LOS ANGELES — As announced days before, the drum group, Young Spirit, headed to the 61st Grammy Awards Ceremony as nominees for one of the most prestigious music awards in the world.
Their album Mewasinsational – Cree Round Dance Songs was nominated for Best Regional Roots Music Album.
Heads turned as the sound of traditional drumming and singing filled the air on the red carpet Sunday night, while on-lookers and surrounding reporters were quick to film the live performance of a Cree round dance song.
The traditional drum group is made up of members from across Canada and the United States although based in Frog Lake, Alta., and there are 16 singers from Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Arizona and California.
Serving as just a piece of the group includes young Jarron Gadwa, a Grade 11 student at Centennial Collegiate from Saskatoon, who also performed the Cree round dance song at the Grammy Awards red carpet.
Co-founder of the group Jacob Faithful told CBC News that they sang the quick rounds after a someone in the crowd suggested it, since it is through their music that they hope to inspire.
“We want to inspire youth and young people everywhere across the globe to pick up the drum and sing our song,” said Faithful. “Stand proud. Be proud of who you are, where you come from and what our people represent.”
The impromptu performance highlighted the reason the group was nominated, as the boundaries for nominations are highlighted as a “peer honour.”
“A GRAMMY is awarded by The Recording Academy’s voting membership to honour excellence in the recording arts and sciences. It is truly a peer honour, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions,” reads the awards website.
Although the group lost out on the award to Hawaiian musician Kalani Pe’a’s No ‘Ane’i, all eyes were on them during their red carpet performance.