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Twelfth Maple Blues Awards Gala Features National Lineup, January 19, 2009, Toronto

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WHAT: Twelfth Annual Maple Blues Awards and Blues Summit IV (details below)
WHERE: Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. in Toronto
WHEN: Monday, January 19th, 2009. Doors @ 7:00 pm, show @ 8:00 pm.
TICKETS: Tickets $28 for the gala are available at the TBS office 416-538-3885

[email protected] or through http://www.ticketpro.ca

The Twelfth Annual Maple Blues Awards will honour Canada’s best in blues at the gala ceremony on Monday, January 19th at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. in Toronto. The awards gala presentation will feature live performances by some of Canada’s finest blues talents including the Maple Blues Band. Canada’s national award program that promotes and recognizes outstanding achievement in blues music has announced the nominees for 2009.
Voting continues online at www.mapleblues.ca until 11:59 pm (PT) December 6th, 2008.

This year’s gala host will be radio personality GARVIA BAILEY. Guest performers include Canada’s roaming blues poet and one-man band RAY BONNEVILLE, whose storytelling vocals, with a highly percussive guitar style keep it all real and raw. Winner of the 2005 Electric Act of the Year Award, guitar-driven JW JONES will join the cast of guests for the gala along with the velvety-voiced Juno Award nominee HARRISON KENNEDY, who brings his 30-years-plus of performing experience and a youthful exuberance to the MBAs. Vancouver’s THE SOJOURNERS will also electrify audiences with their heartfelt gospel blues harmonies. Hot ticket and powerhouse singing sensation SHAKURA S’AIDA returns to grace the stage and is also nominated for the Female Vocalist of the Year Award once again.

Backing the guest performers is the MAPLE BLUES BAND which includes stellar musicians Gary Kendall, Michael Fonfara, Tom Bona, Teddy Leonard, Pat Carey, Al Lerman, Chris Murphy and Chris Whiteley.


The Blues Summit is an essential Canadian blues networking event, back for its fourth edition.

This music industry conference brings together festivals, labels, media, musicians, fans and blues societies, and includes showcases, seminars, receptions and a keynote brunch. With representatives from across Canada, the United States and Europe in attendance, there are many lively panel discussions that take place over the course of the three days. Industry experts discuss topics such as blues in the schools, professional development opportunities for artists, and blues in the digital world.

Recognized by professionals around the world for his award-winning programming and innovative production style, San Francisco radio and audio production pioneer BEN MANILLA has held executive positions at Radio Today, RKO Radio Networks, WOR Radio, WLIR Radio, and the Progressive Radio Network. Among his hundreds of features, specials, documentaries, ongoing series, commercials, and audio presentations, his radio series House of Blues featured Dan Aykroyd and his 13-hour award-winning radio documentary for PBS, Martin Scorcese Presents the Blues, was broadcast on more than 330 stations worldwide. The radio project was the most successful special ever distributed by Public Radio International.

Currently Ben is a frequent traveller to Toronto while working on a special PBS project called The Soundtrack of Our Lives which is spearheaded by the Wildheart Group and also includes Grammy Award-winner and Creative Executive, Sir George Martin (Producer of all the Beatles recordings). As this year’s keynote speaker, Ben will be reflecting on current blues industry trends and insights.

WHERE: Delta Chelsea Inn (33 Gerrard St. West) in Toronto. (Special delegate rates available)
WHEN: January 17-19, 2009
TICKETS: Early bird price – $79 for musicians, $99 for others

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Written by Staff Writer