By Jim Hagerty
As the final preparations are made for tomorrow’s (Thursday, April 29) 19th Annual Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) Awards Ceremony, officials are gearing up for a successful event. The organization is also poising itself to be stronger in the future.
The RAMI Youth Charity Jam, Lifetime Achievement Award and Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Scholarship continue to be enriching elements. Officials have also turned to the social media to spread news, update musicians and communicate with the mainstream media.
RAMI Secretary Cindy Maschke said Facebook has been an important tool in her day-to-day life. Through the networking site, Maschke is able to communicate with hundreds of contacts in seconds, while in the past, doing so required hard-copy letters, fliers and strings of phone calls.
“Using Facebook as a way to reach the musicians has proven to be very effective,” Maschke said.
The RAMI Musicians Organization also is in the process of being slightly revamped. With more than 170 members, the group is growing rapidly. As the group grows, exciting changes in the voting process will make future awards ceremonies more valuable to each member.
“The musicians in the community need to support each other by joining the RAMI Musicians Organization,” Maschke added. “By doing so, the voting process can be changed, and musicians can be voted on by their peers. Right now, the Technicians are nominated and voted on by only the members of the RAMI Musicians Organization. When we reach the goal of 300 members, this change can go into effect.”
Tomorrow’s ceremony begins at 7 p.m., with opening remarks from RAMI co-founder Frank Schier. Cost is $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 are Steve Shannon (drummer, DJ, radio personality), Ernie & the Po’ Boys (longtime blues act) and Harlan Jefferson & Rick Burns (blues, jazz and funk artists).
The evening begins at 6 p.m. with the announcement of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement and In Memoriam awards.
Lifetime Achievement recipients are Joe Paluzzi, Vincent Chiarelli and the late Doug Furze (Kathy Ryan accepting).
Furze died last December after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
“Lifetime achievement is for an active performing musician, advocate of live music, music teacher, or technical support person within the greater Rockford region for a combined minimum of 15 years,” Maschke said. “Candidates shall have had a positive impact on the musical performance community through these public performances, public accomplishments, personal promotion of live music, and displayed a level of professionalism and performance so as to inspire others.”
This is the first year RAMI will present the In Memoriam Award. The award remembers musicians who have passed during the year and had dedicated their life to inspiring others through performing, teaching and promoting music, Maschke said.
Sandy Peterson will accept the 2010 In Memoriam Award on behalf of her husband, Kevin Peterson, a longtime hornist. Peterson played with Clutch Cargo, Moonlight Jazz Orchestra, Opan Jii and Bonedaddyz before his untimely death last year.
Performers for the 2010 RAMI Awards include Too Deep, River City Sound Chorus, Jeff Keefer, Silver, Dean Moriarty Jazz Band, Joie DeVivre, AudioDrive and 2009 Youth Charity Jam winner Hope Despite.
The RAMI Youth Charity Jam has grown into one of the most popular musical events in the Rock River Valley. With about 500 to 600 spectators at each event, the jam allows teen bands to work with professional lighting and stage technicians and raise money for the Wilmer scholarship fund. Last year, the Youth Charity Jam bands performed at the Rockford Fourth of July celebration, Cherry Valley Days and On the Waterfront.
“This event has grown way above expectation,” Maschke said, “and the musicians and technicians assisting have taken the time to teach these young men and women about the stage, lighting and sound. This has also opened the doors for them to perform at the area festivals and other community events.”
Three graduating high school seniors will be awarded annual Gary S. Wilmer Memorial scholarships Thursday. The scholarship fund is partly subsidized by money raised by the Youth Charity Jam.
The 19th Annual RAMI Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Jodi Beach and emcee Jim McDowell. Thirty awards will be given to musicians and technical recipients.
2010 RAMI Award nominees, by category
Blues—Barstool Bob Blues Band, Boulas, Steve Ditzell and Blue Lightning, Basement Blues Band
Cabaret/Broadway—Mike Williamson Trio, Patte Armato Lund, Swing Productions
Choral Group—Mendelssohn Chorale, Rock Valley Community Chorale, River City Sound Chorus, Womansong
Christian—Calvary Praise Band, Christian Fellowship Band, Epiphany, Faith Center Praise Band, Silver, The Assemblymen
Classical Ensemble—Camerato Emanon, Essen Trio, Kishwaukee Valley Concert Band, Measure Five/Rockford College Music Academy, Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, Rockford Chamber Players, Rockford Concert Band, Rockford Wind Ensemble, Bella String Quartet
Classical Instrumentalist—Ann Marie Olson, Brandon Lamm, Hannah Lamm, Katie Schulz, Rullee Stallman, Tom Asher
Country/Bluegrass—Chip Messiner, Hillbilliee, Julane and Gid-E-Yup, Penny Mae Dixon Band, Second Wind, Smokin’ Gunz, Southern Heritage, Steve Stapler
DJ—DJ Billy K, DJ Jordan Chance, Howard-Bailey-Murray, Vic Monsta
Folk/Solo Pop—Ken Curtis, Kyle Robie, Larry Higgs, Robby Red Locks, Ron Rawhoof, Steve Ditzell
Funk/R&B—The Usual Suspects, Too Deep, Whalebone
Gospel—Awe Struck, Carl Hanserd & Friends, Christian Jubilee Singers of Beloit, New Royal Travelers, Prime Minister, Renee Kent
Jazz, Contemporary—Dan Voll, Dean Moriarty Jazz Band, Frank Calvagna & Opan Jii, Laura Bayliss Jazz Trio, Out of the Blues Jazz Combo, Rob Tomaro Jazz Trio
Jazz, Traditional—Bill Doll Jazz Trio, Cocktail Party, Ken Stein/Cary Sheley Little Big Band, Maxine Holler & The Maximillians, Mike Alongi, Val Eddy and the Val Aires
Latino—Dragones, Grupo Escape, Los Aires de Guanajuato, Revolucion De Amor
Musical Outreach Organization—Crossroads Blues Society, Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, Phantom Regiment, Rockford Salvation Army Band
New Act—7th Street Saints, After Five Jazz Trio, Bloom, Blues Kings, Britches & Hose, Calvagna/Harris, Circleswift, Clark Plays Guitar, Courtney Davies Band, Crossroads Band, Dave Sadtler, Dirty Fishnet Stockings, Donkey Boy (USA) & The Anthony Graigs, Emily Hurd, Hard Encore, Hope Despite, Kelly Steward, Mark Reed & Waddy, Mary J. Harris, Matt Alba, Rocktagious, Rollin Whiskey, Shifty Shafer, Sons of Many Bitches, The Classix, The GoMows, The Thought Feeling I am, Urban Rainbow, Warren Franklin, Zachery Lane
Rap/Hip Hop—Direk, Hollywood of The Bridge, Judah the Lyrical Rev, Midevil aka Midi da Mistress, Young Jilla
Rock, Acoustic—Acoustic Millennium Band, Andy Spitson, Starlite Radio, Cover Story
Rock, Classic—Audio Drive/Pulse, Brother K, Bullet, DVS, Frontiers, LYX, No Dice, Presumed Innocent, Split Decision, Stone-Free, The Blue Moon Project, The Crunchy Frogs, The Edge, The Freebirds
Rock, Hard/Metal—DV8, Heavyflow, Iron Cross, Shuvlhed, Warmouth, Wykkyd Vykkyr
Rock, Modern—Lizzi Neal Band, The Merkins, The Stevee Nix, x51
Rock, Oldies—Tabby & Mixed Company, The Aardvarks, Vintage Vinyl
Rock, Pop/Retro—Budokon ‘78, Fat Elvis, Prime Time Live Band, Radio Stars, Tattoo You, The Crave, The Sensations, TRaSh 80’s, U Know Who, U.S. Radio
Rock, Punk/Indie/Alternative—A Dance Between Giants/Nervous Circuits, Friday All Summer, Mana Kintorso, Matter of Fact, Mulligan Stu, The Color Morale, The Moment
World Music—Ernie Sandquist, Pipes and Drums of Clan MacAlpine, The Bob Peterson Trio, The Reggie, Trinity Combo
More information about the Rockford Area Music Industry is at ramiawards.com.
From the April 28-May 4, 2010 issue