Best in Rockford music named at 20th RAMI Awards
By Jim Hagerty
Thirty-one musical artists were named best in the category Friday, April 29, at the 20th Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) Awards Ceremony.
Held at the Tebala Shrine Temple, the ceremony included performances by 2011 RAMI Youth Charity Jam finalist Sarah Griffin, Daybreak (Youth Charity Jam winner), The Poets Dance, Hillworms, Men of Our Times, Missing Links, Too Deep, Rockfish, Somo Mojo, Clutch Cargo and Matter of Fact.
Too Deep, Mike Williamson and the Phantom Regiment were inducted into the RAMI Hall of Fame while RAMI co-founders Frank Schier and Bruce Hammond were presented with Lifetime Achievement awards for their years of service. Schier is the editor & publisher of The Rock River Times and founder of the Rock River Trail. Hammond co-owns Sound Concepts and a member of the RAMI Hall of Fame.
Schier, Hammond and the late Gary Wilmer founded the organization in the early 1990s. The awards ceremonies began as a battle-of-the-bands contest held at local bars.
Wilmer died of cancer in 1994.
Following Wilmer’s death, the organization established the Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Scholarship, which assists students who wish to pursue an education in music. The scholarship has raised more than $40,000 since 1996. This year’s winners were Tim Perian from Harlem High School and Auburn’s William “Alex” Liddell.
The RAMI Youth Charity Jam has grown into one of the area’s most popular musical events. With about 500 to 600 spectators at each show, the program allows teen acts to work with professional stage personnel at festivals like Cherry Valley Days and On the Waterfront. Bands also raise money for the Wilmer and Youth Charity Jam scholarships.
The 2011 Youth Charity Jam Scholarship was awarded to Jordan Nettgen of Belvidere North High School.
Following, by category, is a complete list of 2011 RAMI Award winners:
Acoustic Rock/Folk—Kelly Steward
Album of the Year—West of the Moon, The Jodi Beach Trio
Blues—Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames
Community Music Event of the Year—Bookerfest
Composer of the Year—Jerry Parlapiano
DJ—DJ Jordan Chance
Female Lead Vocalist—Amy NIckel & Holland Zander (tie)
Funk/R&B—The Usual Suspects
Hard Rock/Metal—Iron Cross
Indie/Alternative—Matter of Fact
Jazz—Dean Moriarity Jazz Band
Latino—Revolucion De Amor & Escape (tie)
Lighting Engineer—Mark Ellis & Erik Myles
Live Sound Engineer—“Johnny B” MacDowell
Male Lead Vocalist—Arik Jenkins
New Act—Whiskey Train
Recording Studio—Barker Recording Studio
Rockabilly—Dirty Fishnet Stockings
Song of the Year—Matter of Fact
Stage Hand/Rigger—Rick Abrams
Stage Manager—Laurie Oliver Studio
Sound Engineer—Chris French
Tribute Band—Tattoo You
People’s Choice Awards
Artist of the Year—Bareknuckle Bullseye
Favorite Radio Station—Q98.5
Favorite Music Venue—Kryptonite Music Lounge
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