MUSIC • BY AMANDA ZIADEH
Who really cares about the Grammys? On Sunday, Feb. 19, LOCAL guitar heroes will compete for the chance of winning a Wammie at the 26th Annual Washington Area Music Awards.
Takoma Park — with nominees across the board — is primed to return with honors.
Well known for its festivals and musicians, Takoma Park is also the home of the renowned House of Musical Traditions. Owner David Eisner is a Wammie nominee for Executive of the Year as well as Most Supportive of Washington Music. Eisner also founded the Institute of Musical Traditions, an independent nonprofit organization that organizes concerts and music workshops.
Also nominated are Takoma Park’s Azalea City Recordings, competing for Washington Area Record Company, and Airshow Mastering, competing for Recording Studio. Charlie Pilzer, the owner of Airshow Mastering, is up for Studio Engineer. Takoma Parkers Art Isaacs and Trevor Higgins are nominated for Live Sound Engineer.
As far as musicians go, Takoma Park is well stocked — including the following bands and artists:
- The Billy Coulter Band
- Karen Collins and Backroads Band
- Ruthie and the Wranglers
- The Sweater Set
- Mark Sylvester
- Loralyn Coles
- Jennifer Cutting and the Ocean Orchestra
- Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer
- Esther Haynes
- Christylez Bacon
- Justin Trawick
- Jon Carroll
- The U-Liners
These are only a few of the local Wammie nominees — showing the range of Takoma Park talent:
Lilt, a traditional Irish band, is nominated for New Artist of the Year, Folk Traditional Recording for their CD “Onward,” and Folk Traditional Duo/Group. Keith Carr is a workshop coordinator at the House of Musical Traditions and plays alongside Tina Eck. Carr plays the bouzouki, banjo and mandolin, and Eck plays the flute and whistle.
ilyAIMY, nominated for Folk Contemporary Duo/Group, is composed of original members Rob Hinkal and Heather Lloyd, as well as contributors and former bandmates Sharif Kellogg, Rowan Corbett and Kristen Jones, according to ilyAIMY.com. Hinkal and Jones work at the House of Musical Traditions and Corbett is a House of Musical Traditions alumnus.
Billy Coulter, another Takoma Park favorite is nominated for Big Band/Swing Vocalist for the Natty Beaux, as well as Roots Rock Male Vocalist and Roots Rock Duo/Group for the Billy Coulter Band. Coulter is also up for WAMA/SAW Songwriter of the Year.
Karen Collins is nominated for Country Vocalist as well as Country Duo/Group with her Backroads Band.
Elikeh is nominated for World Music Duo Group. Singer Massama Dogo is nominated for World Music Vocalist, and Gabin Assouramou is nominated for World Music Instrumentalist.
The Wammies will be held at The State Theatre in Falls Church, Va., at 8:00 pm and embraces all music styles from folk, rock and jazz to bluegrass, classical, R&B and electronica. So, no matter what music you’re into, this will be a show you don’t want to miss.
Check back next week to learn about the winners. And please let us know who we may have missed.