Northeast Ohio received 14 nominations at the 50th Grammy Awards, while two artists won posthumous gold at the ceremony held in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Gerald Levert won Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "In My Songs," the title track of his last album, which was released last February, following his November 2006 death.
Robert Lockwood Jr. claimed part of the Best Traditional Blues Album Grammy for Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas. Lockwood was taught by Robert Johnson, the original blues icon. Lockwood's band for the October 2004 concert included bassist Gene Schwartz, who played with Lockwood from 1972 through his November 2006 death.
"Robert was the best of all of them for traditional blues, no doubt about it," says Schwartz. "I think he got better the older he got. He should have won years ago. He'd be happy, but he took everything in stride."
Element 9 Recordings, a publishing company founded by former Hudson resident Stu Pflaum, received a nomination for client Soulja Boy's "Crank That (Soulja Boy)."
Telarc/Heads Up International, two affiliated Cleveland-based labels, received 11 nominations and won four Grammys for classical, jazz, and instrumental categories. Best Classical Crossover Album went to Telarc's Turtle Island Quartet for its A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane. Heads Up netted three wins: Michael Brecker's Pilgrimage took Best Jazz Instrumental. Its title track scored Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. And Joe Zawinul's recording of "In a Silent Way" took Best Instrumental Arrangement for arranger Vince Mendoza. Zawinul and Brecker also died between recording their albums and snagging the awards.
"The wins last night were bittersweet," said Heads Up President Dave Love, a Cleveland resident, who sat near Cyndi Lauper and Tom Hanks. Love credits the labels' successes to a Midwest work ethic. "When you can say we are the largest record label between New York and L.A., it has a nice ring to it. I'll take my team over all the record company teams I know, hands down."
• Conya Doss has a new album on the way. Producers Myron Davis and Rodney Jones return behind the boards. Doss also cut tracks with producers Angela Johnson and James Penn. Doss says the album, Still, "represents me remaining at my center, while so many things evolving around me are changing — the industry, life's situations in general, relationships, etc. I have chosen to stretch my creativity even further, with choice selections that are not on the periphery of the whole 'neo-soul' box." Doss will perform a CD-release show on Saturday, March 29, at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Road).
• Rapper Chip tha Ripper will perform an unplugged set with a full band on Sunday, February 16, at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard). Before the show, he'll host a meet-and-greet. Chip's spokesman promises that the show will "change the entire Cleveland music scene." Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.
• Suave Goddi, the longtime host of the Hi-Fi club's former Spitboxers hip-hop night, has a new weekly party. The nearby Bottoms Up (1572 West 117th Street) is hosting the Freestyle Clinic. DJ Besto will spin between rap battles and performances. The night kicks off at 9:30 p.m.
• Madman Mundt singer Mark D'Angelo recently died. According to a February 2 Plain Dealer death notice, D'Angelo's death was sudden and unexpected. No further details have been released. D'Angelo also fronted Toybreaker and was a noted performance artist. "He was a very creative and good guy," says Mundt guitarist Scott Stearns. "He will be missed."
• Visible Voice Books (1023 Kenilworth Avenue) will host an Evening of Words and Sound on Monday, February 18. Performers include Terminal Lovers' Dave Cintron, Thee Scarcity of Tanks' Bbob Drake and Matthew Wascovich, and other drone-soundscape artists from across the country, including Geoff Mullen and Eli Keszler.