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A Decade of Brunch for Louisiana Grammy Nominees

LA Dept. of Culture, Recreation and Tourism

The 10th annual “Only in Louisiana Grammy Nominees Brunch” is Saturday in Los Angeles. Louisiana’s new lieutenant governor, Billy Nungesser, is presiding over the event for the first time.

“I’m excited,” Nungesser said. “It’s going to be a great trip. It’s what we are here in Louisiana. To go out there and celebrate with the nominees and talk about the Louisiana tourism, history, music is a great opportunity.”

The lieutenant governor’s office and Baton Rouge music business veteran Johnny Palazzotto are co-producing the Louisiana Grammy Nominees Brunch at the Latin-themed Conga Room. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is preparing the Louisiana-cuisine inspired menu.

As for Nungesser’s musical taste, he loves Cajun and zydeco music.

“That music brings out the passion in me,” he said. “But I love all music. I spent a lot of time going to jazz clubs in the French Quarter. And I love country music.”

Ten years ago, Johnny Palazzotto helped launch the Grammy Nominees Brunch when he was a member of the Louisiana Music Commission.

“We wanted to let the rest of the world know,” Palazzotto said, “especially the music business professionals who attend the Grammys, that we are proud of our Cajun and zydeco heritage.”

Although the Recording Academy later dropped the Cajun-zydeco category, 12 Louisiana artists are nominated in other Grammy categories this year. Two of those acts – Cajun-flavored Lafayette band The Revelers and New Orleans funk and rhythm-and-blues singer-keyboardist Jon Cleary -- are performing Saturday at the brunch.

Palazzotto and Nungesser anticipate Grammy wins for Louisiana artists in L.A.

“I think it’s very likely several will come home with a Grammy,” Palazzotto said.

“We’ve got a great history and a great track record of producing winners,” the lieutenant governor said.

The 58th Grammy Awards take place Monday at 7 p.m. central time at The Staples Center.

Host of WRKF's "Creative Culture" reports, John Wirt was The Advocate's entertainment reporter for 23 years. Now he's brought his expertise to us, looking at music, movies, and the arts from a uniquely Louisiana-centric point-of-view.