The 2015 JUNO Awards may be on their way from Winnipeg to Hamilton, but Manitoba artists are still speaking music. Homegrown acts are up for several awards, including nine nominations for artists that currently call Manitoba home. The nominees for the 44th annual awards were announced by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) on January 27. Canada’s music awards are headed for Hamilton for JUNO Week, March 9-15, 2015.
Brandon-based Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq continues her incredible streak with two JUNO nods, including Alternative Album of the Year and Aboriginal Album of the Year for her groundbreaking release, Animism. Tagaq won the prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2014, landing rave reviews and significant national and international media attention. This will bring Tagaq's JUNO tally to five nominations, with nods in 2006 and 2009 for Sinaa and Auk/Blood, respectively.Vancouver producer/musician Jesse Zubot has been recognized with a Producer of the Year nomination for his work this year, including Tagaq's songs "Caribou" and "Uja" from Animism.
Roots singer/songwriter Del Barber has picked up his second JUNO nomination for Roots Traditional Album of the Year in the solo category, this year for his latest acclaimed release, Prairiegraphy. Barber was a double winner at the Western Canadian Music Awards in October for his work on the album, including the roots solo and songwriter of the year categories.
Country blues outfit The Bros. Landreth has earned its first JUNO for the independently-released debut, Let It Lie, which is up for Roots Traditional Album of the Year in the group category. The band has been on a hot streak, signing with U.S. label Slate Creek Records, winning a Canadian Folk Music Award for best new act, launching a video on CMT, and earning accolades from international media. Watch The Bros. Landreth perform "I Am The Fool" in the Loft Sessions
Music legend Fred Penner adds another nomination to his impressive career, which already includes two wins and nine nods. His latest recording, Where in the World, is up for Children's Album of the Year. Penner recently picked up a Canadian Folk Music Award and was inducted to the Hall of Fame at the 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards.
Fellow children's act LuLu et le Matou celebrates its first JUNO nod for Children's Album of the Year for Le chat botté, which also earned Western Canadian Music Award nod last year.
Steve Bell's 25th anniversary album, Pilgrimage, landed recoginition in the Recording Package of the Year category for art director/designer/illustrator/ Roberta Hansen and photographer Mike Latchislaw.
Manitoba's classical music scene shines this year with several nominations, including composer and University of Manitoba professor Gordon Fitzell for Classical Composition of the Year; Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra violinist Karl Stobbe for Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble; and Brandon-born violin virtuoso James Ehnes, a double winner in 2014, could bring home another two JUNO Awards this year in Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble and Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment.
Local manager and industry player Chris Burke-Gaffney is set to celebrate a nod for one of his roster, BC-based singer MacKenzie Porter, who landed a nod for Country Album of the Year.
Former Manitoban Drew Brown picked up a nod in the contemporary Christian/gospel category while the late great Lenny Breau, who lived in Winnipeg during much of his storied career and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1987, is up for an award in the solo jazz category for the release of an official bootleg from 1984.
Many of this year’s Manitoba nominees have participated in Manitoba Music’s professional and market development programs during their careers, accessing assistance to showcase in new markets and in making critical business contacts. Manitoba Music’s programs are supported by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Province of Manitoba, FACTOR, and Manitoba Film & Music.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on March 14 and the 2015 JUNO Awards broadcast on CTV on March 15.
For a complete list of 2015 JUNO Awards nominees, go to junoawards.ca.