PHOENIX (ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) - The upcoming Grammy Awards had me thinking. And humming. And singing. OK, there was a little dancing, too. Since the recording academy first started handing out those gold-plated trophies in 1959, there have been a string of Arizona artists honored - more than you probably know.
I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about all genres of music and I have to admit, I was surprised how many artists with connections to our state have been recognized. From pop and rock to country and classical, Arizona has had a big influence on the music we listen to every day.
You know the bigger names: Glen Campbell, Alice Cooper, Marty Robbins, Stevie Nicks, Dierks Bentley, Gin Blossoms, Michelle Branch and of course, Linda Ronstadt. But there are other Arizona musicians who may not have the pop culture following, but have Grammy cred.
One musician we’ve featured on Arizona Highways Television is Native American flute player Carlos Nakai. He’s been nominated for 11 Grammys and is an inductee of the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame. Oh, and he has two gold records and more than two dozen recordings preserved in the Library of Congress.
The Phoenix Chorale is a triple Grammy Award winning a cappella chamber choir. They most recently won ‘best choral recording’ for their album “Rachmaninoff: All Night Vigil.” They sang it all in Russian! They released the album on the same day of the 100th anniversary of the world premier of the original piece. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart. They found the perfect recipe for artistic and commercial success.
Former artistic director Charles Bruffy says what sets Phoenix Chorale apart from other choral ensembles is they bring a real hip factor to what could be seen as a very stale art form.
"We do first Fridays open rehearsals and it is jam packed with young people who've come off the street and are groovin' on our singin'."
Whether you like to rock out to Rachmaninoff, kick up your boots with Glenn, Marty or Dierks, or jam to Cooper, Branch or the Blossoms, all of these talented Arizonans hit the right notes.