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Exploring The GRAMMYs' Classical Field Nominees

Go inside the nominations in the Classical Field categories for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

You've seen the list of nominees, now take a closer look at the artists nominated in the Classical Field for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

The nominations in the Classical Field feature music from several centuries and continents, but a few dominant patterns emerge. American composers are strongly represented, as is music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Several entries have a Scandinavian connection, whether through traditional folk music or works by living composers from the region. A few nominees make their return to the GRAMMY ballot, including pianist Yuja Wang, the collaborative duo of composer Steven Mackey and vocalist Rinde Eckert and five-time GRAMMY-winning composer John Adams.

Best Orchestral Performance

This category features both staples of the traditional repertoire as well as more recent works. Conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic are nominated for Brahms: Symphony No. 4, and conductor Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra earned a nomination for Haydn: Symphonies 104, 88 & 101. Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic are represented for their recording of Bowen: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 by the late English composer York Bowen. For the second consecutive year, music by German composer Hans Werner Henze appears on a nominated recording. This year's entry is Henze: Symphonies Nos. 3–5, recorded by Marek Janowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. The BBC Symphony Orchestra under conductor Jirí Belohlávek brings a third 20th-century composer into the category with their recording of Martinu: The Six Symphonies, highlighting the work of Bohuslav Martinu.

Best Opera Recording

This category takes us from Greek mythology to Los Alamos, N.M., with nominated music spanning the 18th to 21st centuries. The oldest work is Antonio Vivaldi's Ercole Sul Termodonte, performed by Europa Galante and Coro Da Camera Santa Cecilia Di Borgo San Lorenzo, under conductor Fabio Biondi, with a cast led by Joyce DiDonato and Rolando Villazón. The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus bring the lone 19th-century work to the category: Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, with conductor Antonio Pappano and soloists Joseph Calleja, Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson. Two nominated works come from the 20th century: Benjamin Britten's maritime tragedy, Billy Budd, featuring John Mark Ainsley, Phillip Ens and Jacques Imbrailo, with conductor Mark Elder and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Glyndebourne Chorus; and Kaivos, by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. The piece was conducted by Hannu Lintu with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Kaivos Chorus. The newest work is John Adams' Doctor Atomic, which takes place in 1945 at the Manhattan Project laboratory in Los Alamos, in the days leading up to the first testing of the atomic bomb. The recording features Gerald Finley with Alan Gilbert conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera Chorus.

Best Choral Performance

English collective the Choir Of Trinity College Cambridge performs American music on Beyond All Mortal Dreams — American A Cappella under conductor Stephen Layton. Another recording of American music in this category is Light & Gold, a collection of works composed and conducted by Eric Whitacre, performed by the Eric Whitacre Singers, Laudibus, Christopher Glynn and Hila Plitmann, the King's Singers and the Pavão Quartet. Florida-based choral group Seraphic Fire is nominated for their unconventional version of Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, in which the traditional orchestral accompaniment is replaced by Johannes Brahms' transcription for four-hand piano. Patrick Dupré Quigley conducts with soloists Teresa Wakim and Paul Max Tipton, and pianists Justin Blackwell and Scott Allen Jarrett. The two remaining entries in this category highlight the music of Scandinavia. Kind is a collection of music for and about children, and contains both traditional folk songs and modern works by Finish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Per Nørgård (Denmark) and Marcus Paus (Norway). The performers are chamber choir Ensemble 96 and the Nidaros String Quartet under conductor Kjetil Almenning. The Natural World Of Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen focuses on the works of this Danish composer, performed by Ars Nova Copenhagen with conductor Paul Hillier.

Best Small Ensemble Performance

Seraphic Fire's second nomination this year is for A Seraphic Fire Christmas, an album of a cappella choral favorites conducted by Quigley. Several entries in this category highlight American composers. Sound The Bells! by the Bay Brass features world-premiere recordings of recent works by John Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Morten Lauridsen, Bruce Broughton, Kevin Puts, and Scott Hiltzik. Hilos features recordings by Gabriela Lena Frank, performed by the ALIAS Chamber Ensemble. Frank is an American composer with Jewish, Peruvian and Chinese ancestry, and her music reflects her Peruvian heritage, with titles such as Danza De Los Saqsampillos and Quijotadas. Composer Steven Mackey and actor/vocalist Rinde Eckert are nominated together for the second consecutive year, following last year's nod for Dreamhouse. This year's newest work, Lonely Motel — Music From Slide, features the Chicago-based chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird. Rounding out the category is Kingdoms Of Castille, a compendium of recently rediscovered baroque music from Spain and Latin America, performed by chamber group El Mundo and conducted by Richard Savino.

Best Classical Instrumental Solo

This category features one lone piano soloist amid four concerto performances. Pianist Ursula Oppens is nominated for Winging It — Piano Music Of John Corigliano. Two additional pianists are competing with Rachmaninov concertos. Yuja Wang, who received a nod in 2009 for her debut recording, Sonatas & Etudes, is nominated for Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 In C Minor, Op. 18 and Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Claudio Abbado. Leif Ove Andsnes performs Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4 with Antonio Pappano and the London Symphony Orchestra. Rounding out the category with non-keyboard instruments are Chinese Recorder Concertos — East Meets West, with Michala Petri and the Copenhagen Philharmonic conducted by Lan Shui; and Schwantner: Concerto For Percussion & Orchestra, featuring percussionist Christopher Lamb with the Nashville Symphony, under conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.

Best Classical Vocal Solo

Baroque music is prominent in this category. On Three Baroque Tenors, present-day tenor Ian Bostridge pays homage to three legendary tenors from the baroque era (Annibale Pio Fabri, Francesco Borosini and John Beard). Handel: Cleopatra features French soprano Natalie Dessay singing arias from Handel's opera, Giulio Cesare, accompanied by conductor/harpsichordist Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert D'Astrée. Andreas Scholl sings the music of Henry Purcell on O Solitude, with Stefano Montanari conducting Accademia Bizantina. Diva Divo is the second recording nominated this year featuring mezzo-soprano DiDonato. Here, she sings arias from a variety of operas for female characters as well as so-called "pants roles," where a mezzo soprano plays a male character. She is accompanied by the Orchestre De L'Opéra National De Lyon under Kazushi Ono. The final entry in this category is a Norwegian song cycle, Veslemøy Synsk, based on an epic poem by Arne Garborg, with music by Edvard Grieg and Olav Anton Thommessen. It is performed by Norwegian mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland with pianist Nils Anders Mortensen.

Best Contemporary Classical Composition

American composers dominate the category this year, with works from a variety of genres. Mackey's Lonely Motel — Music From Slide earns a second nomination. Composer Robert Aldridge is nominated for Elmer Gantry, his operatic adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel. George Crumb is nominated for his song cycle, The Ghosts Of Alhambra, based on a text by Federico García Lorca. Jefferson Friedman's String Quartet No. 3 was commissioned by the Chiara String Quartet. Danish composer Poul Ruders rounds out the category with his Piano Concerto No. 2, performed by pianist Vassily Primakov with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and conducted by Thomas Søndergård.

Who will take home the awards in the Classical Field categories? Tune in to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 12, taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles and airing live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). 

Follow GRAMMY.com for our inside look at GRAMMY news, blogs, photos, videos, and of course nominees. Stay up to the minute with GRAMMY Live. Check out the GRAMMY legacy with GRAMMY Rewind. Keep track of this year's GRAMMY Week events, and explore this year's GRAMMY Fields. Or check out the collaborations at Re:Generation, presented by Hyundai Veloster. And join the conversation at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Exploring The GRAMMYs' Music Video Field Nominees

Go inside the nominations in the Music Video Field categories for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)

You've seen the list of nominees, now take a closer look at the artists nominated in the Music Video Field for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

Sure, music is all about listening. But when sight and sound work together, the results can be twice as exciting. The GRAMMY Awards' Music Video Field recognizes excellence in presenting music through the visual medium, with the field divided into separate categories for short form and long form works (in each case, the award is presented to the artist, director and producer). Last year, the nominees covered a wide breadth, with the Best Short Form Music Video honor going to Lady Gaga's futuristic take on dysfunctional love life in "Bad Romance," and the Best Long Form Music Video distinction going to director Tom Dicillo's revealing look at classic rock icons the Doors in the documentary film When You're Strange. This year's nominees make up an equally eclectic group of styles and artists.

Best Short Form Music Video

The nominees in the Best Short Form Music Video category range from the sublime to the radical. Adele's "Rolling In The Deep," directed by Sam Brown and produced by Hannah Chandler, finds the British chanteuse seated in a decrepit mansion, with damaged real estate standing in for the broken romance she sings of. Memory Tapes' "Yes I Know," directed and produced by Eric Epstein, presents a heady black-and-white mix of realistic street scenes with thoroughly surreal imagery. Perhaps no band has embraced the possibilities of the video form as much as OK Go. In teaming with the Pilobolus dance troupe, the band used their bodies to create startling images through a glass floor in "All Is Not Lost," directed by Itamar Kubovy, OK Go frontman Damian Kulash Jr. and Trish Sie, and produced by Shirley Moyers. The band previously won in this category in 2006 for their memorable treadmill workout in "Here It Goes Again." Radiohead's "Lotus Flower," directed and produced by Garth Jennings, is shot in striking black-and-white and features nothing more than lead singer Thom Yorke dancing and gyrating. In the effects-driven video for "First Of The Year (Equinox)," directed by Tony Truand and produced by Noah Kelin, Best New Artist nominee Skrillex presents a chilling narrative of a presumed victim wreaking supernatural vengeance against a creepy predator. Lightening the mood, "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Perform This Way," (a parody on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"), directed by Yankovic and produced by Cisco Newman, shows Yankovic's head atop a bikini-clad, convincingly Gaga-esque body in an attempt to poke fun at the Fame Monster's fashion excesses. Yankovic previously won Best Concept Music Video for "Fat" in 1988.

Best Long Form Music Video

The nominees for Best Long Form Music Video include fascinating documentaries on Beyoncé, Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, A Tribe Called Quest, and TV On The Radio. Beyoncé, who has 16 GRAMMY wins to her name, is looking to garner her first win in the Music Video Field with her nominated concert documentary, I Am…World Tour, directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke and Frank Gatson Jr., and produced by Beyoncé and Camille Yorrick. The history of the Foo Fighters, from frontman Dave Grohl's Nirvana-era demo tapes to the band's current GRAMMY-nominated album, Wasting Light, is covered in Foo Fighters: Back And Forth, directed and produced by James Moll with Nigel Sinclair. The rise of Kings Of Leon is documented in Talihina Sky: The Story Of Kings Of Leon, directed by Stephen C. Mitchell and produced by Casey McGrath. Director Michael Rapaport takes an incisive look at one of hip-hop's most influential groups in Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest. The documentary was produced by members of A Tribe Called Quest with Robert Benavides, Debra Koffler, Eric Matthies, Frank Mele, and Edward Parks. TV On The Radio created a virtual video album with Nine Types Of Light, directed by frontman Tunde Adebimpe, assembling stylistically diverse videos to accompany each song from their album of the same title. The video was produced by Michelle An and Caren Braj.

Who will take home the awards in the Music Video Field? Tune in to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 12, taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles and airing live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

(Note: The videos embedded reflect official videos available through official artist and record label Web channels.)

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Exploring The GRAMMYs' Jazz Field Nominees

Go inside the nominations in the Jazz Field categories for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

You've seen the list of nominees, now take a closer look at the artists nominated in the Jazz Field for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

The nominees in the Jazz Field stretch from veteran artists to newcomers, with five-time GRAMMY winner Randy Brecker, 16-time GRAMMY winner Chick Corea, three-time nominee Fred Hersch, and two-time winner Sonny Rollins earning two nominations each. The women of jazz take the lead in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category with previous nominees Karrin Allyson, Terri Lyne Carrington and Tierney Sutton going up against newcomer Roseanna Vitro and GRAMMY winner Kurt Elling.

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

In the Best Improvised Jazz Solo category, seasoned artists mix with a newer crop of jazz luminaries. Tenor saxophone legend and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Sonny Rollins, whose previous GRAMMY Awards include Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual Or Group for This Is What I Do in 2001, is nominated for "Sonnymoon For Two," from Road Shows Vol. 2. Pianist Chick Corea earned his 56th career GRAMMY nomination for his solo outing on "500 Miles High" from the album Forever, which he recorded with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Corea's most recent GRAMMY win came in 2009 for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual Or Group for Five Piece Band — Live. Another jazz veteran on the list is two-time GRAMMY-winning bassist Ron Carter, who is up for his solo on "You Are My Sunshine," from This Is Jazz. Also garnering nominations are well-established jazz mainstays, trumpeter Randy Brecker for "All Or Nothing At All" from The Jazz Ballad Song Book, and pianist Fred Hersch for his solo on "Work," from Alone At The Vanguard.

Best Jazz Vocal Album

The Best Jazz Vocal Album category is dominated by women, who earned four of the five nominations. Percussionist Terri Lyne Carrington showed a strong vocal presence on her eclectic album The Mosaic Project. This is the second GRAMMY nomination of her career, following her nod for Best Jazz Fusion Performance for her 1989 debut, Real Life Story. Three-time GRAMMY nominees Karrin Allyson and Tierney Sutton are also in the running, the latter garnering a nod for her eclectic and American music-geared concept album, American Road. Allyson is nominated for her ballad-heavy project 'Round Midnight. Roseanna Vitro, a celebrated vocalist who released her debut album in 1982, earns her first GRAMMY nomination for her jazz-flavored ode to a pop songwriting icon, The Music Of Randy Newman. Kurt Elling, up for his album The Gate, is no stranger to the GRAMMY Awards. Elling has received nine nominations previously, and won his first GRAMMY in 2009 in this category for Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman.

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Partly because the blend of improvisation and content is a key factor in jazz, three of the Best Improvised Jazz Solo nominees this year are also present in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category. Corea, who reunited with his old fusion band allies from Return To Forever, Clarke and White, for an acoustic jazz mode, is up for Forever. For Hersch, piano has been the instrument of choice and the source of his long strong reputation as an artist, educator and bandleader. He is nominated for his solo piano album Alone At The Vanguard. Rollins captures his second nomination for the latest installment in his series of live albums, Road Shows Vol. 2. Tenor saxist Joe Lovano and Us Five reach back a few generations to pay tribute to the late Charlie Parker on Bird Songs. Up-and-coming pianist Gerald Clayton, son of big band leader John Clayton, scored a nod for Bond: The Paris Sessions. The lone band nominated in the category are two-time GRAMMY winners Yellowjackets. The fusion quartet are up for their album Timeline.

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

In this category, the nominees vary in age and experience across several decades. Six-time GRAMMY nominee Gerald Wilson has been a stalwart West Coast-based pillar of the big band scene dating back to the '50s, lending credence to the title of his nominated album with the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Legacy. Lauded Puerto Rican-born alto saxist/composer Miguel Zenón has graduated from emerging to established artist, and has expanded the ensemble scope for his nominated album, Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook. The Latin jazz element is also strongly represented in 40 Acres And A Burro, from Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, a band that grew out of the group led by O'Farrill's father, Chico O'Farrill. Arturo O'Farrill previously won a GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Album for his tribute to his father, 2008's Song For Chico. GRAMMY-winning bassist and gifted bandleader Christian McBride earned a nod for his foray into the big band world, The Good Feeling, with the Christian McBride Big Band. Tapping into the riches and opportunities of the legendary European big band scene, trumpeter Brecker earned his large ensemble moment in the sun with The Jazz Ballad Song Book, featuring the DR Big Band.

Who will take home the awards in the Jazz Field categories? Tune in to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 12, taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles and airing live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). 

Follow GRAMMY.com for our inside look at GRAMMY news, blogs, photos, videos, and of course nominees. Stay up to the minute with GRAMMY Live. Check out the GRAMMY legacy with GRAMMY Rewind. Explore this year's GRAMMY Fields. Or check out the collaborations at Re:Generation, presented by Hyundai Veloster. And join the conversation at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Exploring The Musical Theater, Visual Media Field Nominees

Go inside the nominations in the Musical Theater and Music For Visual Media Fields for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)

You've seen the list of nominees, now take a closer look at the artists nominated in the Musical Theater and Music For Visual Media Fields for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

The original Broadway cast recording of one of Broadway's hottest new shows, "The Book Of Mormon," is nominated in the Musical Theater Field, alongside cast recordings from revivals of two classic shows, "Anything Goes" and "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying." All three shows earned wins at the 2011 Tony Awards in June. "The Book Of Mormon" emerged as the top winner, garnering nine awards, including Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre. In the Music For Visual Media Field, two movie musicals, the live-action Burlesque and the animated Tangled, lead the field with two nominations each.

Best Musical Theater Album

Sutton Foster, who won a Tony Award for her performance, and Joel Grey are the artists nominated in the latest revival of "Anything Goes." The Cole Porter musical first opened on Broadway in 1934, with Ethel Merman as lead. (Porter's original title song was voted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame this year. Merman's rendition of "You're The Top," also from the show, was inducted in 2008.) Porter, who died in 1964, was honored with a Recording Academy Trustees Award in 1989. "The Book Of Mormon" opened on Broadway in March 2011, with Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells as the leads. The score was co-written by Robert Lopez — who won a Tony for his work on "Avenue Q" — and Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the TV show "South Park." John Larroquette, who won a Tony for his performance, and Daniel Radcliffe star in the latest revival of "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying." The Frank Loesser show first opened on Broadway in 1961 with Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee in the key roles. The cast recording from that show won a GRAMMY for Best Original Cast Show Album.

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media

Three of the five nominated soundtracks are drawn from TV series: "True Blood," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Glee." This is the third consecutive year that a "True Blood" soundtrack has been nominated in this category. This year's nomination is for True Blood: Volume 3. This is the second year in a row that a "Glee" soundtrack has been a finalist. This year's nomination is for Glee: The Music, Volume 4. Boardwalk Empire: Volume 1 was produced by Stewart Lerman, Randall Poster and Kevin Weaver. The other two nominated soundtracks are from the movies Burlesque and Tangled. The Burlesque soundtrack consists of eight tracks by Christina Aguilera and two by her co-star Cher. Should Burlesque win, it will mark a fifth GRAMMY for Aguilera. Tangled was produced by 10-time GRAMMY winner Alan Menken and features tracks by Mandy Moore and Grace Potter.

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media

Alexandre Desplat earned two of the five nominations for The King's Speech and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2. The latter album is vying to become the first Harry Potter soundtrack to win a GRAMMY. Daft Punk, who won two GRAMMYs in the Dance/Electronica Field in 2008, are nominated for Tron Legacy. The other nominees are Clint Mansell for Black Swan and Ryan Shore for The Shrine.

Best Song Written For Visual Media

Diane Warren has two of the six nominations in this category: "Born To Be Somebody" (from Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) and "You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me" (from Burlesque). Warren won her only GRAMMY to date in this category for 1996's "Because You Loved Me" (theme from Up Close & Personal). Cher performs "You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me" in Burlesque. "Christmastime Is Killing Us" (from "Family Guy") is vying to become only the second song from a TV series to win in this category. "Boss Of Me" (from "Malcolm In The Middle") won in 2001. Seth MacFarlane, who created "Family Guy," co-wrote "Christmastime Is Killing Us" with Ron Jones and Danny Smith. (The versatile MacFarlane is also nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Music Is Better Than Words.) Alan Menken and Glenn Slater are nominated for "I See The Light" (from Tangled). Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi perform the song on the movie soundtrack. Two-time GRAMMY winner Zac Brown is nominated for co-writing "Where The River Flows" (from Footloose), which he performs on the soundtrack to the reboot of the 1984 film. Brown co-wrote the song with Wyatt Durrette, Drew Pearson and Anne Preven. Rounding out the field is "So Long" (from Winnie The Pooh). Zooey Deschanel wrote the song, which she performs with her She & Him partner, M. Ward.

Who will take home awards in the Musical Theater and Music For Visual Media Fields? Tune in to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 12, taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles and airing live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

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Exploring The GRAMMYs' Latin Field Nominees

Go inside the nominations in the Latin categories for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)

You've seen the list of nominees, now take a closer look at the artists nominated in the Latin Field for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

From the progressive urban beats of a politically charged Puerto Rican outfit and a rousing tribute to Mexican ranchera to the jazzy soundscapes of a late mambo king, the nominated recordings in the four Latin categories reflect the depth and richness of the expansive Latin music genres.

Best Latin Pop, Rock, Or Urban Album

After picking up a record nine awards at the recent 12th Annual Latin GRAMMY ceremony last November, Calle 13 is attempting to take home their third GRAMMY statue. The Puerto Rican duo's latest studio album, Entren Los Que Quieran, combines infectious hip-hop beats with the shimmering beauty of Latin folklore. Also making the grade is Mexican-American singer Gustavo Galindo. His debut album, Entre La Ciudad Y El Mar, was produced by Latin rock godfather Gustavo Santaolalla, who is a two-time GRAMMY winner. Hailing from Caracas, Venezuela, La Vida Bohème concoct an infectious blend of salsa with disco, punk and dance on the riveting Nuestra. Also from Venezuela, Los Amigos Invisibles sets an experimental mood on Not So Commercial. The veteran sextet creates explosive contrasts between lounge instrumentals and funk workouts throughout. Rounding out the category is Mexico's Maná. The three-time GRAMMY-winning quartet returns to arena-rock action with the appropriately titled Drama Y Luz (Drama And Light).









Best Regional Mexican Or Tejano Album

The son of ranchera icon Luis Aguilar, singer/songwriter Pepe Aguilar has found his true calling in the regional Mexican genre. His latest album, Bicentenario, celebrates the recent bicentennial of Mexico's independence. Brimming with texture and bravado, the voice of Paquita La Del Barrio is especially effective whenever she chastises deceitful men on her tragicomic hit singles. Eres Un Farsante (You Are A Fraud) finds her at the top of her game. One of Mexican music's most prolific songwriters, Joan Sebastian has composed songs in the ranchera, norteño, banda sinaloense, and Latin pop genres. Huevos Rancheros demonstrates the four-time GRAMMY winner's penchant for penning memorable songs. The all-female ensemble Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea earned a nod for Órale. Founded in 1999 by trumpeter Shea, the ensemble picked up a GRAMMY in 2008 for Best Regional Mexican Album for Canciones De Amor. Texas-based ensemble Mariachi Los Arrieros Del Valle rounds out the category, receiving their first GRAMMY nomination for Amor A La Música.

Best Banda Or Norteño Album

The zesty accordion lines of norteño and the epic tuba riffs of banda sinaloense are ever present in this year's race. Three genre heavyweights come face-to-face this year: Five-time GRAMMY winners Los Tigres Del Norte with the star-studded live recording Los Tigres Del Norte And Friends; Tijuana superstars Los Tucanes De Tijuana with the roots-laden corrido collection El Árbol; and two-time GRAMMY winners Intocable with the more gentle norteño ballads featured on Intocable 2011. El Güero Y Su Banda Centenario are looking to add to their GRAMMY trophy case, having won for Best Banda Album for Enamórate De Mí in 2010. Their album Estare Mejor is filled with lush banda orchestrations. The old-fashioned norteño goodness of Tejano artist Michael Salgado is on full display on No Vengo A Ver Si Puedo... Si Por Que Puedo Vengo. Salgado is looking to win his first GRAMMY to go with his 2007 Latin GRAMMY Award for Best Norteño Album for En Vivo.



Best Tropical Latin Album

Cachao's The Last Mambo is a glowing collection of nostalgic danzones and jazzy descargas. The album was recorded in concert by the late Latin GRAMMY-winning Cuban bassist at the Ziff Opera House in Miami in 2007. Edwin Bonilla's Homenaje A Los Rumberos pays tribute to the New York salsa explosion of the '70s with vibrant new versions of dance-floor scorchers by the likes of Rubén Blades and Tite Curet Alonso. José Rizo's Mongorama features the finest players from today's Latin jazz circuit: conguero Poncho Sanchez, saxophonist Justo Almario and pianist Oscar Hernández, among others. Mongorama is a swinging homage to the deep Latin jazz aesthetic of groundbreaking Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría.

Who will take home the awards in the Latin Field categories? Tune in to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 12, taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles and airing live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

(Note: The videos embedded reflect official videos available through official artist and record label Web channels.)