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Dec. 12, 2011 /FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / Photo attached
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu




Producer of Composer-in-Residence Lawrence Dillon's Record Nominated for Producer of the Year


The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has ties to the Grammy Awards, with alumnus Jim Lauderdale nominated for a third Grammy, and the producer of a faculty member’s recording nominated as Producer of the Year.

Singer/songwriter Lauderdale, who received a B.F.A. in acting from UNCSA’s School of Drama in 1979, is nominated for Best Bluegrass Album for “Reason and Rhyme: Bluegrass Songs by Robert Hunter and Jim Lauderdale.” Lauderdale previously won Grammy Awards for Best Bluegrass Album in 2002 and 2008.

In addition, the producer of Lawrence Dillon’s “Insects & Paper Airplanes – Chamber Music of Lawrence Dillon,” performed by the Daedalus Quartet and pianist Benjamin Hochman, earned a Classical Producer of the Year nomination for Judith Sherman. Dillon is composer-in-residence for UNCSA’s School of Music.

Jim Lauderdale
Photo by Brent LaFever

Jim Lauderdale

The recording industry's most prestigious award, the GRAMMY is presented annually by The Recording Academy to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. The Grammys will be presented at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and will be broadcast nationally on CBS-TV.

Released by Sugar Hill Records, “Reason and Rhyme” is Lauderdale’s second album in collaboration with Hunter, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead. Their first joint album, “Patchwork River,” was released in 2010. The two also collaborated on an earlier release with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley.

Of “Reason and Rhyme,” AllMusic.com said “Lauderdale’s melodies are splendid, honoring bluegrass conventions while showing off an energy and tuneful enthusiasm that’s both contemporary and timeless. Few current bluegrass acts sing with the command and authority Lauderdale brings to his performances, and fewer still have a set of songs at their disposal as good as what Lauderdale and Hunter have composed.”

Country Weekly said “the turquoise-hued bluegrass offered here is anything but generic – it’s specialty-shop stuff.”

Honest Tune said “This collection of tunes is outstanding. Lauderdale is backed by some of Nashville’s finest pickers … and the collaborative songwriting effort with Hunter is impeccable.”

“Insects & Paper Airplanes,” released by Bridge Records, is one of seven recordings noted on Sherman’s Grammy nomination for producer. It is a collection of three of Dillon’s string quartets and a piano quartet.

Gramophone Magazine called Dillon’s recording “highly recommended... Just when you thought the string quartet may have reached the edge of sonic possibilities, along comes a composer who makes something novel, haunting and whimsical of the genre.”

American Record Guide said, “I have listened to this recording more often than any other this month, and I am not yet full.” 

Jim Lauderdale is a multi-talented performer and songwriter, with successes in both country and bluegrass music. His roots stem from the Carolinas, yet his career has taken him all over the United States and abroad, making him an international recording artist with an ever-growing fan base. Jim won Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at the first Honors and Awards Show held by the Americana Music Association in 2002. Subsequently, he has hosted this same show for the last seven years.

He is among Nashville’s “A” list of songwriters, with songs recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, George Jones, The Dixie Chicks, Solomon Burke, Mark Chesnutt, Dave Edmunds, John Mayall, Kathy Mattea, Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Blake Shelton, Vince Gill, and George Strait. He also contributed several songs to the successful soundtrack of the George Strait film PURE COUNTRY. Not content to just write hits for the stars, he’s toured with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello, among others.

Jim’s musical influences include the legendary Ralph Stanley and George Jones. These influences and his unique sense of melody and lyric help forge a sound that is truly his own. He is a two-time Grammy winner, winning his first in 2002 with Ralph Stanley for “Lost in the Lonesome Pines” (Dualtone). His next one came for his second solo bluegrass album, “The Bluegrass Diaries” (Yep Roc 2007) at the 50th Grammy Awards! His first CD with Stanley, “I Feel Like Singing Today” (Dualtone/Rebel 1999) received a Grammy nomination as did his first solo bluegrass CD titled “Bluegrass” (Yep Roc) from 2006.

As a performer his credits include production, writing and collaborating on albums such as “Wait ‘Til Spring” (SkyCrunch/Dualtone 2003) with Donna the Buffalo, and “Headed for the Hills” (Dualtone 2004), his first total project with Robert Hunter.

The remainder of Jim’s 18 albums include: “Planet of Love” (Reprise 1991), “Pretty Close to the Truth” (Atlantic 1994), “Every Second Counts” (Atlantic 1995), “Persimmons” (Upstart 1998), “Whisper” (BNA 1998), “Onward Through It All” (RCA 1999), “The Other Sessions” (Dualtone 2001), “The Hummingbirds” (Dualtone 2002), “Bluegrass” (Yep Roc 2006), “Country Super Hits, Volume 1″ (Yep Roc 2006), “Honey Songs” (Yep Roc 2008), and “Could We Get Any Closer?” (SkyCrunch 2009).

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of the Arts”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts.  Internationally renowned conductor John Mauceri has been chancellor of UNCSA since 2006. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.