The Grammy Award categories for the upcoming year have been pared down to 78 categories from 109, and one of those that lost out was the Best Zydeco or Cajun Album award. was part of the now heavily reorganized American Roots Music field. That field will now feature a Best Regional Roots Music Album award, which will likely take on any nominations of Cajun or Zydeco albums.
The Zydeco/Cajun award was only given out in the past four years, having been created for the 50th Grammy Awards in February 2008 after a long, hard-fought grassroots campaign led by Cynthia and Terrance Simien. Simien and his Zydeco Experience band won the inaugural award for their album Live! Worldwide and Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band won the most recent award for Zydeco Junkie.
In the same field, the Best Americana and Best Bluegrass album categories were kept in tact, while Best Blues and Best Folk Album categories have been created to consolidate what had been two separate Traditional and Contemporary awards for each style. Best Hawaiian Music Album and Best Native American Music Album awards were also eliminated—albums in those genres will probably compete against Zydeco and Cajun albums in the new Best Regional Roots Music Album category.
In other fields, many consolidations were made by removing Male/Female and Traditional/Contemporary distinctions, as well as separate Group Performance awards. In the Jazz field, for instance, the Best Contemporary Jazz Album award was removed. In the R&B field, Best Contemporary R&B Album award is no more and the Best Male and Female R&B Vocal Performance awards and the Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals award were all combined into a single Best R&B Performance category. Electronic music fans can rest easy now with the knowledge that the Best Electronic/Dance Album category has been changed to Best Dance/Electronica Album.
The full list of changes is available at the Grammys’ website.