Diverse group of Bay Area Grammy Award nominees honored

The Pacific Mambo Orchestra

The Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Courtesy: Steve Jennings/Recording Academy/Wireimage.com

San Francisco — Nearly two dozen local Grammy Award nominees looking forward to this year’s Jan. 26 ceremony received early honors at a gala Tuesday night in The City.

Hosted by the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy, the party at the Regency Center focused not only on well-known rockers such as Neil Young, but musicians playing many varied styles of music.

“Having more Grammy nominees highlights the fact that we’re doing a good job, and that we have talent worth recognizing,” said Michael Winger, executive director of the academy’s local chapter. “Each year we’re always surprised. We have some category that we never even knew there were people making that kind of music. Last year, we had a Cajun nominee for the best American roots category. It’s really exciting when you see so many different genres in the Bay Area.”

San Francisco chapter members were nominated in 18 categories, many of which are given out before the televised portion of the Grammy Awards.

Among the higher-profile nominees are Charlie Musslewhite (nominated for three — two in the best blues album category, one for best film music) and Young (for best rock album with his band Crazyhorse for “Psychedelic Pill”).

New Age artist Laura Sullivan was ecstatic about her first nomination, for her album “Love’s River.”

“It’s good to have diversity. I’m really glad that we have the number of awards that we do,” said Sullivan, who recorded part of her album at home and worked with Windham Hill Records founder and producer William Ackerman as well as Nancy Rumbel, the only woman awarded a Grammy for New Age production in the honor’s 27-year history.

Other nominees acknowledged include Les Claypool (best surround-sound album), Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet and Omar Sosa (best Latin jazz album), and the creative team at Turner Duckworth, for best recording package for designing “Metallica Through the Never (Music from the Motion Picture).”

The chapter, marking its 40th year, also showcased images by legendary music photographer Jim Marshall, who will receive the Trustees Award posthumously at the 56th annual ceremony in Los Angeles this month.

Follow editor Roman Gokhman at Twitter.com/RomiTheWriter.

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