Maple Blues Awards Nominees Announced

The Toronto Blues Society will be celebrating its 15th annual Maple Blues Awards by honouring nationally and internationally recognized Canadian Blues artists from across the country on January 16, 2012. The nominees are recognized both for their talent as well as their contribution to the growing Canadian blues music scene.

Shakura S'Aida will co-host the 15th annual Maple Blues Awards. (Photo by Bill King)

Leading the nominations is last year’s big winner, Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk, with seven nominations, followed by Toronto’s Suzie Vinnick, who originally hails from Saskatoon, and Fathead each with four. Harry Manx & Kevin Breit also have four nominations. Hamilton’s Rita Chiarelli, who won the Blues With a Feeling Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, has three nominations, as does Harrison Kennedy, another Hamilton native. British Columbia blues artists are well represented with three nominations each for Jim Byrnes and Bill Johnson. New Brunswick’s Matt Andersen also has three nominations. Nominees for the Blues Booster of the Year Award will be announced at a later date.

Hosted by internationally recognized blues performers Treasa Levasseur and Shakura S’Aida, The 2012 Maple Blues Awards are taking place at Koerner Hall in Toronto on January 16th, 2012.

Voting opens Friday, October 28 at midnight ADT & closes Saturday, December 10 at midnight PST. Blues fans can cast their votes online at www.mapleblues.ca .

The 15th Annual Maple Blues Awards Nominees:

Entertainer Of The Year

Jim Byrnes

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Matt Andersen


Shakura S’Aida

Electric Act Of The Year

Bill Johnson

David Gogo

Keith Hallett & Garrett Mason


Rita Chiarelli

Acoustic Act Of The Year

Harrison Kennedy

Harry Manx

Matt Andersen

Suzie Vinnick

Tim Williams

Male Vocalist Of The Year

Harrison Kennedy

Jim Byrnes

John Mays (Fathead)

Matt Andersen

Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk)

Female Vocalist Of The Year

Rita Chiarelli

Robin Bank$

Shakura S’Aida

Suzie Vinnick

Treasa Levasseur

New Artist Or Group Of The Year

The 24th Street Wailers

Douglas Watson R&B Revue

Kat Danser

Sabrina Weeks & Swing Cat Bounce

Tim Vaughn

Recording Of The Year

1. Me ‘n’ Mabel (SV)

Suzie Vinnick

Producer – Danny Greenspoon

2. Music From The Big House (Mad Iris)

Rita Chiarelli

Producer – Rita Chiarelli

3. Still Blue (BJ)

Bill Johnson

Producers – Jody Baker & Bill Johnson

4. Strictly Whatever (Stony Plain)

Harry Manx & Kevin Breit

Producers – Harry Manx & Kevin Breit

5. To Behold (Stony Plain)


Producer – Steve Marriner & Ken Friesen

Blues With A Feeling Award

(Lifetime Achievement)

Alec Fraser

Danny Brooks

Ellen McIlwaine

Joe Murphy

Ken Whiteley

Michael Fonfara

Paul James

Stephen Barry

Tom Lavin

B.B. King International Artist Of The Year

Bettye LaVette

Duke Robillard

Greg Allman

JJ Grey & Mofro

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Guitar Player Of The Year

David Gogo

Garrett Mason

Jack de Keyzer

Kevin Breit

Steve Strongman

Harmonica Player Of The Year

Carlos del Junco

David “Hurricane” Hoerl (The Twisters)

David Rotundo

Roly Platt

Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk)

Piano/Keyboard Player Of The Year

Curley Bridges

David Vest

John Lee Sanders

Julian Fauth

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Horn Player Of The Year

Al Lerman (Fathead)

Chris Murphy

Chris Whiteley

Pat Carey (Downchild)

Neil Braithwaite (Blackburn)

Drummer Of The Year

Al Cross (Jerome Godboo)

Bucky Berger (Fathead)

Geoff Arsenault (Morgan Davis)

Matt Sobb (MonkeyJunk)

Vince Maccarone (Johnny Max)

Bassist Of The Year

Alan Duffy (Jack de Keyzer)

Alec Fraser (Fraser/Daley)

Gary Kendall (Downchild)

Keith Picot (The Twisters)

Omar Tunnoch (Fathead)

Songwriter Of The Year

Bill Johnson

Diteodoro/Marriner/Sobb (MonkeyJunk)

Harrison Kennedy

Harry Manx

Suzie Vinnick

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