Jane Bunnett has earned her third Grammy nod
Jane Bunnett has earned her third Grammy nod

For 2nd Tier Acts, A Grammy Nod Is Career Fuel

Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Leonard Cohen, Michael Buble and Sarah McLachlan are the Canadian artists headlined in this week’s Grammy nominations list, but there are others.

For instance, Jane Bunnett & Maqueque’s Odarra is nominated in the Best Latin Jazz Album category, which is one of two affiliated LPs that Linus Entertainment is pumping up. And Stony Plain earns its seventh Grammy nod with Migration Blues by American-born acoustic blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb, an album he recorded in Quebec with a number of prominent Canadian roots musicians.

While there are 84 Grammy categories in all and hundreds of contenders vying for a golden gramophone, securing a nomination can provide a big boost for lesser-known musicians, even if they don’t get a large share of the spotlight.

“Everybody’s trying to get their music out there — and heard,” said Bunnett, who has been nominated for Grammys twice before and has won several Junos, both with Maqueque and her previous ensemble, the Spirits of Havana. She was also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal and received the Order of Canada in 2004.

But nothing compared to the buzz around her Grammy nominations.

“There’s still lots of people in Europe who kind of know what the Juno is, but they really know what the Grammy is,” she tells Canadian Press.

“You plateau a lot as an artist,” Bunnett added. “There’s lots of times where you say, ‘Why am I doing this? Does anyone really care?” ‘

Cuban-Canadian musician Alex Cuba grappled with similar questions this year, even as he grabbed his third Grammy nomination for the album Lo Unico Constante.

“In one hand I’m happy, excited, proud. In the other I’m scared,” he says.

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