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October 19, 2006

Western Canadian Music Awards Kickoff Today in Winnipeg

Written by
cindy mcleod

Canadian jazz, blues news

Western Canadian Music Awards Begin Today

The Western Canadian Music Awards begin today in Winnipeg, the first of the four-day festival of workshops, seminars, performances, and the awards gala. Artists from B.C., the Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have arrived to take part in the event.

The awards ceremony, which takes place Sunday evening at the Burton Cummings Theatre, will feature a stunning lineup of performers from all music disciplines, and will highlight the evening’s events.

Artists are scheduled to perform in tandem, helping to keep the pace of the event flowing, with the range of artists performing including a cappella group Madrigaia with electronic outfit Au4, country star Aaron Pritchett with genre icon Barney Bentall and Metis performer Andrea Martin with local aboriginal act Eagle & Hawk.

Hosting for the evening will be children’s entertainer Al Simmons and radio personality/ Sun columnist Ace Burpee.

The finale will feature a reunion of the original lineup of Harlequin, the Winnipeg based hard-rockers, who will be inducted into the WCMA’s Hall of Fame.

Nominees for the Outstanding Jazz Recording include:

Hutchinson Andrew Trio Lost But Not Forgotten
Marc Atkinson Trio III
Bomba Entre Sol Y Luz
The Ian McDougall Quintet In a Sentimental Mood
Denzal Sinclaire My One and Only Love
Brad Turner Quartet What Is

Outstanding Blues Recording

The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir Fighting and Onions
Doug Cox & Sam Hurrie Hungry Ghosts
Little Miss Higgins Cobbler Shop Sessions
The Perpetrators The Gas and The Clutch
Richie Pollack Stew

The WCMA Awards Ceremony Performers

Jann Arden: Chances are good you’re already familiar with Jann, thanks to her pop-rock ballads and frequently potty-mouthed TV talk show appearances.

Corb Lund: The Alberta cowboy has found favour with both the old-school and new-country camps and played a sold-out show at the Garrick a few weeks back.

Aaron Pritchett: This up-and-comer scored a country hit with the cheeky Hold My Beer (While I Kiss Your Girlfriend). We’d advise keeping your eye on him at the bar.

Barney Bentall: Since parting company with roots-rockers the Legendary Hearts, Bentall has found new life as a solo country crooner and cattle rancher.

Eagle and Hawk: Together for 12 years now, this modern-rock aboriginal outfit already has a Juno award for its members’ efforts.

Doc Walker: The pride of Portage, this country-rock quintet has found a permanent home on the CMT charts.

Alana Levandoski: Born in Kelwood, Man., Levandoski quickly earned a following as one of the brightest stars on the local singer-songwriter scene.

Andrea Menard: This Metis singer-songwriter and actress was once named Saskatoon’s Sexiest Female by S Magazine. Feel free to insert your own banjo joke here.

Au4: Three Vancouver brothers (plus one friend) traffic in downtempo electronica, inspired by the likes of Massive Attack.

Bob King: Children’s performer (and teacher) Bob King has spent three decades schooling listeners in the fine art of family fare.

Brad Johner: He scored four hit albums with brother Ken (as the Johner Brothers) before striking out in search of solo acclaim.

Grant Siemens: This hometown boy done real good, both as a master of the hillbilly stuff (banjo, slide guitar, etc.) and as a session player with Lund’s Hurtin’ Albertans band.

House of Doc: Mountain music from right here in flatlander country, derived from disparate Celtic, folk, gospel and blues influences.

Joel Fafard: Fingerstyle guitarist Fafard won over legions of fans with his farm-boy persona and witty hits like Face Down in the Rhubarb.

Madrigaia: Franco-Manitoban vocal septet, whose female membership places serious stock in haunting harmonies and choreography.

Mood Ruff: This local hip-hop outfit has some experience with industry get-togethers, having founded the Peg City Holla Urban Music Festival.

Rich Hope: Vancouver blues-rocker whose soul-stirring work is apparently akin to “fine campfire whiskey and haystack sex.”

Richie Pollack: “Cross-harp ambassador” Richie Pollack has spent the last 15 years spreading the good musical word with his trusty diatonic harmonica.

Ridley Bent: Vancouver “hick-hop” pioneer, specializing in folksy alt-country guitars and phat rap beats.

Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir: Blues for the nonbelievers, courtesy of this banjo-pickin’, genre-straddlin’ Calgary quartet.

for more information visit www.westerncanadianmusicawards.ca

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