A Reception Celebrating The Blues Music Awards Recap

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On Thursday, May 11, over 100 members of the blues music community met with Recording Academy members and staff at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel to share information about the GRAMMY® nomination process. The gathering was attended by Recording Academy staff members Jon Hornyak (Sr. Executive Director, Memphis Chapter), Reid Wick (Membership Manager, Memphis Chapter), Brittany Hoover (Membership Coordinator, Texas Chapter), along with Memphis Chapter Governor Ken Shepherd, Chicago Chapter Member Michael Freeman and members of the Blues Task Force. The event was presented in honor of the 38th Blues Music Awards which took place that same night.

Jon Hornyak kicked off the afternoon by welcoming everyone and introducing 59th GRAMMY winners, Fantastic Negrito (Best Contemporary Blues) and Bobby Rush (Best Traditional Blues). Bobby and Fantastic Negrito passionately shared moving testimonies on the impact of their GRAMMY wins, as well as the true importance of getting involved and having a voice in the process. Following the GRAMMY winners’ touching messages, Blues Task Force members Ken Shepherd and Michael Freeman explained the Awards submission and nomination process in detail, including clarification of who was qualified to nominate and vote, explanations of categories, and significant membership and submission deadlines. Michael and Ken also had the pleasure of announcing that after a number of years working within the community and increasing those who submit in the GRAMMY process, there are now two categories where Blues musicians can be considered – Best Traditional Blues and Best Contemporary Blues. Attendees then had an opportunity to ask questions and address concerns. Following the presentation, blues artists Matthew Skoller and Toronzo Cannon, and Willie Walker and Anthony Paule took the stage for exciting performances for attendees.

Musicians in attendance included recording artists Fantastic Negrito, Bobby Rush, Cedric Burnside, Annika Chambers, Bob Margolin, Lara Price, Dexter Allen, Diunna Greenleaf, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Steve Krase, just to name a few. This event was enlightening and offered a unique way to encourage Blues musicians to submit eligible product for GRAMMY consideration, in an effort to increase the visibility of their works in the awards process, as well as to vote on the GRAMMY Awards. This gathering was just the beginning of many to help spread this message of community throughout the Blues music world.


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Chicago Chapter Executive Director - Sarah Jansen

President - Mark Hubbard

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