WAMMIES NOMINATION BALLOT
The 11th annual Washington Area Music Awards (The Wammies) are now being planned for Wednesday, November 20, at the Sheraton Washington Grand Ballroom. Confirmed artists include: Pure Soul, The Nighthawks, Mary Ann Redmond, Jacques Johnson Sr, Citizen Cope, Jimmy's Chicken Shack, Rare Essence, and a Tribute to Link Wray. The WAMA Hall of Fame Awards will be presented Sunday, November 24 at the Hard Rock Cafe. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 1, at all ProTix outlets.
Nominations and voting come from the WAMA membership. The Wammies nomination ballot is included in the printed edition of WAMA News. The WAMA membership encompasses music industry professionals including: musicians, songwriters, agents, managers, recording studios, lawyers, promoters, club owners, record companies, and etc.
The Wammies were created to recognize career achievements of our region's musical talent. Awards are presented in a broad range of categories including: Blues, Pop/Rock, Classical, Folk, Jazz, Children's, Urban, Latino, World, and etc.
Wammies Procedures Since the last newsletter, WAMA has received five responses to the article below. If you have concerns about the voting and nominating process, now is the time to speak up. Voting Comments
The WAMA Board of Directors will be seriously considering changes in the policy and procedures relating to the nominations and voting for the Wammies. In the past few years, the Board has received a number of comments regarding the procedure, both pro and con. The Board is now creating a special committee to asses the present procedures and to provide to the full Board of Directors recommendations for change. The changes, if any are adopted, will be implemented for the 1997 Wammies. This year's event will not incorporate any changes of significance, beyond what the Board has authority to do. In the past, some of the areas of concern have been:
- Whether a band should have one vote or whether every band member should be allowed to vote?
- Whether the criteria for the awards should be set forth in a more formal fashion, much like the Oscars or Grammys. The argument being that better criteria and enforcement of the criteria, will make the awards more respected and legitimate?
- Whether categories should be better defined and more permanent?
- Whether artists should be nominated in more than one ore two categories.
All written comments should be sent to:
Jay Rosenthal, Esq.,
Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe
1101 17th Street, N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
or faxes to 202-293-9035 (c/o Jay Rosenthal, Esq.)
The Board will designate a special Board meeting to meet with individuals or groups to discuss these issues.
NARAS Branch Moving Forward
Mike Green, president of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) met with members of Washington's music community June 25 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel to finalize plans for a D.C. area NARAS branch. Since 1992 Mike Schreibman, president of the Washington Area Music Association has lobbied continously for D.C. area NARAS representation, "I am real pleased that it's finally coming to be and I believe it will give Washington area musicians greater recognition, it brings influence and resources to the people of our region," said Schreibman from his McLean office.
Though no formal announcement has been made, Tom Lee, vice president of the American Federation of Musicians' said that the proposed Washington branch committee includes record producer John Alagia (Dave Matthews and Ben Folds Five), WAMA board member and artist manager John Simson, artist manager Gerald Scott (Salt N' Pepa), multi-Wammie winning singer/songwriters Pete and Maura Kennedy, Jim Weaver of the Smithsonian Institute, WAMA board member and owner of Omega Recording Studios Ed Petersen, John Mohlman executive director of Music Educators National Conference and Tom Lee wears multiple title hats including that of a WAMA board member and vice president of the current Mid-Atlantic NARAS branch under which the Washington area presently exists.
These and other members of the proposed D.C. NARAS branch committee will be responsible for developing NARAS programs for the area and bolstering the membership roster. According to Lee, there are 190 NARAS voting members living in the D.C. area who will be contacted and asked if they want to change affiliation to the new DC branch. At the meeting Ed Petersen submitted another fifteen membership applications. Once the DC branch reaches 200 voting members a formal announcement will be made.
Kennedy Center Open House
Every year the Kennedy Center showcases dozens of artists, both regional and national during its annual Open House. This year marks the 25th birthday of the Kennedy Center. Sunday, September 8, 12 noon - 6 PM, each stage will again feature Wammie Award winners and nominees along with national recording artists.
WAMA artists scheduled to appear are the National Symphony Orchestra, The Legendary Orioles, Big Village, Last Train Home, The Emptys, Tom Principato, Fusion, Debbie Smith, Susan Graham White, and Kevin Johnson and the Linemen. National artists will include Los Lobos, Lulu, Rita Coolidge, and Darlene Love.
To kick off the birthday party, anyone who can play an instrument is invited to become a member of the world's biggest birthday band to serenade the Center with an instrumental rendition of "Happy Birthday." Leonard Slatkin will conduct!
The CD Committee has been meeting to prepare for the launch of the latest WAMA compilation CD, DCCD-7. Not all of the details had been finalized at press time, but it is expected that the project will be announced within the next two months.
WAMA produces the CDs to give exposure to area musicians. Artists will submit cuts to WAMA for inclusion on the CD. The final cuts will be selected by a panel of radio programmers, music critics and possibly A&R reps, in a blind judging process. Judges will not be told who recorded the cuts and they will not be allowed to have any business affiliation with the artists.
Once the CD has been released, it will be distributed to record companies, radio stations, newspapers, managers, and agents, as well as to record stores.
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