Music of Utah

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Utah music has long been influenced culturally by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The local music scene thrives. However, the musical history of Utah, and much of its current distinctiveness, is owed to secular artists.

Contemporary Utah music scene[edit]

Utah has produced some popular recording artists since 2000. Its local music scene features some nationally recognized bands, mostly based in Provo and Salt Lake City Notable bands include Neon Trees, Fictionist, Imagine Dragons, The New Electric Sound, The Moth & the Flame, King Niko and The Brobecks. Many genres are represented, including rock, indie folk, emo, synthpop, singer-songwriter, death metal, blues, punk rock, goth, alternative rock, hip hop, jazz, country, Reggae, Ska and religious music.

Rock groups[edit]

Several bands have roots in Utah. Post-hardcore band The Used was formed in Orem in 2001. Currently signed to Warner Music Group-owned Reprise Records they have released two gold-certified albums in the United States.

The band Neon Trees is from Provo. In 2010, their single, "Animal," rose to number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Two of their singles have achieved multi-platinum status domestically, and they are currently signed to Mercury Records.

Indie rock performers, sisters Meg and Dia Frampton, formed their band Meg & Dia in Draper and until recently were signed to Warner Music Group-owned label, Doghouse Records.

Royal Bliss, from Salt Lake City signed with Capitol Records in 2007.

Fictionist, from Provo was signed with Atlantic Records between 2011-2014.

Imagine Dragons, a band that was initially formed in Provo in 2008, moved to Las Vegas after winning a Velour battle of the bands competition. They are currently signed to Interscope Records. Their debut album Night Visions has reached #2 on the Billboard 200 and is a multi-platinum-certified album in the United States. The band's single "Radioactive" earned a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance.

Folk and pop[edit]

Folk music constituted some of the earliest white/euramerican music in modern Utah. The songs were usually sung without accompaniment because of the scarcity of musical instruments in territorial Utah. Although they often employed the same tunes as folk music elsewhere, Mormon folk is distinctively Utahn. The songs often include unique pioneer-era Mormon culture references such as crossing the plains, Mormon ecclesiastical leaders, and LDS religious convictions.

Newgrass artists Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand[1] had a country music hit single in 2005, "Dream Big." while they were signed to Capitol Records.

Provo based indie pop songwriter Mindy Gledhill's 2010 pop album Anchor became a hit abroad including seven songs charting on the South Korean charts and tours in SE Asia. The album sold more than 15,000 copies.

In 2007, David Archuleta rose to the national spotlight as a major contestant in the seventh season of American Idol. His debut pop album on Jive Records was certified gold by the RIAA.

Provo based folk singer/songwriter Joshua James had moderate success in 2007 when his album The Sun is Always Brighter reached number one on the iTunes Folk Album chart.

Provo songwriter Isaac Russell left his deal with Utah-based Northplatte Records to sign with Columbia Records only to later return to Northplatte Records.

Neofolk rock group Parlor Hawk were featured by iTunes Indie Spotlight as one of the "Best of 2010 Singer/Songwriter Albums".

Metal[edit]

Salt Lake City has also been the home of several underground extreme metal music bands. One is Progressive act Katagory V who are still relatively unknown in their hometown of Salt Lake City, but have had considerable success nationally. Katagory V has released four albums and signed with Nightmare Records in the U.S. and later with Burning Star Records in Europe. They appeared at some notable heavy metal festivals in the U.S. including the ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

Another band to come out of Salt Lake City, Utah, is deathcore band Chelsea Grin, who have four albums and two EPs.

A cappella[edit]

Utah has an a cappella music scene. Some groups include Voice Male, Octappella, and BYU's Vocal Point.

Classical[edit]

Jenny Oaks Baker (Shadow Mountain Records) is a former National Symphony Orchestra violinist in Utah who received a nomination for Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2011.

Lindsey Stirling (Bridgetone) is a violinist/dancer. Her debut album was certified Platinum in Germany and Austria, while her single "Crystalize" was certified gold in the United States.

The Piano Guys (Sony) have released three consecutive No. 1 albums on the U.S. Classical albums charts.

Indie[edit]

Provo has an indie rock scene, and bands that have roots in Provo/Salt Lake City include Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, The Used, The Brobecks, Fictionist, Mindy Gledhill, Meg and Dia, King Niko, Joshua James, Allred and The New Electric Sound.

Indigenous music[edit]

Mormon music[edit]

The state’s most famous musical group is The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Named after the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, the 300+ member choir is world-famous. The choir performs at least weekly at the Tabernacle for a radio program called "Music and the Spoken Word". The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was first recorded in 1910 has released more than 100 albums. Billboard Magazine declared that they were the year-end Top Charting Traditional Classical Albums artist of 2012. The choir has been awarded the National Medal of Arts, a GRAMMY Award, and even been inducted into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

Utah music events[edit]

The Ogden Music Festival, 3-day outdoor festival featuring bluegrass, blues, folk & rockabilly is held the first weekend in June at Ogden's Fort Buenaventura with on-site camping. www.OFOAM.org The Park City & SLC Music Festival and Autumn Classics Music Festival,[2] formerly the Deer Valley Music Festival, the Park City International Music Festival and Autumn Classics Music Festival, is held in Park City and Salt Lake City. These are projects of the Park City Chamber Music Society (PCCMS). PCCMS founded the original Deer Valley Music Festival and the name was changed to Park City International Music Festival after a number of years.[3]

The Utah Symphony[4] was founded in 1940 by Maurice Abravanel and performs at Abravanel Hall, a modern concert hall in downtown Salt Lake City. The symphony merged in 2002 with the Utah Opera Company,[5] which was organized in 1978.

The Utah Valley Symphony is a community orchestra organized in Utah County, Utah in 1959.[6]

Notable musicians from Utah[edit]

Producers
  • Finn Bjarnson[7] - Grammy nominated
  • Nate Pyfer - Grammy nominated
Individuals
Groups

Record labels[edit]

Although no major record labels are based in Utah, there are several small independent labels, such as Northplatte Records. The End Records is an independent metal and rock label that has signed some avant-garde and experimental groups. It was formed in Pasadena, CA and relocated to Salt Lake City and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.

Venues[edit]

Northern Utah[edit]

Notable venues in the Salt Lake Area include
Notable venues in the Park City Area include

Southern Utah[edit]

Because of a quickly growing population in Southern Utah, local venues with regular performances are increasing.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ryan Shupe. "Ryan Shupe". Shupe.net. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  2. ^ "Beethoven Festival Park City - Utah's Oldest Classical Music Festival". Pcmusicfestival.com. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  3. ^ "Leslie Harlow, Violist". Sonolumina.com. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  4. ^ "Home". Utah Symphony. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  5. ^ "Home". Utahopera.org. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  6. ^ "Symphony History". Utah Valley Symphony. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  7. ^ Ethan Thomas (2008-03-23). "Mixing music in Utah Valley". Deseret News. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  8. ^ Donny Osmond / Home. Donny.com. Retrieved on 2011-02-23.
  9. ^ "Marie Osmond". osmond.com. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  10. ^ "50 Years of Boy Bands". Oprah.com. 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  11. ^ Vision Children's Choir 2017 www.visionchildrenschoir.com
  12. ^ "Park City Live". Park City Live. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  13. ^ Bulkeley, Deborah. "St. George growth 2nd fastest in U.S". Deseret News.