Smithsonian Folkways Earns Two GRAMMY Awards for Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection and Quetzal’s Imaginaries
Two Smithsonian Folkways albums won at the 55th GRAMMY awards on Sunday, February 10. Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection, an in-depth commemorative collection on one of American’s most treasured 20th-century icons, won for best Boxed or Limited Edition Package. East L.A. group Quetzal won for best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album with Imaginaries, part of the Smithsonian Folkways Tradiciones/Traditions series of Latin music.
Fritz Klaetke, art director for Woody at 100, accepted the award and said, "I really want to thank Woody, whose lyrics today are even more powerful than when they were written."
Quetzal singer Martha Gonzalez, said “thank you to our community of East L.A. artists and Chicano rock musicians that came before us, and those that will come after us, it’s a great honor for us.”
These are the seventh GRAMMY award for Smithsonian Folkways. Previously, Los Texmaniacs (2009) and Nati Cano's Mariachi Los Camperos (2008) earned awards as part of the Smithsonian Folkways Tradiciones/Traditions Series. Overall, the series includes 38 albums and has earned three GRAMMY awards, a 2007 LATIN GRAMMY, and nine GRAMMY and LATIN GRAMMY award nominations. Smithsonian Folkways earned two GRAMMYs in 1997 for the Anthology of American Folk Music and one in 2005 for cELLAbration: A Tribute to Ella Jenkins.
Woody at 100 was also nominated, but did not win, for the best historical album category. Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie, by Elizabeth Mitchell, and Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition, by Stephen Wade, were also nominated in the best children’s album and best album notes categories respectively.
Overall, Smithsonian Folkways has 25 GRAMMY award nominations (including award winners) since 1997, including 19 nominations since 2004. In addition, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings artists Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Ella Jenkins, and Doc Watson are GRAMMY Association Lifetime Achievement Awards winners, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings contributed to the 1998 GRAMMY-winning album Folkways—A Vision Shared: A Tribute To Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly and the 1993 GRAMMY-nominated album Roots of Rhythm and Blues: A Tribute to the Robert Johnson Era.