Flamenco fusionists break into Grammy world category

Spanish singer Concha Buika -- in a 2008 file picture -- has been nominated for a world music Grammy

Two Spanish-born musicians with modern takes on flamenco were separately nominated Tuesday for the Grammy for Best World Music Album, breaking into a category long dominated by a small pool.

Vicente Amigo and Concha Buika, who have both been on the scene for two decades, are among five contenders for the prize to be unveiled on January 28 in New York as part of the music industry's annual gala.

Amigo was nominated for "Memoria de los Sentidos" ("Memory of the Senses"), a return to traditional flamenco by the Seville guitarist who has collaborated with Sting and Algerian rai star Khaled.

"Memoria de los Sentidos" earlier in November won the Latin Grammy for Best Flamenco Album at the Spanish- and Portuguese-language music awards in Las Vegas.

Buika, also a past Latin Grammy winner, incorporates flamenco but brings in a range of influences including African rhythms and jazz. Born in Mallorca to parents from Equatorial Guinea, Buika -- who often goes only by one name -- was nominated for "Para Mi" ("For Me"), a succinct album of five emotionally rich songs.

Also enjoying a nomination for the first time was Anat Cohen, a New York-based Israeli clarinetist who set out to explore choro, the early Brazilian popular music that emerged in the 19th century at the same time as jazz was forming in New Orleans.

She was nominated for "Rosa Dos Ventos" ("Wind Rose"), a collaboration with an ensemble calling itself the Trio Brasiliero. Cohen was separately nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album for work with another Brazilian musician, seven-string guitarist Marcello Goncalves.

Among the artists who have become favorite nominees for Best World Music Album is Tinariwen, the ensemble of Tuareg musicians from northern Mali who have frequently teamed up with Western rock artists and in recent years recorded outside their conflict-hit homeland.

Tinariwen, which won Best World Music Album in 2012, was nominated this time for "Elwan" ("Elephants"), which blends heavy guitars and Saharan rhythms with appearances by indie artist Kurt Vile and alternative rockers Mark Lanegan and Alain Johannes, who have both played with Queens of the Stone Age.

The South African all-male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which has won four Grammys, was nominated for "Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration."

The album revisits its successful "Shaka Zulu" album released in 1987, just after the group rose to international prominence by appearing on folk-rock legend Paul Simon's "Graceland."