[Note: this post is part of a series of live updates chronicling the Grammy experience for first-time nominee Gungor.]

Bobby McFerrin and Esperanza Spalding are co-hosting the pre-telecast ceremony and open with a live performance. I’ve never quite understood all that patting McFerrin does on his sternum. This ceremony is decidedly different from the televised portion. Kinda goofy, bad lighting, bad language, lots of instructions and concern that it will take too long. We’ve been told that there are more nominees in town than ever, which means more speeches, and it seems that, unlike the sometimes interminable telecast, this ceremony cannot run long.  It’s award on top of award. As soon as one acceptance speech ends, the public address announcer launches into the list of nominees for the next award. Presenters are trotted out to announce a few winners, and there are no commercials and few performances. Nonetheless, these are the very same trophies that will be handed out later tonight, and the categories are often far more interesting.

The first award went to a Lady Gaga video, and the cavalcade that has followed is all over the musical map.  There are big names and unknowns, but with genres so diverse I can understand why nominees grow impatient.  Calvin reports that he’s starving, too!

50 minutes in, we’ve made it to Best Hawaiian Music Album. Native American music categories follow. Now we’re not just all over the musical map, we’re all over the geographical map as well.  I have a new favorite Zydeco musician, even though I’ve never heard any Zydeco music.

Surely the Gospel categories are coming up soon.