Proceeds from show night go to the San Diego Music Foundations “Guitars For Schools” program. “It’s a win-win for the local community,” said event organizer Kevin Hellman. “Musicians get a spotlight shown on their art while raising funds for local children. We are planting the seeds of future musicians.”
Nominees are chosen from amongst performers throughout San Diego County, including the Ocean Beach / Point Loma area. OB-based singer songwriter Jeff Berkley, who is nominated for “Best Country or Americana Album,” for the disc, “While the Night is Still Young,” considers it an honor to be included in the proceedings.
“Getting nominated is a great feeling,” he said. “It means somebody’s paying attention to my work and that’s pretty great. There’s so much great music locally that I feel lucky to be noticed.”
Point Loma native, pianist Sue Palmer concurs. “There’s something wonderful about still being thought of as a vital force, after all these years,” she said. Palmer was nominated both as a jazz performer, as well as for releasing a blues album, “Gems.”
“This is the second time in the last 20 years that I have had both a blues and a jazz nomination,” she said. “I guess I can't be pigeonholed entirely and that makes me feel good.”
Meanwhile, rockers Stone Horse, who include “resident Ocean Beach hippie,” singer Danielle Spade, are also proud of their nomination for their album, “Gotta Get Back.” “It feels like icing on the cake for a good year,” Spade said.
Her musical partner, guitarist Carlos Rodriguez of La Jolla agrees. “We’re very proud and excited to be nominated, we feel it’s our best work,” he said. “It’s great to be around our peers, hopefully getting the respect that has eluded us for so long.”
Other performers eligible for a trophy include North Park resident and blues singer Whitney Shay, who may have to clear significant shelf space after this year’s awards ceremony.
“I feel incredibly shocked and honored; three nominations – one of which for Artist of the Year? I was kind of in disbelief when I heard about it,” she said. Shay is also nominated as “Best Live Performer” and for “Best Blues Album”” for her release, “A Woman Rules The World.”
“It’s so nice to be honored by my home town and supported and recognized my peers.” Like many involved she considers the event – which is open to the public – to be the party of the year for musicians. “My favorite thing about the awards is getting to catch up with so many people I respect and admire in town that I never get a chance to see because we’re all so busy hustling,” Shay said.
Newcomers, Babydoll Warriors are candidates for a “Best New Artist” trophy. “We are over the moon to be nominated,” said singer Julia McMahon from her Mission Hills home. “We've enjoyed the overwhelmingly support of the music community as a whole. Everyone is so positive and inclusive.”
She considers the help the event gives to area student musicians to be a welcome bonus. “One of my favorite things about the awards is that it gives light to the underdogs as well as the veterans,” she said. “Plus, being a parent, I love that the proceeds help to purchase guitars for our schools.”
Nominated for “Best Jazz Performer,” San Carlos musician Nathan Hubbard sums up the experience of being included in this year’s awards’ show.
“Making art/music can sometimes feel like throwing things into the void,” he said. “So a nomination like this and the acknowledgement behind it is always wonderful.”
Cast your votes at sandiegomusicawards.com.