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2023 Blues Music Award Nominees Announced

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MEMPHIS, TN. — An impressive assembly of blues music masters, ranging from Blues Hall of Famers to rising stars, will gather in Memphis on Thursday, May 11th, for the 44th Annual Blues Music Awards. Presented by The Blues Foundation, the BMAs honor the past year’s exceptional achievements in blues music recording, performance, and songwriting, as well as supporting the blues’ rich cultural traditions. This celebratory evening, recognized internationally as the blues world’s premier event, not only attracts nearly all the nominees but also presents them in performance.

The event takes place at Memphis’ Renasant Convention Center (255 North Main Street), where a Blue Carpet will lead to the theater. The Blue Carpet pre-show commences at 5 p.m.. Tickets range from individual seats for $150 to Premium tables (seats 10) for $1800. Ticket sales are now open and can be purchased by clicking here.

Topping the list of talented BMA contenders is John Németh, with five nominations, Song of the Year, Traditional Blues Album, Band of the Year, Instrumentalist – Harmonica, and Instrumentalist – Vocals, which he won in 2022.

Behind John Németh in the nomination count are Shemekia Copeland, Rory Block and Eric Gales, each receiving three nominations. Shemekia Copeland is up for Song of the Year, Contemporary Blues Album, and Instrumentalist – Vocals. Rory Block is up for Acoustic Blues Album, Acoustic Artist and Traditional Blues Female, and Eric Gales is up for Song of the Year, BB King Entertainer of the Year, and Blues Rock Album.

Some of last year’s winners hoping to hold onto their awards are Tommy Castro (B.B. King Entertainer of the Year), Albert Castiglia (Blues Rock Artist), Vanessa Collier (Contemporary Blues Female Artist), Annika Chambers (Soul Blues Female Artist), Curtis Salgado (Soul Blues Male Artist), Sue Foley (Traditional Blues Female Artist – Koko Taylor Award), Danielle Nicole (Instrumentalist – Bass), Jason Ricci (Instrumentalist – Harmonica), Jimmy Carpenter (Instrumentalist Horn), John Németh (Instrumentalist – Vocals.)

Past winners hoping to reclaim awards are Sugaray Rayford and Bobby Rush (B.B. King Entertainer of the Year), Buddy Guy (Song of the Year), Buddy Guy and Shemekia Copeland (Contemporary Blues Album), Christone “Kingfish” Ingram (Contemporary Blues Male Artist), Anthony Geraci (Instrumentalist – Piano / Pinetop Perkins Award), Duke Robillard and John Primer (Traditional Blues Male Artist), Chris Layton and Tony Braunagel (Instrumentalist – Drums), Michael “Mudcat” Ward (Instrumentalist – Bass), Dennis Gruenling (Instrumentalist – Harmonica), Deanna Bogart (Instrumentalist – Horn), Ruthie Foster (Contemporary Blues Female Artist), John Németh (Soul Blues Male Artist), Diunna Greenleaf and Rory Block (Traditional Blues Female Artist – Koko Taylor Award), Corey Harris and Rory Block (Acoustic Blues Album), Tinsley Ellis and Albert Castiglia (Blues Rock Album), Doug MacLoed and Rory Block (Acoustic Blues Artist), Tedeschi Trucks Band and Rick Estrin and the NIghtcats (Band of the Year.)

Willie J. Campbell, who passed away this past December, was posthumously nominated for Instrumentalist – Bass.

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The night before the BMAs, The Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Memphis’ Halloran Centre at the Orpheum (225 South Main Street). Following a 5:30 p.m. cocktail reception, the inductions begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Halloran Theater. Tickets, which include ceremony and reception admission, are $75 each and, as with any other musical event or charitable donation, they are non-refundable. The 2023 class of inductees will be announced in the coming weeks.

The complete list of Blues Music Award nominees can be found below and on The Blues Foundation’s website — www.blues.org. The ballot will be open for voting to current Blues Foundation members only until 11:59 P.M. CST on Friday, March 20th. To become a Blues Foundation member, visit www.blues.org and click on the Join button to learn about the different membership levels and how to easily and securely join online. Upon membership confirmation, new and renewing members will be sent instructions on how to access the 2023 Blues Music Awards Ballot.

Major funding for the 44th Blues Music Awards is provided by ArtsMemphis, Tennessee Arts Commission, and Memphis Tourism. Special thanks to partners Memphis Airport Authority and DittyTV.

The Blues Foundation is a world-renowned Memphis-based organization whose mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, the Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 173 affiliated blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals worldwide. Its signature honors and events — the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame inductions, International Blues Challenge, and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards — make it the international hub of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance for musicians in need, while Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues Scholarships expose new generations to blues music. The Blues Hall of Fame Museum, located in Downtown Memphis, adds the opportunity for blues lovers of all ages to interact with blues music and history. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the global blues community with answers, information, and news.

44th Blues Music Award Nominees


B.B. King Entertainer of the Year 


Sugaray Rayford


Tommy Castro


Eric Gales


Bobby Rush


Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

Band of the Year 


Anthony Geraci & The Boton Blues Allstars


John Németh and the Blue Dreamers


Rick Estrin and the Nightcats


Southern Avenue


Tedeschi Trucks Band

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Song of the Year


Altered Five Blues Band “Great Minds Drink Alike” (Jeff Schroedl)


Buddy Guy “The Blues Don’t Lie” (Tom Hambridge)


Eric Gales “I Want My Crown” (Eric Gales, Joe Bonamassa)


John Németh “The Last Time” (John Németh)


Shemekia Copeland “Too Far to Be Gone” (John Hahn/Will Kimbrough)

Best Emerging Artist Album


Blue Moon Marquee / Scream, Holler & Howl


DaShawn Hickman / Drums, Roots & Steel


Dylan Triplett / Who Is He?


Jose Ramirez / Major League Blues


Yates McKendree / Buchanan Lane

Acoustic Blues Album


Charlie Musselwhite / Mississippi Son


Corey Harris / The Insurrection Blues


Duwayne Burnside / Acoustic Burnside


Harrison Kennedy / Thanks for Tomorrow


Rory Block / Ain’t Nobody Worried

Blues Rock Album


Albert Castiglia / I Got Love


Bernard Allison / Highs & Lows


Colin James / Open Road


Eric Gales / Crown


Tinsley Ellis / Devil May Care

Contemporary Blues Album


Buddy Guy / The Blues Don’t Lie


Diunna Greenleaf / I Ain’t Playin’


Janiva Magness / Hard to Kill


Larry McCray / Blues Without You


Shemekia Copeland / Done Come too Far

Soul Blues Album


Kat Riggins / Progeny


Kirk Fletcher / Heartache by the Pound


Sugaray Rayford / In Too Deep


The Love Light Orchestra / Leave the Light On


Trudy Lynn / Golden Girl

Traditional Blues Album


Kenny Neal / Straight From the Heart


Bob Corritore / Bob Borritore & Friends: You Shocked Me


Duke Robillard / They Called it Rhythm & Blues


John Németh / May Be the Last Time


John Primer / Hard Times

Acoustic Blues Artist


Doug MacLeod


Guy Davis


Harrison Kennedy


Rhiannon Giddens


Rory Block

Blues Rock Artist


Walter Trout


Albert Castiglia


Tommy Castro


Joanne Shaw Taylor


Tinsley Ellis

Contemporary Blues Female Artist


Ruthie Foster


Beth Hart


Janiva Magness


Teresa James


Vanessa Collier

Contemporary Blues Male Artist


Selwyn Birchwood


Chris Cain


Christone “Kingfish” Ingram


Ronnie Baker Brooks


Mr. Sipp (Castro Coleman)

Soul Blues Female Artist


Annika Chambers


Trudy Lynn


Thornetta Davis


Kat Riggins


Vaneese Thomas

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Soul Blues Male Artist


John Németh


Johnny Rawls


Curtis Salgado


Don Bryant


Billy Price

Traditional Blues Female Artist (Koko Taylor Award)


Dietra Farr


Diunna Greenleaf


Rhiannon Giddens


Rory Block


Sue Foley

Traditional Blues Male Artist


Billy Branch


Duke Robillard


John Primer


Johnny Burgin


Sugar Ray Norcia

Instrumentalist – Bass


Bob Stronger


Danielle Nicole


Larry Fulcher


Michael “Mudcat” Ward


Willie J. Campbell

Instrumentalist – Drums


Chris Layton


Cody Dickinson


Derric D’Mar Martin


Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith


Tony Braunagel

Instrumentalist – Guitar


Chris Cain


Christoffer “Kid” Andersen


Joanna Connor


Kirk Fletcher


Laura Chavez

Instrumentalist – Harmonica


Billy Branch


Bob Corritore


Jason Ricci


John Németh


Dennis Gruenling

Instrumentalist – Horn


Deanna Bogart


Gregg Piccolo


Jimmy Carpenter


Mark Kaz Kazanoff


Sax Gordon Beadle

Instrumentalist – Piano (Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award)


Anthony Geraci


Ben Levin


Dave Keyes


Jim Pugh


Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Instrumentalist – Vocals


Curtis Salgado


Danielle Nicole


Diunna Greenleaf


John Németh


Shemekia Copeland

xxx

44th Blues Music Awards


Thursday, May 11, 2023


Renasant Convention Center – 255 N. Main St. Memphis, TN 38103


Walk the Blue Carpet: 5:00 pm

Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


Wednesday, May 10, 2023


Halloran Centre – 225 S. Main St. Memphis, TN 38103


Reception 5:30 pm


Ceremony 7:30 pm

VOTE HERE FOR THE 44TH BLUES MUSIC AWARDS


One must be a member of The Blues Foundation to Vote.


Join here or Login to your membership account

BMA & Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Tickets


PURCHASE HERE

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