13th Annual RAMI Awards at Tebala Temple April 15

It’s the lucky 13th RAMI Awards! The RAMI Awards show is Thursday, April 15 at the Tebala Shrine Temple, 7910 Newburg Rd., from 7-11 p.m. Admission is $5 in advance and $7 the day of the show.

The goals are to promote, support and celebrate the local music community, raise money for The Gary Wilmer Memorial Scholarship Fund, and to have a blast.

The ballots are in! Winners have been chosen by popular vote in more than two dozen genres of music and five technical categories, plus Best New Act and Best Musical Outreach Program. Also, “Critic’s Choice” Award recipients have been selected for Community Service Lifetime Achievement, Best Composer, Best Original Song and Best Album.

Performers include The New Royal Travelers, cast members from ACT’s production of Oliver!, Ken Stein’s Little Big Band with Holland Zander, Jinger Christal with Agnus Jackson, J.J. Jacobs and Jeremy Engler, Too Deep featuring Farren Rounds, Los Autenticos de Zacatecas, Cammi and the Blues Hawks, and The Snaggs.

Advance tickets are available at The On The Waterfront Committee office (964-4388), The Rockford Area Arts Council (963-6765) and The Rock River Times (964-9767).

Outstanding Achievement inductees

Known as the “Queen of Inspirational Soul,” vocalist Ann Nesby combines classic soul, dance, gospel and pop music as a testament to her musical diversity. As lead vocalist for the 30-piece gospel choir Sounds of Blackness, Nesby won Grammy Awards for Best Gospel Album by a Choir in 1991 and for Handel’s Messiah—A Soulful Celebration in 1992, performing with Janet Jackson, Sting and Patti Labelle. Since going solo in 1996, Ann has received two Grammy nominations. The first was for “Put It On Paper,” featuring a duet with the legendary Al Green nominated as Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2003. In 2004, Ann received her second solo Grammy nomination in the Gospel Category for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album for her third solo project, “Make Me Better.” In 2002, Ann formed her own record label, It’s Time Child Records.

Jimmy “Big Jim” Wright comes from gospel music roots, giving him diversity and strength as a musician, composer, producer and arranger. Introduced to music at age 5, by the age of 15, Wright was an accomplished pianist and organist. A former member of gospel choir Sounds of Blackness, Wright has worked with artists such as Michael and Janet Jackson, Yolanda Adams, Stevie Wonder, Patti Labelle, Usher and many more. Wright currently lives in Minneapolis, Minn., where he is part of the production team at Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ Flyte Tyme Records.

A 1983 graduate of Guilford High School, BRAD Wood was a member of Guilford’s All State Jazz Ensemble and played saxophone with bands such as Prophesy and Slab Fashion. Shortly after his 1987 graduation from Northern Illinois University, Brad became assistant producer for CRC Studio in Chicago. Within a year, Wood opened his first studio, Idful Music, acting as owner, producer and engineer from 1988 until 1997. In 1997, Wood founded Engine Studios, which he operated until 2000. In 2000, Wood moved to California, where he currently works as a free-lance producer. Wood is known for his production work with acts such as Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt and the Bangles and for performing as the bassist for Tortoise, the drummer for Shrimp Boat and as the drummer for Liz Phair. Wood also produced his own New York off-Broadway rock musical Hedwig And The Angry Inch.

2004 Scholarship Winners

Keith School student Lily Henley shines as a dedicated and passionate violinist who lives and works at her dream of being the best musician she can be. Considered a unique and passionate student, Rockford Christian School student Christine Knodle ultimately wants a career as a composer of music for movies and television. Winnebago High School student Daniel Jansen performs on baritone, tuba and French horn, participates as a member of his school’s symphonic band, the Rockford Area’s Youth Symphony Orchestra (RAYSO), and the Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA) District Band.

2004 RAMI CD Releases

The following projects released in 2003 were submitted to the RAMI Committee for consideration as Critics’ Choice Awards: Gathering the Dangerous by Michael Corin; Upper Palette by Tom Mac; Dead End by The Merkins; What’s It All About by Airbag; Orange by Orange; In Tribute by Julian Swain; Kantorei by Kantorei; Sons of Deliverance by The Blues Hawks; Merry Christmas by The Blues Hawks; A New Day by James Nolting; Egan’s Rats EP; Spinderson EP; Common Ground (demo); and Silvercreek (demo).

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