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Friday, October 26, 2012

Steve Strongman, Shakura S'Aida, Paul Reddick and MonkeyJunk lead Maple Blues Award Nominations

(October 26, 2012) Toronto, ON - The Toronto Blues Society will be celebrating its 16th annual Maple Blues Awards by honouring nationally and internationally recognized Canadian Blues artists from across the country on January 21, 2013. The nominees are recognized both for their talent as well as their contribution to the growing Canadian blues music scene.  

Hamilton’s Steve Strongman leads the way with nominations in six categories, Toronto’s Shakura S’Aida and Paul Reddick, and Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk earned nominations in five categories. Quebec blues artists are well represented with nominations for Nanette Workman, Michael Jerome Brown, Ben Racine, Stephen Barry, Dawn Tyler Watson and Guy Bélanger. British Columbia’s  thriving blues scene is represented with nominations for The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, Steve Kozak, Colin James, David Hoerl, David Gogo and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne.

The Blues Booster of the Year Award will be presented to John Valenteyn, one of the founding members of the Toronto Blues Society, past co-chair of the Maple Blues Awards nominating panel and popular radio host on CIUT FM in Toronto. Valenteyn’s untiring commitment to promoting Canadian blues for over 41 years and as a Toronto Blues Society Volunteer for nearly 28 years is an impressive accomplishment.
David Barnard, another founding member of the Toronto Blues Society had this to say: “When I think of John, the first thing that comes to mind is generosity. Through good times and bad, he has served the blues community in a selfless manner. I’m sure he’s surprised to be a recipient of this award, but I can’t think of a more deserving person.”

Hosted by Toronto actor and blues musician Raoul Bhaneja, The Maple Blues Awards are taking place at Koerner Hall in Toronto on January 21th, 2013.
Voting is open from Midnight NDT October 27th, 2012, through Midnight PST December 8th, 2012. Blues fans can cast their votes online at

Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards, held at the Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall in Toronto, are on sale now for $35 - $65 and can be purchased at The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto or online at

The Toronto Blues Society is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Blues. The Maple Blues Awards is Canada's national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field.
The Royal Conservatory's magnificent new concert hall, Koerner Hall, is a 1,135-seat venue designed in the tradition of the classic “shoebox” venues of Europe. Recognized as being among the world’s greatest concert halls, the Toronto Star has called it "the best concert venue in Toronto." 

The 16th Annual Maple Blues Awards Nominees:

Entertainer Of The Year

Colin James
Matt Andersen
Shakura S'Aida
Steve Strongman 
Electric Act Of The Year

Anthony Gomes
Paul Reddick
Steve Strongman

Acoustic Act Of The Year

Harrison Kennedy
Michael Jerome Browne
Ray Bonneville
Steve Strongman
Suzie Vinnick

Male Vocalist Of The Year

Chuck Jackson
Harrison Kennedy
Matt Andersen
Paul Reddick
Steve Marriner

Female Vocalist Of The Year

Dawn Tyler Watson
Nanette Workman
Shakura S'Aida
Suzie Vinnick
Treasa Levasseur      

New Artist Or Group Of The Year

Ben Racine
Boogie Patrol
Conor Gains Band
Steve Kozak
The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer

Recording/Producer Of The Year

"A Natural Fact" Steve Strongman (Independent) Producer - Rob Szabo
 "Checkered Past" The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer (Independent) Producers - Matthew Rogers & Shawn Hall
"Time" Shakura S'Aida (Electro-Fi) Producers - Shakura S'Aida, Howard Ayee
"Broad" Treasa Levasseur (Slim Chicken), Producers - Treasa Levasseur, Ken Whiteley, Steve Marriner, Terry Wilkins
"Wishbone" Paul Reddick (Independent) Producer - Colin Cripps

Guitarist Of The Year
David Gogo
Garrett Mason
Kevin Breit
Steve Strongman
Teddy Leonard 
Harmonica Player Of The Year

Carlos del Junco
David Hoerl 
Guy Bélanger
Paul Reddick
Steve Marriner 
Piano/Keyboard Player Of The Year

David Vest
Julian Fauth
Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Lance Anderson
Michael Fonfara
Horn Player Of The Year
Al Lerman
Chris Whiteley
Frank Thiffault 
Jon Wong  
Pat Carey 
Drummer Of The Year
Bucky Berger 
Chris Nordquist
Matt Sobb
Sam Harrisson 
Tom Bona 
Bassist Of The Year
Alec Fraser
Gary Kendall 
Omar Tunnoch 
Stephen Barry
Terry Wilkins 
Songwriter Of The Year
Julian Fauth
Paul Reddick
Shakura S'Aida & Donna Grantis
Steve Strongman
Treasa Levasseur

B.B. King International Artist Of The Year

Tedeschi Trucks Band
Michael Burks
Dr. John
Curtis Salgado
Joe Louis Walker

Blues With A Feeling Award(Lifetime Achievement)

Alec Fraser
Danny Brooks
Ellen McIlwaine
Joe Murphy
Ken Whiteley
Michael Fonfara
Stephen Barry
Tom Lavin
Michael Jerome Browne
Matt Minglewood
Brent Parkin
Bob Walsh
Jim Zeller
Nanette Workman
Theresa Malenfant
John Dickie

Blues Booster Of The Year
John Valenteyn

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