Yaddo Writer is a 2004 Grammy Award Winner
Tom Piazza at Yaddo
Writer Tom Piazza won a 2004 Grammy Award for the 5,000-word essay he composed at Yaddo last June for the album notes for Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey, which was named Best Historical Album at the Grammy Awards ceremony Sunday in Los Angeles.
"I love music and I've written about it a lot, but this is the most extensive set of album notes I've ever written," said Mr. Piazza from his home in New Orleans. "I had been working on a novel [My Cold War, HarperCollins, September, 2003] for four years so it was nice to turn my attention to something else."
Arriving at Yaddo with a good portion of his collection of blues music and books, Mr. Piazza created a "blues headquarters" in his East House studio and set to work on the liner notes for the five-CD boxed set of music that will for many listeners serve as an introduction to the blues.
"I felt like it was a privilege to give people a first look at the blues," said Mr. Piazza, who enjoys many kinds of music but admits to a special fondness for the blues, which often figures into his fiction and is the subject of much of his nonfiction work. "It is the music I loved the earliest and the most."
My Cold War won the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society Medal and Award for Best Novel. Mr. Piazza also is the author of a story collection, Blues and Trouble, and the nonfiction works True Adventures With The King of Bluegrass, Blues Up and Down: Jazz In Our Time, and The Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz. He was the editor for Setting the Tempo: Fifty Years of Great Jazz Liner Notes. In addition, his work has appeared in several anthologies, periodicals, and literary journals.