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14th Annual Maple Blues Awards 2011

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JW-Jones' Midnight Memphis Sun

JW-Jones' Midnight Memphis Sun

Photo courtesy Northern Blues Music

The Toronto Blues Society held its 14th annual Maple Blues Awards ceremony on Monday night, January 17th, 2011 at the new Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Ontario. The Canadian blues scene has begun to rival its south-of-the-border neighbor in international status, the country hosting a thriving, vital blues community. The annual Maple Blues Awards ceremony honors excellence among Canadian blues artists.

Maple Blues Awards nominees are chosen by a panel of over 50 blues experts. Co-chaired by the Toronto Blues Society's John Valenteyn and Brent Staeben of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton, the panel includes radio hosts, journalists, and festival organizers regionally distributed across Canada.

In a change from tradition, winners in the instrumental categories this year were chosen by the nominating panel; all the other award winners were chosen by blues fans from across Canada by voting on the Toronto Blues Society website. Voting opened on October 29th, 2010 and ran through December 11th, 2010 and was open to all Canadian citizens with a valid email address. Here are the nominees and winners (in bold) of the 2011 Maple Blues Awards:

2011 Maple Blues Awards Winners & Nominees

Entertainer of the Year

  • Matt Andersen
  • Downchild
  • Johnny Max Band
  • Monkey Junk
  • Shakura S'Aida

Electric Act of the Year

  • Monkey Junk
  • David Gogo
  • Downchild
  • Jack de Keyzer
  • Jimmy Bowskill Band

Acoustic Act of the Year

  • Matt Andersen
  • Braithwaite & Whiteley
  • Harrison Kennedy
  • Harry Manx
  • Little Miss Higgins

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • John Mays (Fathead)
  • Bob Walsh
  • Duane Blackburn
  • Harrison Kennedy
  • Jim Byrnes

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Shakura S'Aida
  • Dawn Tyler Watson
  • Erin McCallum
  • Robin Bank$
  • Treasa Levasseur

New Artist of Group of the Year

  • Mike “Shrimp Daddy" Reid
  • Arsen Shomakhov
  • Chris Antonik
  • Erin McCallum
  • Hupman Brothers

Recording of the Year

B.B. King International Artist of the Year

Guitar Player of the Year

  • Garrett Mason
  • Jack de Keyzer
  • Steve Dawson
  • Teddy Leonard
  • Tony D

Harmonica Player of the Year

  • Steve Marriner
  • David Rotundo
  • Guy Bélanger
  • Paul Reddick
  • Roly Platt

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year

  • Julian Fauth
  • Graham Guest
  • Kenny “Blue Boss" Wayne
  • Lance Anderson
  • Michael Fonfara

Horn Player of the Year

  • Chris Whiteley
  • Al Lerman
  • Chris Murphy
  • Johnny Johnson
  • Pat Carey

Drummer of the Year

  • Matt Sobb
  • Bucky Berger
  • Chris Nordquist
  • Geoff Arsenault
  • Vince Maccarone

Bassist of the Year

  • Keith Picot
  • Alan Duffy
  • Alec Fraser
  • Brandi Disterheft
  • Gary Kendall

Songwriter of the Year

  • Paul Reddick & Colin Linden
  • Harry Manx
  • Jolene “Little Miss" Higgins
  • Sue Foley & Peter Karp
  • Treasa Levasseur

Blues Booster of the Year
Gord MacAulay

Special Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard Newell

Blues With A Feeling (Lifetime Achievement) Award
Rita Chiarelli

The Toronto Blues Society

The Toronto Blues Society was formed in 1985 by Derek Andrews, David Barnard and John Valenteyn to help keep blues music alive in the city. Aside from the annual Maple Blues Awards, the Toronto Blues Society also sponsors The Blues Summit, a bi-annual gathering of blues artists and promoters from across Canada, holds various workshops, and publishes Maple Blues, a monthly music magazine. You can find out more about the organization on the Toronto Blues Society website.

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