Ex-Suffolk student wins Grammy nod

A FORMER student from Suffolk will be mixing with elite stars from the music world after winning a second Grammy nomination.

Warren Russell-Smith, 31, is up for one of the music industry’s most coveted prizes for his work restoring recordings of folk songs from Haiti in the 1930s.

Mr Russell-Smith, a former pupil at County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, said it was exciting to get a second nod.

“It’s great,” he said. “It’s nice to have recognition.”

A sound engineer who now lives in New York, Mr Russell-Smith is a former student at Westley Middle School in Bury, where his family still live.

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He won a Grammy in 2008 for his work engineering a vintage live recording of folk musician Woody Guthrie. A Grammy is an award presented annually by the Recording Academy to honour excellence in the recording arts and sciences.

Mr Russell-Smith received his second nomination after he spent four weeks painstakingly re-mastering original recordings of field music made by folklorist Alan Lomax in Haiti in 1936.

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Mr Russell-Smith recently met Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, at a special reception for Grammy nominees in the Big Apple itself.

Although he already has one Grammy under his belt, Mr Russell-Smith faces stiff competition, including re-mastered work by The Beatles in the Best Historical Album category.

“After getting the first award pretty early in my career, I thought perhaps I could hang my boots up,” he said.

“But to get a second nomination is pretty cool. I was pretty nervous going into it, but now I know what to expect.”

Although he has now lived in America for 11 years, Mr Russell-Smith said he still yearns for Bury as the town has many happy memories.

“I do miss home,” he said. “Bury is an amazing place.

“When you grow up there, you take it for granted, but you go back there as an adult and it’s beautiful.”

The Grammy ceremony will be held on Sunday, February 13.


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