Newspaper article The Canadian Press

What's New Age? Canadian in Grammy Contention in 'Not Very Definitive' Category

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

What's New Age? Canadian in Grammy Contention in 'Not Very Definitive' Category

Article excerpt

Canadian in fight for 'not very definitive' new age Grammy

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TORONTO - A Canadian has never won in the best new age album category at the Grammys.

Toronto flutist Ron Korb could very well change that with his album "Asia Beauty," which recently won kudos from actress-singer Olivia Newton John. She called Korb a "brilliant musician" and the album "stunning" on her Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Korb did some strategizing before submitting his album -- influenced by his travels to Asia and Japanese heritage -- for Grammy consideration.

"The world music category in the Grammys tends to always go to a singer and even the nominations, it tends to be like Ladysmith Mambazo or Angelique Kidjo or people like that," Korb said in a phone interview.

"They're all great but I guess with new age I have had some sales history in that genre before, and so I thought maybe some people from the old days would remember me, and they did."

The Grammys' best new age album category has been won by a wide variety of artists, from Peter Gabriel to Enya to jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. Besides Korb, Loreena McKennitt is the only other Canadian to be nominated in the category.

"New age is one of those categories, it's not very definitive," said Korb. "I just thought, 'give it a shot.' It worked out. It really doesn't matter what category you get nominated in, as long as you can put Grammy in front of your name, it seems to change everything."

It was a 2002 trip to mainland China that inspired "Asia Beauty," which includes 22 songs and 36 pages of photography from his travels in the liner notes

"I often refer to it as like a 13-year journey or whatever, but honestly it's a lot longer than that," said Korb.

The album's inspiration is also rooted in his Japanese heritage from his mother, who was interned along with her family in British Columbia during the Second World War. …

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