Grammys 2019: NC winners take home the big prize in 3 categories

The Triangle took home three Grammy Awards Sunday night

Former UNC professor William Ferris won for Best Historical Album for a project that represented his life’s work. Ferris, 76, won for “Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris,” a four-disc box set drawn from Ferris’ archive. “Voices” has discs devoted to blues, gospel and storytelling, as well as a DVD of some of Ferris’ films.

“Voices” won a second Grammy Award for Best Album Notes for David Evans’ liner notes in the 120-page hardback book that accompanies the package.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the ‘Voices of Mississippi’ will be heard and appreciated by future generations,” Ferris said Sunday in a quick email after the award was announced.

Meanwhile, Eric Oberstein, the acting director of Duke Performances, is taking home the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album. He produced Dafnis Prieto Big Band’s winning “Back to the Sunset.”

The 61st annual Grammy Awards telecast starts at 8 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday, Feb. 10, on CBS.

From left, Michael Graves, Bill Ferris, Steven Ledbetter and April Ledbetter arrive at the 61st Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. Marcus Yam TNS

Awards in numerous categories were given out during a pre-telecast portion at grammy.com.

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Here other awards with North Carolina connections we’re watching tonight.

J. Cole — The Fayetteville rapper shares the nomination for Best R&B Song for Miguel’s “Come Through and Chill.” He is also up for Best Rap/Sung Performance for contributing to 6lack’s “Pretty Little Fears.” Cole has had seven nominations over the years but has yet to win a Grammy.

The winners: Best Rap/Sung Preformances goes to “Boo’d Up,” Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane, songwriters (Ella Mai)

Childish Gambino took home the Best R&B Song for “This is America.”

Iron & Wine — Chapel Hill resident Sam Beam’s “Weed Garden” is up for Best Folk Album. This is his second nomination, following last year’s nod for Best Americana Album.

The winner: “All Ashore,” Punch Brothers

Dom Flemons — The former Carolina Chocolate Drop’s “Black Cowboys” is also nominated for Best Folk Album. He previously won a Grammy with the Chocolate Drops, Best Traditional Folk Album for 2010’s “Genuine Negro Jig.”

The winner: “All Ashore,” Punch Brothers

David Sedaris — Raleigh native’s “Calypso” is nominated for Best Spoken Word Album. This is his third spoken-word nomination, after 2009 and 2014.

The winner: “Faith – A Journey For All,” Jimmy Carter

Dafnis Prieto Big Band — Eric Oberstein of Durham, who is acting director of Duke Performances, produced the Cuban act’s “Back to the Sunset,” which is up for Best Latin Jazz Album. Oberstein has previously won four Grammys.

The winner: “Back to the Sunset”

Virtual Self — Chapel Hill’s Porter Robinson performs as the electronic-music deejay Virtual Self, nominated for Best Dance Recording for “Ghost Voices.”

The winner: “Electricity,” Silk City and Dua Lipa featuring Diplo and Mark Ronson

Between the Buried and Me — Raleigh band picked up its first nomination, for Best Metal Performance.

The winner: “Electric Messiah,” High on Fire

Kate McGarry with Keith Ganz & Gary Versace — The Durham residents are nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for “The Subject Tonight is Love”.

The winner: “The Window” — Cécile McLorin Salvant

Ferris was born and raised in Mississippi, growing up on a farm and working alongside people of color at a time when that was unusual. He began taking pictures and making recordings of vernacular artists at an early age, long before entering academia.

In the process, Ferris built an archive of Mississippi culture as wide and deep as any ever created.

“I did it for no reason other than love,” Ferris said. “It touched my heart and I felt these voices were significant and needed to be recorded, photographed, filmed. There was no such thing as the field of Southern studies back then. We had to invent the field as we moved along, and it’s a field that has taken on enormous energy and relevance.”

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David Menconi has covered music and the arts for The News & Observer since 1991. He can be reached at 919-829-4759 or dmenconi@newsobserver.com.