Category Archives: Awards

Calypso Rose Recipient of WOMEX 2016

Calypso Rose by Richard Holder
Calypso Rose – Photo by Richard Holder

The WOMEX 2016 Artist Award will go to Calypso Rose, the acclaimed singer from Trinidad & Tobago and composer of numerous hit calypsos. Calypso Rose will receiving the prestigious award in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) on October 23, 2016. The 76 year-old Calypso star will perform together with members of Kobo Town.

Calypso Rose started her remarkable career in the 1950s. Rose first performed at WOMEX in 2006, where she was scheduled to showcase as part of the Calypso@Dirty Jim’s all-star ensemble, but the band could not appear due to travel complications, so Calypso Rose spontaneously took on the show, accompanied only by piano, and had a great response from the adience.

A singer-songwriter and activist, Calypso Rose has received numerous awards and titles and won all relevant competitions. It was for her that the ‘Calypso King’ competition was changed to the gender-neutral ‘Calypso Monarch’.

I am honored to receive the prestigious WOMEX Artist Award,” sayd Calypso Rose about the WOMEX award. “Although I have received many, many awards from governments, institutions etc. in my life, I still feel very honoured to receive this specific award, which is a global one. It is a special recognition, also for my fans all over the world. They will be happy to know I’m receiving this award. For that I thank you.”

Two of her most recent recordings are Far From Home and Queen Of Trinidad.

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British-Indian composer and musician, Baluji Shrivastav Receives OBE Award

Baluji Shrivastav - Photo by Simon Richardson
Baluji Shrivastav – Photo by Simon Richardson

Musician Dhanonday Shrivastav, also known as Baluji Shrivastav, has been awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honors List as “Musician, Instrumentalist and Founder, Inner Vision Orchestra. For services to Music.”

Baluji Shrivastav is a British-Indian multi-instrumentalist who overcame blindness from 8 months old to become one of the world’s leading sitar players. As a classical Indian multi-instrumentalist, Baluji Shrivastav has performed and recorded with some of the greatest tabla accompanists such as Anindo Chatterji and Ustad Fayaz Khan. Baluji has performed throughout the world recording albums with Stevie Wonder, Massive Attack, Annie Lennox, Noel Gallagher and Madness. In 2012 Baluji performed at the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games alongside the British Paraorchestra and Coldplay.

Born in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in 1959, Baluji undertook his first musical training at Ajmer’s Blind School on traditional instruments including the sitar, dilruba, surbahar, pakhavaj and tabla. From there, Baluji went on to graduate from University of Lucknow with a B.A. in Vocal Studies and Sitar. This was shortly followed by a further BA in Tabla and an MA in Sitar from Alahabad University.

Baluji moved to London in 1982 where he signed to world and folk music record label ARC Music and went on to release 8 albums including: ‘Classical Indian Sitar & Surbahar Ragas’, ‘Classical Indian Ragas – Shadow of the Lotus’ and ‘Baluji Shrivastav’s Re-Orient – Indian World Music Fusion – featuring Hossam Ramzy’.

Baluji Shrivastav - Photo by Simon Richardson
Baluji Shrivastav – Photo by Simon Richardson

Baluji Shrivastav’s compositions appear in a wide range of films, theatre and television, including a series of commissioned works such as ‘Portraits of the Dark’, ‘Sitar-Guitar Suites’, ‘Indian in London’ and the world’s only Urdu oration ‘Sohini and Mahival’ which he composed together with Oscar Winner Dario Marianelli. Baluji’s music has featured in Disney’s 2014 ‘Million Dollar Arm”, 20th Century Fox’s ‘New Girl’ as well as multiple episodes of NBC’s ‘Outsourced’.

By 2008, Baluji established the Baluji Music Foundation, a London based charity which, as stated on their website, aims to promote “the understanding and enjoyment of music and performing arts from the Indian Sub-Continent in all its traditional and evolving forms”. The Charity particularly welcomes the participation of disabled people in music, and has thus founded the Inner Vision Orchestra of blind and visually impaired musicians.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2016 recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals across the UK’s many communities.

www.baluji.com

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MerleFest 2016 Announces Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners

MerleFest 2016 honoring the winners of the 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. The finalists are pictured with Jim Lauderdale and the judges of the contest. Photo by Jim Thompson
MerleFest 2016 honoring the winners of the 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. The finalists are pictured with Jim Lauderdale and the judges of the contest. Photo by Jim Thompson

Yesterday evening, bluegrass and American roots music festival MerleFest announced the winners of the 2016 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Writers of the following 12 songs were selected from 744 entries and competed on the Austin Stage at MerleFest on Friday, April 29.

MerleFest 2016 winners:

Bluegrass
1st Place – Aaron Bibelhauser (Louisville, Ky.) – “Blue Collar Dreams”
2nd Place – Courtney Rorrer (Madison, N.C.) and Asa Gravley (Beckley, West Va.) – “Midnight Tears”
3rd Place – Cindy Giejda (Farmingdale, N.J.) – “Jail Break”

Gospel/Inspirational
1st Place – Marcy Each (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – “On the Cross Built for Me”
2nd Place – Austin Stanley (Nashville, Tenn.) – “The Face of God”
3rd Place – Corey Smith and Allen Smith (Fayetteville, N.C.) – “The Road”

Country
1st Place – Buddy Guido (Mohawk, N.Y.), Paul Kelly (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Willie Scheollkopf (Buffalo, N.Y.) – “This Livin’ May Be Killing Me”
2nd Place – Sarah Morris (Shoreview, Minn.) – “I Go Back”
3rd Place – Meris Gantt of Handlebar Betty (Blowing Rock, N.C) – “House of Cards”

General
1st Place – Sarah Sample (Sheridan, Wyo.) – “A Heart That Falls Apart”
1st Place – Adam Bonomo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – “Redshifted”
2nd Place – David Morris (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Chris Dockins (Burke, Va.) – “Weeds”

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale served as volunteer contest chairperson. The on-site judges for the final round were critically acclaimed bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Milan Miller; 2013 CASC winner and founding member of acclaimed Americana trio Red June John Cloyd Miller: and singer-songwriter Sarah Potenza, best known for her recent success on NBC’s “The Voice” and second place win in the 2014 CASC. All finalists took part in a songwriting mentoring session with Jim Lauderdale and the on-site judges.

The first place winners in each category received $600 cash from MerleFest, performed on the Cabin Stage on Friday night to rave reviews and were even joined at one point by superstar bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland as a special surprise.

The first round of the CASC competition takes place in Nashville, Tennessee and is narrowed down to 12 finalists representing four categories: bluegrass, country, general and gospel/inspirational.

Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential. The contest is open to those whose primary source of income (50 percent or more) is not derived from songwriting or publishing.

The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is a unique opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of this year’s volunteer contest chairperson Jim Lauderdale. Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential.

Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest help support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception the scholarship has awarded over $38,000 to 81 deserving students. Previous winners of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest include Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via and Johnny Williams.

For more details about the contest, visit www.merlefest.org/ChrisAustinSongwritingContest.

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International Songwriting Competition Announces 2015 World Music Winners

Corimè
Corimè

The song “A Leggenda Du Piscaturi” composed by Maurizio Giannone and Roberto Giannone won the first place award at the 2015 International Songwriting Competition (ISC). Maurizio Giannone and Roberto Giannone are brothers and members of Italian band Corimè from Marsala in Italy. “A Leggenda Du Piscaturi” appears in the band’s album La Scelta.

The Second Place award went to “Ho Jamalo” by Chris McKhool, Kevin Laliberte, Anwar Khurshid and Waleed Abdulhamid of Canadian band Sultans of String from Toronto. “Ho Jamalo” is featured in the ensemble’s Subcontinental Drift album.

The Third Place award was given to “Ntsumi” by Isabel Novella from Maputo in Mozambique.

American singer-songwriter Skrizzly Adams took home the Grand Prize for his song “Tipping Point.” In addition to winning $25,000 (US) in cash, Skrizzly Adams receives almost $25,000 in services and merchandise, including a custom-built Lowden guitar valued at over $11,000, a Marshall amp and cabinet, a PDP drum kit, an Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM speaker, and much more.

ISC recognizes and honors excellence in the craft of songwriting. With over 18,000 entries submitted from almost 120 countries, a total of 351 deserving songwriters are honored this year in the competition, winning First, Second, Third, and Honorable Mention placements. ISC is now accepting entries for 2016. More information can be found at: www.songwritingcompetition.com.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges which included: Kesha; American Authors; Pat Metheny; Lorde; Sara Evans; Bastille; Bill Withers; Keane; Danilo Perez; Hardwell; Gerald Casale (Devo); Joy Williams (The Civil Wars); Keb’ Mo’; Sean Paul; Afro Celt Sound System; Craig Kallman (Chairman/CEO, Atlantic Records); Dan McCarroll (President, Warner Bros. Records); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); Craig Balsam (Owner, Razor & Tie Records); Kevin Welk (Chief Creative, Vanguard and Sugar Hill Records); Steve Yegelwel (Senior Vice President, Capitol Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); and many more.

ISC is sponsored by: Ableton, Artist Growth, Berklee College Of Music, CAD Audio, Celebrity Access, D’Addario, Disc Makers, DW Drums, Focusrite, Gauge Microphones, George Stein, Esq., GigSalad, Gretsch, Indie Venue Bible, Latin Percussion, Lowden Guitars, Marshall Amplification, Musicians Institute, Ovation, Pacific Drums, Sessions Headphones, SongU.com, Thayers, The Music Business Registry and Ultimate Ears

The following is a complete list of winners:

Grand Prize

“Tipping Point” – Skrizzly Adams (Westfield, NJ, USA)

AAA (Adult Album Alternative)

First Place
“Never Be” – Megan McInerney (Meg Mac) – Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Second Place
“Trying” – Nick Fowler (Afternoon Men) – New York, NY, USA

Third Place
“Carousel Ride” – Alexander Toth (Rubblebucket)” – Lambertville, NJ, USA

Adult Contemporary (AC)

First Place
“Halfway Out Of Love” – Jordan Richman, Griffith Frank, Rayvon Owen, Samuel Plotkin – Sacramento, CA, USA

Second Place
“Lava” – Danielle Baylor, Jerome Baylor, Naïmah Muhammad, Dwight Baylor (Danni) – Fort Washington, MD, USA

Third Place
“Echo” – Paul Stark, Michael Arcaro, Kevin Arcaro, JD Perone, Alex Silverman, Sean Silverman (Wild Sons) – Palm Springs, CA, USA

Americana

First Place
“Love’s First Lesson” – Joel Rafael, Jack Tempchin – Escondido, CA, USA

Second Place
“Walking In The Dark” – Brock Zeman – Carleton Place, ON, Canada

Third Place
“Wolves (At My Door)” – David Roddie – Glasgow, Scotland

Blues

First Place
“I Won’t Forget About You” – Hailey Calvert – Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Second Place
“An Honest Man” – Xavier Dphrepaulezz (Fantastic Negrito) – Oakland, CA, USA

Third Place
“Tied My Worries To A Stone” – Matt Isbell (Ghost Town Blues) – Memphis, TN, USA

Children’s Music

First Place
“The Bright Side Of Me” – Alastair Moock – Melrose, MA, USA

Second Place
“Strawberry Love” – Morgan Taylor (Gustafer Yellowgold) – Kingston, NY, USA

Third Place
“Monday I Woke Up Purple” – Steve Weeks – Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Christian

First Place
“Circles” – Aaron Buchholz – Langley, BC, Canada

Second Place
“Jesus Forever” – Jeff Markey – Hopatcong, NJ, USA

Third Place
“Reaching In” – Brad Nickel – Edmonton, AB, Canada

Comedy/Novelty

First Place
“Let’s Get Wasted (Like We Do On Christmas)” – Sylvie Simhon, Hughie Stone Fish – Bogota, Colombia

Second Place
“Dead With You” – Gareth Cooper – London, England

Third Place
“Joe’s Ex-Girlfriends” – Carla Ulbrich – Clemson, SC, USA

Country

First Place
“Hands“ – Brad Hull, Deanna Harper, Holly Furman (Due West) – Whites Creek, TN, USA

Second Place
“I’m Down” – Andrew Peebles, Joe Fox – North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Third Place
“Like I Would ” – Megan Mace, Elizabeth Mace (Megan & Liz) – Edwardsburg, MI, USA

EDM

First Place
“Two Bodies Ft. Emma Louise” – Flight Facilities – Sydney, NSW, Australia

Second Place
“Hologram” – Ioana Udroiu, Felipe Mejia Saldarriaga (Elline) – Bucharest, Romania

Third Place
“It’s A London Thing” – Ninnee, JCX – Bromley, England

Folk/Singer-Songwriter

First Place
“A Ghost” – Kelsi Fadness (NickNervous) – Twin Falls, ID, USA

Second Place
“Life Without Sundays” – Joshua Meltzer – Northampton, MA, USA

Third Place
“Silk Ft. Thelma Plum” – Dustin Tebbutt – Armidale, NSW, Australia

Instrumental

First Place
“Oriental Fantasy” – Emma Lin – Taichung, Taiwan

Second Place
“Tanger” – Christian Xavier Rizo (Risengard) – Monterrey, Mexico

Third Place
“Wunderbaumgartner” – Esko Jarvela (Esko Jarvela Epic Male Band) – Kerava, Finland

Jazz

First Place
“Sad Meeting” – Omar Sosa – Camaguey, Cuba

Second Place
“Quantum Leaps (And Bounds)” – Carl Bartlett, Jr. – Queens, NY, USA

Third Place
“Halloween Song” – David Smith – Brooklyn, NY, USA

Latin

First Place
“Un Poquito De Amor” – San Miguel Perez, Colin Hay – Granma, Cuba / Los Angeles, CA, USA

Second Place
“El Dia Es Hoy” – Rakel, Jorge L.Piloto, Julio Reyes, Yoel Henríquez – Medellin, Colombia

Third Place
“Amor Sin Barreras” – Georgina Recamier (Madame Recamier) – Mexico City, Mexico

Lyrics Only

First Place
“Silence” – Jack O’Rourke – Cork, Ireland

Second Place
“Apple And Poison” – Suk Lan Ser – Subang Jaya, Malaysia

Third Place
“You And I” – Josh Birdsong – Howell, MI, USA

Music Video

First Place
“Clair De Lune” Directed by Dave Ma – Flight Facilities – Sydney, NSW, Australia

Second Place
“To The Bird” Directed by Vandad Kashefi – Felix Lajku – Budapest, Hungary

Third Place
“Ruthless Love” Directed by Montana Mann – Alexz Johnson, Brendan James Johnson – Vancouver, BC, Canada

Performance

First Place
“Gods Of War” – Celeste Buckingham – Borinka, Slovakia

Second Place
“Another Man’s Gun” – Mike Stocksdale – Palos Verdes, CA, USA

Third Place
“Wake Up” – Carito Plaza, DJ Acres – Santiago, Chile

Pop/Top 40

First Place
“The Girl On The TV Screen” – Aidan James, Tommy Cecil, Jay Brunswick, Matt Alderman – Honolulu, HI, USA

Second Place
“Climbing Trees” – Zimri, Gladius – Nashville, TN, USA

Third Place
“Gasoline” – Nick Bailey – Virginia Beach, VA, USA

R&B/Hip-Hop

First Place
“Stay Up” – Donnovan M. Blocker, Kehlani Parrish (DyMe-A-DuZiN) – Brooklyn, NY, USA

Second Place
“Sweatin’ Ft. Famous” – Pinnacle TheHustler – Cincinnati, OH, USA

Third Place
“Take This” – Zack Gray – Roseville, CA, USA

Rock

First Place
“Anchor” – Ian Berney, Ian Kenny, Glenn Sarangapany, Adam Spark, Adam Weston (Birds Of Tokyo) – Perth, WA, Australia

Second Place
“Kisser” – Step Rockets – Minneapolis, MN, USA

Third Place
“Waterslides” – Tropical Zombie – Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

Teen

First Place
“Labyrinth” – Julia Graye – Saint James, NY, USA

Second Place
“Who Am I” – Carmel Buckingham (The House United) – Borinka, Slovakia

Third Place
“O Captain! My Captain!” – Mitchell Brady (The Static Shift) – Calgary, AB, Canada

Unsigned Only

First Place
“Monsters Of The North” – Brady Parks (The National Parks) – Provo, UT, USA

Second Place
“Wax ‘n’ Wane” – Mickael Fortin (Orange O’Clock) – Sherbrooke, QC, Canada

Third Place
“When We Kiss” – Peter McVeigh – Belfast, Ireland

World

First Place
“A Leggenda Du Piscaturi” – Maurizio Giannone, Roberto Giannone (Corimè) – Marsala, Italy

Second Place
“Ho Jamalo” – Chris McKhool, Kevin Laliberte, Anwar Khurshid, Waleed Abdulhamid (Sultans Of String) – Toronto, ON, Canada

Third Place
“Ntsumi” – Isabel Novella – Maputo, Mozambique

People’s Voice Award

“Fake Fruits?” – Gergana Noykova, Ersin Mustafov, Tasho Kolev (JEREMY?) – Sofia, Bulgaria

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Adana Wins Octaves de la Musique 2016 Award

Armenian-Turkish-Belgian ensemble Adana is the winner of Octaves de la Musique 2016 award in the world music category. The band aims to reconcile Armenian and Turkish cultures and is led by Armenian-Belgian Vardan Hovanissian (duduk) and Turkish-Belgian Emre Gültekin (saz, vocals). The rest of the ensemble includes Belgian musicians Joris Vanvinckenroye on double bass and Simon Leleux on percussion.

Adana recently performed at Babel Med Music world music showcase in Marseilles, receiving a standing ovation from the audience. People stood up at the end of the showcase to give them an ovation. An exceptional performance that shows the interest in this project reconciling Armenian and Turkish cultures.

Octaves de la Musique are the awards presented every year to artists living in Belgium (Wallonia-Brussels). They are handed out by professionals (booking agents, artist managers, record labels, artists, institutions).

Upcoming concerts:

Sines Festival (Portugal)
Philharmonie du Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
Rumi Fest (LV)
Festival Parfums de Musiques (France)
Le Salon du Bleu Café (Switzerland)
Ethno Port Festival (Poland)
Festival de Wallonie (Belgium)
La Chapelle de Verre (Belgium)
Düsseldorf (Germany)
Köln (Germany)
Brugge (Belgium)
Bern (CH)
Gent (BE)

Photo credit: Adana photo by Fabienne Pennewaert

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St. Lucian Reggae Artist Taj Weekes Receives Top Humanitarian Award

Taj Weekes receiving the Les Pitons Medal (Gold) from the Governor General of St. Lucia, H.E. Dame Pearlette Louisy
Taj Weekes receiving the Les Pitons Medal (Gold) from the Governor General of St. Lucia, H.E. Dame Pearlette Louisy

Reggae Artist, philanthropist and CEO of non-profit They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) Taj weekes has been awarded the Les Pitons Medal (Gold) under the Order of Saint Lucia by the Governor General of Saint Lucia, H.E. Dame Pearlette Louisy.

Weekes’ citation lauded him for the consistency with which TOCO continues to implement programs that honor TOCO’s aim to elevate the human condition for youth, especially those at risk. The citation noted that “Mr. Weekes has shown tremendous commitment to service with his hands-on approach to implementing TOCO’s programs”.

Taj Weekes’ active participation in TOCO’s programs is at the center of the Foundation’s success, a factor that has earned him recognition in various spheres. These include the International Consortium of Caribbean Professionals who conferred on him the distinction of Goodwill Ambassador (2007), the Brooklyn-based Saint Lucia House Foundation who awarded him with their humanitarian award (2012) and, UNICEF which officially appointed Weekes a Champion for Children in Eastern Caribbean (2013).

Weekes uses his celebrity as a reggae artists to serve and speak on behalf of the children of the Caribbean. He personally travels and distributes donated items to the islands, lectures to high school and college students on topics ranging from volunteerism to acceptance and tolerance, and donates his own money to ensure that TOCO can fulfill its missions.

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Son De Panamá by Rubén Blades With Roberto Delgado & Orchestra Wins the Best Tropical Latin Album Award at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Son De Panamá by Rubén Blades
Son De Panamá by Rubén Blades

The Recording Academy announced today the winners the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Son De Panamá (Ruben Blades Productions) by Rubén Blades With Roberto Delgado & Orchestra won the Best Tropical Latin Album Award.

Other nominees included

Tributo A Los Compadres: No Quiero Llanto by José Alberto “El Canario” & Septeto Santiaguero (Los Canarios Music)

Presente Continuo by Guaco (Latin Pulse / Sony Music Latin)

Todo Tiene Su Hora by Juan Luis Guerra 4.40 (Universal Music Latino/Capital Latin)

Que Suenen Los Tambores by Victor Manuelle (Kiyavi / Sony Music Latin)

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The Muscle Shoals Recordings by The Steeldrivers Wins the Best Bluegrass Album Award at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards

The Muscle Shoals Recordings  by The Steeldrivers
The Muscle Shoals Recordings by The Steeldrivers

The Recording Academy announced today the winners the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The Muscle Shoals Recordings (Rounder) by The Steeldrivers won the Best Bluegrass Album Award.

Other nominees included

Pocket Full Of Keys by Dale Ann Bradley (Pinecastle Records)

Before The Sun Goes Down by Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley (Compass Records Group)

In Session by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Mountain Home Music Company

Man Of Constant Sorrow by Ralph Stanley & Friends (Red River Entertainment)

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Born To Play Guitar by Buddy Guy Wins the Best Blues Album Award at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Born To Play Guitar by Buddy Guy
Born To Play Guitar by Buddy Guy

The Recording Academy announced today the winners the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Born To Play Guitar (RCA Records/Silvertone Records) by Buddy Guy won the Best Blues Album Award.

Other nominees included:

Descendants Of Hill Country by Cedric Burnside Project (Cedric Burnside Project)

Outskirts Of Love by Shemekia Copeland (Alligator Records)

Worthy by Bettye LaVette (Cherry Red)

Muddy Waters 100 by John Primer & Various Artists (Raisin Music Records)

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