While Lizzo is no longer a Twin Cities-based artist and fellow Grammy nominee Bon Iver resides across the border in western Wisconsin, there's still bragging to be done over Minnesotans who showed up among the nominations announced Wednesday morning.
Maybe the sweetest was Minneapolis strummer J.S. Ondara's entry for best Americana music album — appropriate for an LP titled "Tales of America." It came out in February via the historic label Verve Records.
Ondara, 27, did not even know how to play guitar when he moved to Minnesota from his native Kenya in 2013, a relocation made largely out of his love for Bob Dylan. The golden-voiced songwriter has been on the road for much of the year, with appearances ranging from the Newport Folk Festival to "The Today Show," but he will finally return for his first First Avenue headlining set Dec. 7.
He'll compete against Keb' Mo', Yola, Mason Cunningham and Calexico and Iron & Wine in the Americana category.
Twin Cities-based folk duo the Okee Dokee Brothers landed their fourth nod for best children's music album with "Winterland," a very Minnesota-flavored collection that came out too late last year to qualify for the 2019 Grammys but could very well land their second Grammy. They were winners in 2012 for "Can You Canoe?"
While Lizzo has left the state, a singer who grew up in Minnesota and recently moved back to Minneapolis, Adrianne Lenker, earned a nomination for best alternative music album opposite Vampire Weekend and Bon Iver with her band Big Thief and their first of two well-received 2019 releases, "U.F.O.F."
Lenker got her start as a performer and songwriter while living in the Twin Cities in her teens before winding up in New York, where her band formed.
And Bon Iver's several nominations — including entries in the big album and song of the year categories — do tie in numerous Twin Cities-based artists who were among the large cast of collaborators on the 2019 LP "i,i." They include Michael Lewis (who plays sax and bass in the Bon Iver stage lineup), JT Bates, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Channy Leaneagh, Jeremy "Velvet Negroni" Nutzman, producers BJ Burton and Psymun and even St. Paul's TU Dance crew. The latter is credited for hand claps, which seems appropriate here.
A classical composer based in Minneapolis, Jake Runestad, is also in the mix. Austin, Texas-based ensemble Conspirare was nominated for best choral performance for its album "The Hope of Loving," a collection of pieces by Runestad. An Illinois native, he studied music at Winona State University and has also worked with the Washington National Opera, Anima Nova Chamber Choir and Minneapolis-based VocalEssence.