Michelle Zauner of the Philadelphia band Japanese Breakfast is up for two awards including best new artist. Philly R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan has three nominations while New Orleans jazz man and Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste leads the way with 11 nominations for the 2022 Grammy Awards.
Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, and H.E.R. were in a three-way tie for the second-most nominations at the awards, which will be handed out in Los Angeles Jan. 31. Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish got seven nominations each. The Grammy nominations were announced Tuesday.
Other Philly nominees include comedian Kevin Hart, Roots drummer turned filmmaker Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, jazz bassist Christian McBride, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia.
The Grammy nominations are a capstone to what has been a remarkable for year for Zauner, whose memoir Crying In H Mart, about facing her grief over the death of her mother, Chongmi, through connecting with her Korean identity, is a New York Times bestseller now in its 13th printing.
Japanese Breakfast’s third album, Jubilee, which was released in June, was nominated for best alternative music album, where it’s up against St. Vincent’s Daddy’s Home; Halsey’s If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power; Fleet Foxes’ Shore; and Arlo Parks’ Collapsed in Sunbeams.
For best new artist, which is considered one of the Grammy’s four major awards along with album, record, and song of the year, Zauner is competing against Pakistani composer Arooj Aftab, Delaware country singer Jimmie Allen, California rappers Baby Keem and Saweetie, Australian singer-rapper The Kid LaRoi, British singer Arlo Parks, British rock band Glass Animals, Eilish’s songwriting brother Finneas, and teen sensation Rodrigo.
Zauner is currently based in Brooklyn, but still considers Japanese Breakfast a Philly band. “I feel like you’re a band from wherever you came up, and I definitely came up as a musician in Philly,” she told The Inquirer this year.
And her Philadelphia connections are deep. Her father met her mother after moving to Korea upon answering an ad for a job in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1983. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College and her jobs around town included working the coat check concession at Union Transfer, a venue that she then sold out five times in August.
On Twitter, Zauner had a three-letter response to her nominations: “WTF!!!!!!!!”
Sullivan, who grew up in Strawberry Mansion, made a triumphant return this year with Heaux Tales, her first album in six years. She earned best R&B performance and best R&B song nods for “Pick Up Your Feelings” and best R&B album for Heaux Tales, which is up against Batiste’s We Are, as well as efforts by H.E.R., Leon Bridges, and Snoh Aalegra. Sullivan has been nominated for Grammys 11 times before, but has never won.
Summer of Soul, the directorial debut by Roots drummer Thompson, is up for best music film.
Several Philadelphia jazz acts received nominations. Generations, by the Baylor Project — the Philly wife and husband team of Jean and Marcus Baylor — are up for best jazz vocal album for Generations.
Bassist and bandleader Christian McBride — a seven-time Grammy winner — is nominated for best jazz large ensemble album for For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver. McBride’s competition in that category includes Swirling, the new album by Germantown-based interstellar musical explorers Sun Ra Arkestra, led by surely the Grammy oldest nominee: 97-year-old sax man Marshall Allen.
Philly comedian and actor Hart — star of the new Netflix series True Story — is up for best comedy album for Zero F***s Given.
Beyond the Music: Her Complete RCA Victor Recordings, a collection of the works of the late Philadelphia classical and spirituals singer Marian Anderson, is up for best historical album.
The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin are nominated for Best Orchestral Performance for their recording of Price: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3.
The Opera Philadelphia Orchestra, conductor Corrado Rovaris and producers Johnathan McCullough; James Darrah & John Toia, are in the running for Best Opera Recording for Little: Soldiers Songs.
Nézet-Séguin is nominated in the same category for his work with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on Poulenc: Dialogues Des Carmelites. And Philly choir The Crossing are up for best choral performance for Rising with The Crossing.