As always, the Big Easy Awards will honor some of New Orleans' most legendary contributors to the local music scene. Allen Toussaint will receive the entertainer of the year award. In spite of losing his home, Toussaint was a frequent face in many of the nationally broadcast benefits calling attention to New Orleans' plight following the failure of the levees. He also enjoyed a prolific year in conjunction with Elvis Costello in creating the album River in Reverse, which is nominated for a best album Big Easy Award, and touring in support of it, including a Jazz Fest appearance. The 2007 lifetime achievement award will go to Ellis Marsalis, paying tribute to his long career as a musician and jazz educator. Vocalist Germaine Bazzle will serve as this year's honorary music chairman. As advocates, spokespeople and fundraisers, Wynton Marsalis, Lillian Boutt, Dr. John, Lars Edegran, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis will be named Big Easy Music Ambassadors.
The awards will include special recognition of many of the organizations and efforts that helped support New Orleans musicians in a multitude of ways, from organizing benefits for the city to sponsoring performances to developing long-term housing solutions like the Musicians' Village. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival producer and director Quint Davis and veteran Grammy Award show producer Ken Ehrlich will be honored for putting together the From the Big Apple to the Big Easy concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from the concert and DVD sales benefited the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, Habitat for Humanity, MusiCares and the Children's Health Fund.
For their efforts in making the 2006 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival such a success, Quint Davis' Festival Productions and major producing partners and sponsors AEG Live and Shell Oil will be honored.
Special recognition will be given to many of the organizations that have supported relief efforts for musicians. Those groups include the American Federation of Musicians, Arabi Wrecking Krewe, Habitat for Humanity, Jazz Foundation of America, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, Tipitina's Foundation and WWOZ 90.7 FM.
The Big Easy Music awards gala featuring live performances by some of the nominees will be held on Tuesday, April 24. The awards are sponsored by Gambit Weekly, Harrah's New Orleans Casino & Hotel, John Jay, Pernod Ricard, Abita Beer, Coleman Adler & Sons and WWOZ 90.7 FM. Individual tickets are $125, tables of 10 are $1,000 ($1,250 after March 31) and VIP tables are $1,500. The evening includes a buffet dinner and open bar. Contact Gloria Powers at 483-3130 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2007 Big Easy Music Awards
Honorary Music Chairman
Entertainer of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award
Guardian of the Groove Award
Big Easy Music Ambassadors
Wynton Marsalis, Lillian Boutté, Dr. John, Lars Edegran, Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis
Business Recognition Award
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Music Heritage Award
Quint Davis/Festival Productions
Frank Glaviano/Shell Oil
Tom Miserendino/AEG Live
American Federation of Musicians
Arabi Wrecking Krewe
Habitat for Humanity
Jazz Foundation of America
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation
New Orleans Musicians' Clinic
New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund
New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund
WWOZ 90.7 FM
2007 Big Easy Music Awards Nominations
Lionel Ferbos & the Palm Court Jazz Band
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Don Vappie & The Creole Jazz Serenaders
Traditional Brass Band
Treme Brass Band
Pinstripe Brass Band
Contemporary Brass Band
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Hot 8 Brass BandRebirth Brass BandSoul Rebels
Greater St. Stephens Choir
McDonogh 35 Choir
Shades of Praise
Jo "Cool" Davis
Cynthia Liggins Thomas
Big Sam's Funky Nation
Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk
Papa Grows Funk
The Trio (George Porter Jr., Johnny Vidacovich & special guests)
Rhythm and Blues
Irma Thomas and The Professionals
Walter "Wolfman" Washington & The Roadmasters
Marva Wright & The BMWs
Washboard Chaz Blues Trio
The Benjy Davis Project
The New Orleans Bingo! Show
Morning 40 Federation
Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas
Bruce DaigrepontLost Bayou RamblersPine Leaf Boys
Gal Holiday & The Honky Tonk Revue
Christian Serpas & Ghost Town
Julio & Caesar
Fredy Omar con su Banda
Panorama Jazz Band
Emerging Group or Artist
The Junior League
Allen Toussaint & Elvis Costello
The River In Reverse
Producer Joe Henry
Recorded at Sunset Sound Los Angeles, Piety Street Recording New Orleans
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
What's Goin On?
Producer Anthony Marinelli and Shawn Amos
Recorded at Westlake Recording Studios, Los Angeles, Bismeaux Studio in Austin, Texas
After The RainRounder
Producer Scott Billington
Recorded at Dockside Studio in Maurice, La., Storyville Studio New Orleans
- The Hot 8 Brass Band is nominated for best contemporary brass band.
- The Benjy Davis Project is nominated for best rock band.
- Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk are nominated for best funk band.
- WWOZ DJ Billy Delle will be honored as the first Guardian of the Groove.
- John Boutt is nominated for best male performer.
- Rick Olivier
- Irma Thomas is nominated for best female performer, best rhythm and blues artist and best album.
- Jazz & Heritage Festival director Quint Davis is being honored for his leadership in making Jazz Fest 2006 happen as well as a major benefit concert in New York.
- The Rebirth Brass Band is nominated for best contemporary brass band.
- Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint are nominated for their album River in Reverse.
- Tab Benoit is nominated for best blues artist.
- Dr. John is nominated for best rhythm and blues artist.
- Rick Olivier
- Ann Savoy is nominated for best Cajun artist.
- VaVaVoom is nominated for best emerging group.
- Baby Boy is nominated for best rap/hip hop artist.
- Catherine Carter
- Susan Cowsill is nominated for best female performer.
- Zydepunks are nominated for best band in the mixed-bag category.
- Robert Sturnam
- Craig Klein of Bonerama is one of the musicians and organizers behind the Arabi Wrecking Krewe's rebuilding efforts.
- Dino Perrucci
- Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is nominated for best male performer.