The 59th Grammy Awards are tonight, and while Beyonce and Adele might be the big names on the docket, there are several Philadelphians up for phonograph-shaped prize. (Read Dan DeLuca's picks for the other nominees.)
Here are the locals you should root for:
Musiq Soulchild is up for R&B performance for “I Do,” from his album Life on Earth. Rihanna (for "Needed Me") and Solange ("Cranes in the Sky") — who was poorly served, getting only one nomination for her sterling A Seat at the Table — are more likely to win in that category. Ro James and BJ The Chicago Kid are Soulchild's other competition.
Jill Scott faces less formidable competition for the Best Traditional R&B Performance trophy for “Can’t Wait” from her album Woman. She's up against William Bell, BJ The Chicago Kid, Fantasia and Lalah Hathaway.
Classical nominations involve at least five Philly-linked artists. One standout nomination is for best choral performance for Bonhoeffer, a 2013 choral work written by Thomas Lloyd, known mainly as a choir director at Haverford College, the Episcopal Cathedral, and the Bucks County Choral Society. Premiered and recorded by The Crossing, the Germantown chorale group directed by Donald Nally, the piece memorializes Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran theologian who died in a concentration camp in 1945.
Jennifer Higdon's opera Cold Mountain, a live Santa Fe Opera recording issued on Pentatone, is nominated for best opera recording and best contemporary classical composition. The lead is sung by Nathan Gunn, connected with the Academy of Vocal Arts here; he was not in the Opera Philadelphia production.
For best opera, Cold Mountain competes with Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with an all-star cast led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra.