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The Big Easy Foundation Announces Its Music Award Winners

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The 21st annual Big Easy Music Awards ceremony featured plenty of New Orleans characters and, as R&B singer Wanda Rouzan reminded the audience in Dr. John speak, "char-ACT-er."

  Preservation of the city's musical traditions was almost rivaled by calls for protection of Louisiana wetlands from artists including Dr. John. He accepted the Big Easy Entertainer of the Year award and Best Album of the Year for his Grammy-winning, politically conscious 2008 album City That Care Forgot.

  Folklorist and American Routes host Nick Spitzer presented the Music Heritage Award to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The Dozen later joined Dr. John and keyboardist Art Neville for two songs to conclude the evening. Other performances included a solo by Best Female Performer winner Theresa Andersson and a rendition of "I'll Fly Away" by Best Male Performer nominees Clint Maedgen, Kermit Ruffins and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, backed by Joe Lastie Jr. and Ben Jaffe of the Preservation Hall Band.

  As master of ceremonies, Clint Maedgen improvised a song by whistling into a bottle, and collected trophies for Best Male Performer and Best Mixed Bag band with the New Orleans Bingo! Show, whose clown-troupe members gave the Big Easy Foundation procedures a dramatic reading. The first Big Easy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal went to the band Zebra.

  The event was sponsored by Gambit, Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Hotel and Stolichnaya Vodka.

2009 Big Easy Awards

Entertainer of the Year

Dr. John

Music Heritage Award

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Lifetime Achievement in Music Award

Aaron Neville

WWOZ Guardians of the Groove Awards

Hazel Schlueter, Larry Schlueter and Grace Perrine

2009 Business Recognition Award

Downtown Development District and the Young Leadership Council for "Wednesdays In The Square"

Best Female Performer

Theresa Andersson

Best Male Performer

Clint Maedgen

Best Album of 2008

City That Care Forgot

Dr. John & the Lower 911

Best Traditional Jazz

Tom McDermott and Connie Jones

Best Contemporary Jazz

Terence Blanchard

Best Traditional Brass Band

Tremé Brass Band

Best Contemporary Brass Band

Rebirth Brass Band

Best Gospel Choir

Craig Adams & Higher Dimensions of Praise

Best Gospel Group/Individual

Jai Reed

Best Blues Artist

Little Freddie King

Best Funk Band

Big Sam's Funky Nation

Best Rhythm and Blues Artist

Walter "Wolfman" Washington

Best Rap/Hip Hop Artist

Lil Wayne

Best Rock Band

Rotary Downs

Best Roots Rock Band

Happy Talk Band

Best Zydeco Band

Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole

Best Cajun Band

Pine Leaf Boys

Best Country/Folk Band

Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue

Best Latin Band

Fredy Omar con su Banda

Best World Music/Reggae Band

Casa Samba

Best Emerging Group/Artist

MyNameIsJohnMichael

Best Electronica Band

Quintron and Miss Pussycat

Best Mixed Bag Band

New Orleans Bingo! Show

Best Hard Rock/Metal Band

Zebra

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band won the Music Heritage Award. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON


Theresa Andersson took home the Best Female Performer award. Her - Hummingbird, Go! was nominated for Best Album of - 2008. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON
  • Photo by Stewart Johnson
  • Theresa Andersson took home the Best Female Performer award. Her Hummingbird, Go! was nominated for Best Album of 2008.


Master of Ceremonies Clint Maedgen and Gambit - Publisher and Big Easy Executive Producer Margo DuBos. Maedgen won Big - Easy Awards for Best Male Performer and Best Mixed Bag as part of the - New Orleans Bingo! Show. - PHOTO BY GARY LOVERDE
  • Photo by Gary Loverde
  • Master of Ceremonies Clint Maedgen and Gambit Publisher and Big Easy Executive Producer Margo DuBos. Maedgen won Big Easy Awards for Best Male Performer and Best Mixed Bag as part of the New Orleans Bingo! Show.


Cedric Watson performs with his Bijou Creole band at the Big Easy - Awards, where he was named Best Zydeco Artist of 2008. - PHOTO BY GARY LOVERDE
  • Photo by Gary Loverde
  • Cedric Watson performs with his Bijou Creole band at the Big Easy Awards, where he was named Best Zydeco Artist of 2008.


Rotary Downs took home Best Rock band honors. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON


Little Freddie King was named Best Blues Artist of 2008. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON


MyNameIsJohnMichael won a Big Easy for Best Emerging Group. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON


The Best Latin Band winner was Fredy Omar con su Banda. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON


The New Orleans Bingo! Show won Best Mixed Bag. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON


Photo by Gary Loverde - House of Blues talent buyer Sonny Schneidau talks with - Gambit Political Editor and CEO Clancy DuBos. - PHOTO BY GARY LOVERDE
  • Photo by Gary Loverde
  • Photo by Gary Loverde

    House of Blues talent buyer Sonny Schneidau talks with Gambit Political Editor and CEO Clancy DuBos.


Art and Lorraine Neville presented several awards at the show before Art joined Ellis Marsalis and Wanda Rouzan in honoring Mahalia Jackson as Entertainer o rhear - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON
  • Photo by Stewart Johnson
  • Art and Lorraine Neville presented several awards at the show before Art joined Ellis Marsalis and Wanda Rouzan in honoring Mahalia Jackson as Entertainer o rhear


Photo by Stewart Johnson - The Best Rhythm and Blues winner was Walter "Wolfman" - Washington. - PHOTO BY STWART JOHNSON
  • Photo by Stwart Johnson
  • Photo by Stewart Johnson

    The Best Rhythm and Blues winner was Walter "Wolfman" Washington.


Mary von Kurnatowski and Ben Jaffe presented several awards Jaffe is creative director of the Preservation Hall Jazz Bnd, which was nominated for Best Traditional Jazz. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON
  • Photo by Stewart Johnson
  • Mary von Kurnatowski and Ben Jaffe presented several awards Jaffe is creative director of the Preservation Hall Jazz Bnd, which was nominated for Best Traditional Jazz.


The Best Roots Rock award went to Happy Talk Band. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON


Tom McDermott, who with Connie Jones won Best Traditional Jazz, was - presented the award by Irma Thomas — nominated for Best Rhythm - and Blues — and Deacon John Moore. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON
  • Photo by Stewart Johnson
  • Tom McDermott, who with Connie Jones won Best Traditional Jazz, was presented the award by Irma Thomas — nominated for Best Rhythm and Blues — and Deacon John Moore.


Kim Che're and Best Gospel Group/Individual winner Jai Reed - performed the opening number along with Bishop Lester Love (far right). - They are pictured with Craig Adams, whose group Craig Adams & - Higher Dimensions of Praise won Best Gospel Choir. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON
  • Photo by Stewart Johnson
  • Kim Che're and Best Gospel Group/Individual winner Jai Reed performed the opening number along with Bishop Lester Love (far right). They are pictured with Craig Adams, whose group Craig Adams & Higher Dimensions of Praise won Best Gospel Choir.


Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Kermit Ruffins were nominated in - the Best Male Performer category. - PHOTO BY GARY LOVERDE
  • Photo by Gary Loverde
  • Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Kermit Ruffins were nominated in the Best Male Performer category.


Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue won Best Country/Folk Band of - 2008. Vanessa Niemann (Gal Holiday) also presented several Big Easy - awards at the show. - PHOTO BY STEWART JOHNSON
  • Photo by Stewart Johnson
  • Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue won Best Country/Folk Band of 2008. Vanessa Niemann (Gal Holiday) also presented several Big Easy awards at the show.


Big Easy presenter Rio Hackford, owner of One Eyed Jacks and Pal's - Lounge, mugs with guitarist Pepper Keenan of Down, which was nominated - for Best Hard Rock/Metal group. - PHOTO BY GARY LOVERDE
  • Photo by Gary Loverde
  • Big Easy presenter Rio Hackford, owner of One Eyed Jacks and Pal's Lounge, mugs with guitarist Pepper Keenan of Down, which was nominated for Best Hard Rock/Metal group.


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