san diego music awards

2020 San Diego Music Award Nominees Announced

Rock the vote: Nominees for the 2020 San Diego Music Awards have been officially announced.

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Alex Matthews

Every year, our local music scene gets a little slice of the red carpet treatment thanks to the San Diego Music Awards — and it's time to bask in it once again as the nominees have officially been announced for the 2020 SDMAs!

In addition to the lucky local acts now up for its 28 award categories, headlining performers at this year's ceremony have also been announced — and they include Switchfoot, Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact, Sully the Band, David Maldonado, Evan Diamond, the Sleepwalkers and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Richard Livoni (Blitz Brothers).

As with every year, the Best Of categories are decided by popular vote, while the Best Album categories are decided by the SDMA academy. We’ve been told more than once that occasionally winners are literally decided by a matter of a few votes, so when people say “every vote counts,” it very much applies to the SDMAs. Voting in each of the genre categories is open to the general public between Jan. 27 and Feb. 26 at this link.

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Last year, Whitney Shay took home awards for Best Blues Album and Artist of the Year while Parker Meridien won Best Hip-Hop/Rap and Best Hip-Hop/Rap Album, respectively. Veronica May won for Best Pop Album, the Havnauts were awarded Best New Artist, the Frights took Best Indie/Alternative Album and Hot Snakes gathered up trophies for both Album of the Year and Song of the Year. [See our coverage of last year’s winners here.]

So log in, vote for your faves, listen to some artists you may not have heard and join in the fun at House of Blues San Diego on Monday, March 23, for the 29th annual San Diego Music Awards. Tickets start at $35 and are on sale now at this link. As they've done for years, proceeds from the event are donated to fun the SDMF's "Taylor Guitars for School" program.

For more information and tickets, please visit the official San Diego Music Awards official website.

[Ed. note: SoundDiego's own Eric Page, Daye Salani, Rosemary Bystrak, Tim Pyles, Scott McDonald and Dustin Lothspeich are members of the academy, and SoundDiego is a yearly sponsor of the San Diego Music Awards]

The 2020 San Diego Music Awards nominees

Best Singer/Songwriter
Gregory Page
Joe Rathburn
Lee Coulter
Marie Haddad
Nick Crook
Nina Francis
Ryan Hiller

Best Jazz
Charlie Arbelaez
Danny Green
Ed Kornhauser
Euphoria Brass Band
Gilbert Castellanos
Joshua White
Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra

Best Jazz Album
Jake Najor & the Moment of Truth – "In the Cut"
Kamau Kenyatta - "The Elegant Sadness"
Mattson 2 - "Paradise"
Nathan Hubbard Trio - "This Stream"
Patrick Yandall – "When Its Hip"
Sean Hicke – "Sunflower Sutra"
Shambhu – "Lilac Skies"

Best Blues
Anthony Cullins
Black Market III
Casey Hensley
Mercedes Moore
Robin Henkel
Taryn Donath
Whitney Shay

Best Blues Album
Little Hurricane - "Love Luck"
Robin Henkel - "With Horns"
S. Mathias - "The Memphis and London Sessions"
Shane Hall - "West River Queen"
Chickenbone Slim - "Sleeper"
Sue Palmer - "Gems Vol. 2"
Wayne Riker - "R&B Thunder"

Best Country or Americana
Berkley Hart
Kimmi Bitter
MohaviSoul
Sara Petite
Stephen El Rey
The Donnis Trio
The Sleepwalkers

Best Country or Americana Album
Blind Mountain Holler - "Dark Daughters"
Calamity – "20 Years Here"
Joel Rafael – "Rose Avenue"
Levi Dean & the Americats – "Free and Untethered"
Morgan Leigh Band - "Stripped Down Live Acoustic"
The Sea Monks - "Gasoline"
Trouble in the Wind - "All the Boys"

Best Hip-Hop or Rap
Biggie Babylon
Choosey
Kwamé Badu
Narcoticz
Opoetik
Riston Diggs & Sly Beats
Vokab Kompany

Best Hip-Hop or Rap Album
Black Hesher - "Portals"
Bloodstone - "Gameface"
Cali Kev - "1-900-Cali-Kev"
Def Shon – "Throwback Music"
Finn McCool - "Maslows"
Parker Meridien - "The Bully Pulpit"
The Beautiful State - "Visitors"

Best Indie / Alternative
Aviator Stash
Fashion Jackson
Imagery Machine
Nights Like Thieves
Shake Before Us
The Hiroshima Mockingbirds
Wild Wild Wets

Best Indie/Alternative Album
Aviator Stash – "Prescribed"
Pinkeye - "Ipecac Suite"
Ready Set Survive - "Young & Dumb"
Via Satellite - "A Thousand Mountains"
Ten Bulls - "The Physician's Magician"
The Frights - "Live at The Observatory"
The Oxen - S/T

Best Pop
Birdy Bardot
Dani Bell & The Tarantist
Evan Diamond
Jonny Tarr
Mittens
The Spiritual Motels
Veronica May

Best Pop Album
Babydoll Warriors – "Love, Bite, Baby"
Chloe Lou and the Liddells - "Storybook"
Hummingbird Hotel - S/T
Larry Grano – "Ladies & Gentlemen, Introducing Larry Grano"
Le Chateau - "Picture This"
Lindsay White – "The Funeral"
Savannah Philyaw – "A Whisper in the Wind"

Best Rock
Author & Punisher
Band of Gringos
Beach Goons
Electric Mud
Elektric Voodoo
MDRN HSTRY
The Farmers

Best Rock Album
Alvino & the Dwells – S/T
Avenue Army – "Holding Steady"
The Paragraphs - S/T
The Schizophonics - "People In The Sky"
The Strawberry Moons - S/T
The Tourmaliners – "Tourmaline Dream"
Wicked Echoes - "The Fallacy of Finality"

Best World Music
B-Side Players
Cumbia Machin
Dubbest
Quel Bordel
Split Finger
Tribal Theory
Yale Strom & Hot Pastrami

Best World Music Album
Boostive - "Cream Supreme"
Buck O Nine – "FunDayMental"
David Maldonado - "Davicas XX"
Gaby Aparacio - "La Bella Vita"
Marujah - "Gypsy Noise Ritual"
No Kings - "Lost Weekend"
SM Familia – "The Journey So Far…"

Best Local Recording
Daytrip – "Come Alive"
Gary Wilson – "King of Endicott"
Sacri Monti - "Waiting Room for the Magic Hour"
Sure Fire Soul Ensemble - "Build Bridges"
Rafter - "A Sploded Battery"
Sahara Grim – "Abstracted"
Sluka - "Sophie Webber"

Best Live Band
Baby Bushka
Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact
Sully the Band
The Creepy Creeps
The Routine
The Schizophonics
The Spice Pistols

Best New Artist
Chunky Hustle Brass Band
Doom Bloom
The Shanghais R&B
Overfall
Sean Hicke
Famblood
Thee Sacred Souls

Song of the Year
As I Lay Dying - "Blinded"
Blink-182 – "Blame it My Youth"
Hirie – She Go"
Little Hurricane – Love Luck"
P.O.D. – Rockin’ With The Best"
Switchfoot – "The Strength to Let Go"
The Frets – "Naïve Adolescence"

Album of the Year
Blink-182 – "Nine"
Cattle Decapitation – "Death Atlas"
David Maldonado - "Davicas XX"
Hirie - "Dreamer"
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe - "Gnomes & Badgers"
Mattson 2 - "Paradise"
Switchfoot – "Native Tongue"

Artist of the Year
As I Lay Dying
Earthless
Rebecca Jade
Slightly Stoopid
Switchfoot
The Frights
The Sleepwalkers

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