15th Annual Maple Blues Awards 2012 - Toronto Blues Society

The Toronto Blues Society will hold its 15th annual Maple Blues Awards ceremony on Monday night, January 16th, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario.

The Canadian blues scene has long rivaled its south-of-the-border neighbor in international status, the country hosting a thriving, vital blues community with many artists of note and more than a few fast-rising up and comers. 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. Members of the nominating panel are not eligible for awards.

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 theToronto Blues Society website.

Winners in the instrumental categories will be chosen by the nominating panel; all the other award winners are chosen by blues fans from across Canada by voting on the Toronto Blues Society website. Voting opened on October 28th, 2011 and runs through midnight on December 10th, 2011 and is open to all Canadian citizens with a valid email address. Here are the nominees for the 2011 Maple Blues Awards:


2012 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 Banks

    Shakura S'Aida

    Suzie Vinnick

    Treasa Levasseur


New Artist/Group of the Year


    24th Street Wailers

    Douglas Watson R&B Revue

    Kat Danser

    Sabrina Weeks & Swing Cat Bounce

    Tim Vaughn



Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)


    Alec Fraser

    Danny Brooks

    Ellen McIlwaine

    Joe Murphy

    Ken Whiteley

    Michael Fonfara

    Paul James

    Stephen Barry

    Tom Lavin



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 (Twisters)

    David Rotundo

    Roly Platt

    Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk)


Recording of the Year


    Suzie Vinnick - Me 'n' Mabel (SV)

    Rita Chiarelli - Music From The Big House (Mad Iris)

    Bill Johnson - Still Blue (BJ)

    Harry Manx & Kevin Breit - Strictly Whatever (Stony Plain)

    MonkeyJunk - To Behold (Stony Plain)


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 (Twisters)

    Omar Tunnoch (Fathead)


Songwriter of the Year


    Bill Johnson

    Diteodoro/Marriner/Sobb (MonkeyJunk)

    Harrison Kennedy

    Harry Manx

    Suzie Vinnick


B.B. King International Artist of the Year


    Bettye LaVette

    Duke Robillard

    Greg Allman

    JJ Grey & Mofro

    Tedeschi Trucks Band





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