san diego music awards

P.O.D., Switchfoot, Jason Mraz, Rebecca Jade Up for 2021 San Diego Music Awards Tuesday Night

Connie Bolger Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact

In another sign that song is stirring back to life in San Diego, the San Diego Music Awards will be handed out Tuesday evening on Shelter Island.

While there may not have been many shows in 2020 -- which is why there's no Best Live Band award this year -- but the music never stopped. Artists gotta make art.

Sure, the usual suspects like Switchfoot, P.O.D., Jason Mraz, Vokab Kompany and Tribal Theory all got nods for 2021 awards, but the new kids in town are well represented also, including blues singer Whitney Shay, the countrified Carlsbad kids from Trouble in the Wind as well as R&B standout Rebecca Jade.

This year's San Diego Music Awards featured live performances by the Redwoods Revue, Vokab Company, Jason Mraz, Planet B and more, with awards going to living legends like "Swami" John Reis. Watch our highlight reel here.

And there's plenty of new names to sink your ears into: Crhymes is nominated for Best Hip-Hop Song, for example, the rockers from the Montell Jordans hope to go home with the statuette for Best Rock Album, and Maria Antoinette -- that's no typo, folks -- is hoping to be crowned for Best Local Recording.

Performers on Tuesday night include the glam rockers of the Frets, singer/songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill, jazzman Ed Kornhauser, local legends Jerry Raney (who will receive a lifetime achievement award) and the Farmers, the rockers of Electric Mud, alt-Latino all-stars Marujah, blues twang from Chickenbone Slim and R&B chanteuse Brisa Lauren.

In year's past, the awards would go to the best act in a genre and the best album released in that genre. So, in 2020, Ten Bulls won for Best Indie/Alternative Album, but Aviator Stash claimed honors of being Best Indie/Alternative ... period. This year, in many cases -- though not all -- each genre has an award for best single and best album, plus there are nominees for Best Local Recording, Best Video, and Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Also missing is the category of Artist of the Year -- Rebecca Jade got bragging rights on that one last year.

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The 25th annual San Diego Music Awards celebrated notable industry locals at Humphrey's by the Bay on Oct. 5 -- including Wild Wild Wets, who collected the award for Best Alternative Album for their release "14th Floor."
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San Diego sweethearts Louis XIV returned to their hometown to play a set that was cut short due to the awards running long.
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SoundDiego LIVE alumni Prayers won Best Alternative and celebrated by making the night interesting with a lively acceptance speech.
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The Bassics, who are set to play our SoundDiego LIVE party on Oct. 9, won Best New Artist.
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After successfully sipping his drink while running to the stage, vocalist Bryan Barbarin of the Routine accepted the award for Best Rock.
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Radio unites! DJs Halloran of 91x, Chris Cantore of the recently sold KPRi and Woods of FM 94/9 are comfortable behind the mic.
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Best Americana nominees Berkley Hart Selis Twang played a few songs between awards.
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Berkley Hart Selis Twang perform.
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Lady Dottie & the Diamonds picked up the award for Best Cover Band.
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Peter Sprague was this year's Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.
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The young Cody Lovaas was nominated for Best Singer-Songwriter and played a set as well.
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Cody Lovaas performs.
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Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact took home the award for Best Blues.
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Best Pop Album went to Tolan Shaw for "Chin Up."
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Miles Doughty of Slightly Stoopid accepted the award for Album of the Year for "Meanwhile...Back at the Lab."
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Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Peter Sprague played a set.
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Peter Sprague and Leonard Patton (pictured, left to right) performed a short set.
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Barbarian took the award for Best Rock Album for "Night Blooms."
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Gregory Page, who was nominated for Best Pop Album and Album of the Year, performed at the awards.
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Gregory Page
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91x Loudspeaker's Tim Pyles and Lou Niles (pictured, left to right) presented at the awards.
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Gayle Skidmore accepted the award for Best Pop.
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Best Local Recording went to G Burns Jug Band for “The Southern Pacifico."
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Big Mountain performed as well.
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The B-Side Players, who opened up the awards with some global music, won the award for Best World Music Album for their effort “Dos Generaciones."
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Vokab Kompany won the award for Best Hip-Hop.
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Vokab Kompany accepted the award for Best Hip-Hop.
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Louis XIV's hit "Finding Out True Love Is Blind" could be heard across San Diego airwaves in the mid-2000s.
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The band has been quiet in recent years -- its last release came out in 2008.

Showtime for the 30th incarnation of the SDMAs is 7 p.m sharp on Aug. 24. The event will return this year to Humphrey's By the Bay.

This year's in-person awards are a welcome return after 2020's virtual event, which, let's be fair, ran extremely smoothly, considering all the technical hurdles that had to be overcome. A couple reminders: Album of the Year went to the local legends from Switchfoot, for "Native Tongue," and the cool kids from the Frets captured Song of the Year, with their "Naïve Adolescence" single.

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Sara Petite and her band got the evening started.
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Gilbert Castellanos was the big winner of the night, with three awards, including the prestigious Artist of the Year award.
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Sara Watkins' performance was a crowd favorite.
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Local jazz great Daniel Jackson was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award.
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Daniel Jackson performing
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The Silent Comedy won two awards, for Best Pop -- a category they're not sure they belong in -- and Best Music Video, for "God Neon."
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San Diego Music Foundation president Kevin Hellman (center) with J. Otis Williams and John Phillips
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Dustin Lothspeich of Old Tiger may have got off the best line of the night when he, accepting an award for Best Pop Album, told the crowd, "First off, we'd like to thank the Heavy Guilt for canceling so we could play."
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2013 San Diego Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award winner Daniel Jackson (right) gave a moving speech and later performed.
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Tristan Prettyman also performed.
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AJ from Tribal Theory accepting an award for Best World Music Album for "Hell of a Night."
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The Palace Ballroom also performed.
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Johnny and Heather Marie Janiga with SoundDiego photographer John Hancock
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Blackout Party's Jesse Bowen
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Presenters Natasha Stenbock and Angelique Lizarde
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Sara Petite performing with her band -- she later walked off with the Best American award.
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Steve Covault
The awards show volunteer staff did an unbelievable job
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Leo (left) and Dallas from Okapi Sun
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Local singer/songwriter Sweet Joyce Ann taking a close look at the issue of City Beat that accompanied the music awards.
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Another shot of Sara Petite
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Presenters Kristine Le (left) and Bridget Naso
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J. Otis Williams (left) and John Phillips with a friend
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Johnny and Heather Marie Janiga of the Black Sands.
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The Bayou Brothers took home the statuette for Best Blues -- even though they are a zydeco band.
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Steve Covault
Steve Covault

SDMA officials said that, as per, the big winner in 2021 will be the San Diego Music Foundation’s Guitars for Schools program, which, over the years, has collected a lion's share of the $647,000 raised and donated since 1991.

Organizers told us this week that tickets were still available -- check out the SDMA site.

A full list of nominees is below:

Best Folk/Acoustic Song

Julia Sage - Midnight Songs in the Time of Corona Vol. 1
Kevin Begin & Tori Roze – All You’ve Known
Lee Coulter – Look Away
Lindsay White – Crickets
Pip Lewis – People Like You
Sutton James – The World Just Shut Down
These White Pigeons – Dangerisky

Best Jazz Album

Charles McPherson - Jazz Dance Suites
Christopher Hollyday - Dialogue
Ed Kornhauser - The Short Years
Jacquou Jazz - Pop Songs Avec la Touche Manouche
Patrick Yandall - Rouge River
Steph Johnson – So in Love
The Ghost Jazz Trio - Invisible Time

Best Blues Album

Casey Hensley - Good As Gone
Chickenbone Slim – Sleeper
Manzanita Blues – To Day
Piatt Pund – Pund
S.Mathias & The Honeycombs - Nothin’ but the Blues
Wayne Riker - Blues Lightning
Whitney Shay - Stand Up!

Best Americana, Blues or Jazz Song

Amanda Cogan – Heart Pocket
Cindy Lee Berryhill – Woke up From a Dream
Coral Bells – Not Today
Dead Broken Down - In the Dirt
Rosa’s Cantina – Kitchen Creek Road
Shane Hall – Under My Voodoo
Shay Skylar – Wherever You Are

Best Americana or Country Album

Atom Orr - As If Tomorrow
Claire Walding - Encanto
Coral Bells – Treehouse Tapes
Dave Preston – Lost & Found EP
Enter the Blue Sky – Wanderlust
Trouble in the Wind – Weird Living
Zach Phillips - The Wine of Youth

Best Hip-Hop Song

Blv3D – Feel Nice
Cory Blaze – Tonight
Crhymes (featuring Foxx & Harry Webb) - Tha Outro / Beat Boxin'
Élan Soreal – Move With Me
K-Rock Tha Fantom (featuring Def Shon) – Pillow Talk
Keymon – Y’all Madd
Sloat Dixon - Sloat Style

Best Hip-Hop or Rap Album

Black Hesher – Saints and Sirens
Bloodstone the Street Preacher – The Chosen One
General Jihad and Prime Minister PNutz
iD the Poet – Work Epic 3
PCH & Evolve One – Without Beginning
The Toven – Bigger Vibes
Vokab Kompany – Small Viktories

Best Pop Song

Astra Kelly - In This Life
Chandler Bay - Don't Fall Asleep
Maria San Roman - Paradise
Marie Haddad – Atlantis II
Sammy Bel Mar - Confession
The Verigolds - Julia
TonjaJae - Leave the House

Best Pop Album

Audrey Callahan - The Magic of Christmas EP
Chuck Charles - Hiya
Gregory Page - One Hell of a Memory
Surrija
Lauren Leigh – Flare
Love Angeles - The Scenic Route yo Mars
The Naked I - They Got Thomas!

Best Rock Song

Cold Craft – Pain for Pleasure
Fuzz Huzzi – Let This Go
Justin Linn – Demons
Nada Robot – Got It Good
Sean Witkin – Shapeshifter
Suede Radio – The Premonition
Wicked Kin – A Rolling Stone

Best Rock Album

16 – Dream Squasher
Electric Mud – Communication
King Gorm
Nights Like Thieves – The Forgotten
Sometimes Julie – Where Are You?
The Montell Jordans – Mud Flaps
The Rough – Clean Cut!

Best Indie/Alternative song

Ariel Levine – In This War or the Next
Beta 7 – Charlie
Cambrian Shores - Coming Home
Hocus – Damage With Care
King Whisker – Television
Rorre – Anxiety Magnet
The Frets - Daisy

Best Indie/Alternative Album

Aviator Stash – PSIYH
Be Mine Phantom Valentine – End State
Blacks Beach Boys
Miss New Buddha – The Situation Is Excellent
Nowhereland – Raw Honey
The Havnauts – Real Good Now
The Kabbs

Best World Music Album

Crucial Blend - No Bad Daze
Hemisphere – American Dreams
Maka Roots - Roots Tonic
Marujah - Only The Dead
New Leaf - Feels Like…
Spy Kids - Covert Action
Tribal Theory – Hell of a Night

Best R&B, Funk or Soul Album

Ambassadors of Soul - Socially Distant
Angela Leonard Band – ALB
Brisa Lauren - In Her Stillness…
Chauncey Maynor - It's a Vibe
Kahlil Nash – Transcendence
Le Blu – Find My Way
Wise Monkey Orchestra - Blink of an Eye

Best Local Recording

Charles Burton Blues Band - Live at Mojo Blues Bar
Fast Heart Mart – Corona Coaster Blues
Maria Antoinette – All My Strings
Michael Tiernan – Trading Cards for the Faithful
Skler Lutes - Rewind
The Tourmaliners - Surfin' Christmas Carols
Tim Norton – Live Volume 1

Album of the Year

Alfred Howard – Writes Vol.1
Aviator Stash – PSIYH
Casey Hensley – Good As Gone
Ed Kornhauser - The Short Years
Electric Mud – Communication
Gregory Page - One Hell of a Memory
Whitney Shay – Stand Up!

Song of the Year

Aviator Stash – Hype
Gregory Page – Green Lights & Blue Skies
Rebecca Jade (with Jason Mraz) – Bad Wolves
SM Familia – Rise Up
Switchfoot – Joy Invisible (feat. Jenn Johnson)
The Frets – Tell
The Sully Band – Never Gonna Give Up

Best Video

Gregory Page – Right Now Not Tomorrow
Heavy Hawaii – Boy Don’t Drown
P.O.D. – Christmas Lullaby
Plunderbund - Home
Rebecca Jade (with Jason Mraz) – Bad Wolves
Switchfoot – Live from a Hot Air Balloon
The Monroes – Rosemary’s Daughter\