16th Maple Blues Awards

MonkeyJunk, Electric Act of the Year

INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED CANADIAN  BLUES ARTISTS HONOURED WITH MAPLE BLUES AWARDS
Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk, Toronto’s Suzie Vinnick and Hamilton’s Steve Strongman Win Multiple Awards

Internationally renowned Canadian Blues Artists from Coast-to-Coast were honoured by their peers at the 16th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto last night as a sold out crowd of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall.Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk and its members took home three awards, including, Electric Act of the Year, Harmonic Player of the Year (Steve Marriner) and Drummer of the Year (Matt Sobb). Hamilton guitar slinger Steve Strongman also received three awards including Songwriter of the Year, Recording of the Year for his recent release “A Natural Fact” and Guitar Player of the Year. Now based in Toronto, Saskatoon native Suzie Vinnick won awards for Acoustic Act of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.

Steve Strongman,  Guitar Player of the Year
Nova Scotia’s Matt Minglewood was honoured with the Blues With a Feeling (Lifetime Achievement Award). Minglewood’s extensive career as a blues performer, spanning nearly four decades, makes him widely considered to be a Canadian music icon. John Valenteyn, a founding member and tireless volunteer of the Toronto Blues Society received the Blues Booster of the Year award, a very special Maple Blues Award honouring outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues music industry, presented by internationally recognized blues artist and Maple Blues Award winner Shakura S’aida and former Toronto Blues society vice president, “Blues Doctor” Julie Hill. Mrs. Laureen Harper wife of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, alongside blues guitarist Jack de Keyzer, presented the awards for Harmonica Player of the Year to Steve Marriner and Horn Player of the Year to Jon Wong.
Hosted by Raoul Bhaneja, a Toronto actor and musician most noted for his work performing Shakespeare’s Hamlet solo and his blues band Raoul and the Big Time, the Maple Blues Awards included outstanding performances from Maple Blues Award nominees past and present, including Matt MinglewoodNanette Workman, Carlos del JuncoHarrison KennedySuzie VinnickSteve Strongman and The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, all backed by gala house band, The Maple Blues Band.

WINNERS OF THE 16TH ANNUAL MAPLE BLUES AWARDS

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Colin James

ELECTRIC ACT OF THE YEAR
MonkeyJunk

ACOUSTIC ACT OF THE YEAR
Suzie Vinnick

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Matt Andersen

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Suzie Vinnick

NEW ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
Steve Kozak


RECORDING OF THE YEAR
“A Natural Fact” Steve Strongman, Producer Rob Szabo

BLUES WITH A FEELING AWARD (Lifetime Achievement) 

Matt Minglewood

BB KING INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Tedeschi Trucks Band

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Steve Strongman

HARMONICA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Steve Marriner

PIANO/KEYBOARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
David Vest

HORN PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jon Wong

DRUMMER OF THE YEAR

Matt Sobb

BASSIST OF THE YEAR

Gary Kendall

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

Steve Strongman

BLUES BOOSTER OF THE YEAR

John Valenteyn
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