversity Categories

* Bonnie Raitt, Terrance Simien, Michel Camilo & Dazz
  Band's Isaac Wiley among Grammy-winning cosigners of
  Petition to NARAS urging restoration of categories

* Multi-Grammy Bluegrass / Country Singer Alison Krauss:
  NARAS "Short-Changing" music categories


Bonnie Raitt, Terrance Simien, Michel Camilo & Dazz
Band's Isaac Wiley among Grammy-winning cosigners of
Petition to NARAS urging restoration of categories


Blues musician Bonnie Raitt, Cajun/Zydeco bandleader
Terrance Simien, Funk & Jazz drummer Isaac Wiley Jr. of
the Dazz Band and Latin Jazz pianist Michel Camilo are
among some of the Grammy-winning artists who have
cosigned the Petition to NARAS calling for reinstatement
of the diverse categories to the Grammy Awards.

    We request NARAS to reinstate these categories for
    GRAMMY consideration of Latin Jazz, Native American,
    Cajun/Zydeco, Hawaiian, Contemporary Jazz,
    Traditional Blues, Norteno, Instrumental Rock, and
    the categories that are outside the
    pop/entertainment genre in order to maintain the
    integrity of what the GRAMMY signifies, then please
    sign this petition.


The guitar slinging Bonnie Raitt, inductee to the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame and winner of 9 Grammy Awards for
her recordings including "Nick of Time", "Luck of the
Draw", and the duet "In The Mood" with Blues legend
Johnny Lee Hooker, said in her statement: "The diversity
found in Latin Jazz, Cajun and Zydeco music, Hawaiian
music and Native American music, among the 31 categories
lost, is an important part of our heritage, and should
be recognized as such by the Academy."

Terrance Simien, who worked for many years to establish
the Grammy for the Cajun/Zydeco Grammy, and spoke out
against the cuts at a recent NARAS meeting in Louisiana,
said in his statement "I fear that this will become a
numbers game and not about recording excellence at all.
It will boil down to which genre has the larger
following and can solicit votes. I recommend the Academy
restore all categories back to their original state".

Simien with his group The Zydeco Experience was awarded
the 2008 Grammy for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for
their album, "Live! Worldwide".

Funk and Jazz drummer Isaac Wiley Jr., who has been
collaborating with bassist Stanley Clarke added his
signature to the Petition simply identifying himself as
"Member of Grammy Award winning DAZZ BAND".

As one of the original members of the group, he and his
brother Michael Wiley formed the distinctive rhythm
section behind the Dazz Band`s albums Invitation to
Love, Let The Music Play, and the acclaimed Keep It Live
which won the Best R&B Performance Grammy Award in 1982
for "Let It Whip", which topped the charts and remains a
staple at dance parties and on R&B radio stations.  He
remained with the Dazz Band which scored a string of
hits though the 1980s with the tracks "Party Right
Here", "Joystick", and "Let It All Blow". Wiley has
added his name to other efforts in response to the lack
of Jazz included on the live broadcast of the Grammy

Latin Jazz pianist Michel Camilo whose trio won a Grammy
Award in 2003 in the `Best Latin Jazz` category for the
recording Live at the Blue Note, left a brief statement
along with his signature on the Petition speaking to
NARAS' decision:

"I still can't believe that NARAS chose to unilaterally
disregard that we exist as a thriving creative force. I
am sure that whoever made this decision was completely
ill- advised. Hope that NARAS will "see the light" and
finally realize that this is AMERICA."

Camilo was also awarded a Latin Grammy in "Best Latin
Jazz Album" for his collaboration in 2000 with flamenco
guitarist Tomatito Spain.  He was also featured in
Fernando Trueba's critically-acclaimed documentary on
Latin Jazz, "Calle 54", which won awards in the United
States and internationally.

These Grammy-winning musicians and bandleaders have
joined many other musical colleagues and long-time NARAS
members including former NARAS Governors and Trustees
who support efforts to reverse the cuts and restore
musical diversity to the GRAMMY Awards.

Please voice your support and join nearly 5,000
supporters who signed on demanding NARAS reverse this
ill-advised action:


Multi-Grammy Bluegrass / Country Singer Alison Krauss:
NARAS "Short-Changing" music categories

In an interview with SPEAKEASY writer John Jurgensen of
the The Wall Street Journal, Multi-Grammy Bluegrass &
Country singer Alison Krauss (pictured below with
Raising Sand collaborator, legendary Rock singer Robert
Plant, Led Zeppelin), spoke on NARAS' elimination of
diverse and instrumental Grammy categories, including
Latin Jazz. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Multi-Grammy winning artist Alison Krauss (pictured with
collaborator Robert Plant) spoke to the Wall Street
Journal about Latin Jazz being cut from the Grammy

Jurgensen/WSJ: You've got a closetful of Grammy Awards.
What do you make of the Recording Academy recently
cutting more than 30 categories, including ones like
Latin Jazz. Do you agree the awards need to be
streamlined, or do you think this short-changes some

Alison Krauss: Oh, boy. I would say short-changing the
genres. When you think of the Grammys, it's such an
encouraging thing for people who play music. It's a
wonderful acknowledgement. It's a shame for someone in
Latin jazz to not get that encouragement. It's such a
personal thing, making music, and when people want to
say, "nice job this year," it's quite a compliment. It
means a lot.

Read the full interview at the Wall Street Journal

Alison Krauss' Fiddle is Melting - Wall Street Journal -
June 9, 2011


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