Michigander, Lipstick Jodi, JRob, Patty PerShayla, Last Gasp Collective and 20 other acts on tap for WYCE’s mammoth Feb. 14 event. Check out the full roster of performers and the reaction of some nominees.
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When the Jammie Awards for best regional music of 2019 are doled out in mid-February, West Michigan will celebrate with performances by more than two dozen acts from across the Mitten State.
Michigander, Lipstick Jodi, Desmond Jones, JRob, Pink Sky, Patty PerShayla, Last Gasp Collective, Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, Deep Greens & Blues, Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions and Medicinal Groove will be among nominees playing three different stages at The Intersection on Feb. 14.
Community radio station and Jammie host WYCE (88.1 FM) today announced the 2020 performer lineup for the 21st annual awards celebration taking place on Valentine’s Day, with more than 2,000 people expected to attend what’s billed as “West Michigan’s biggest night of music.”
The roster of performers covers a host of genres and styles, something WYCE Music Director Shane German said was a priority.
“Diversity. WYCE is proud to play ‘A World of Music,’ and the artists this year perfectly reflect our sound,” he said, noting the live sets will include Ugandan artist Samuel Nalangira, hip hop/jazz ensemble Last Gasp Collective and instrumental surf rock’s Guitar Up!
For PerShayla, it’s all literally a dream come true – from having her debut EP, “Oracle Bones,” nominated for best album by a new artist and best rock/pop release (with “Candy” nominated for song of the year) to getting a chance to rub elbows with other artists on stage.
“When I released ‘Oracle Bones,’ it was definitely in the back of my mind that in some parallel universe, not ruling out this one, I’d be included in the lineup,” said PerShayla, who calls herself “a local music nerd” who’s revered many West Michigan artists for years.
She said it’s “heartwarming as heck and very encouraging” to snag four nominations as her band prepares to enter the recording studio to lay down tracks for a full-length rock album.
At the Jammies, PerShayla will not only perform with her band, The Mayhaps, but also back up singer-songwriter Sandra Effert during her set.
“I am especially happy to share the stage with so many talented women I respect. It’s good to feel like we’re all building each other up and not fighting for accolades.”
‘AWESOME’ EVENT IS ‘A TESTAMENT TO THE SPIRIT’ OF GR’S MUSIC SCENE
Grand Rapids hip hop artist Jeff “JRob” Robinson called it “awesome and fulfilling” that WYCE has embraced his music, including his latest album, “Peace of a King II,” that’s nominated for best hip hop album. His single, “Black Super Hero,” is up for song of the year.
“I’m super-excited to give it all on that stage to a crowd that is familiar with me and it’s home,” he said. “This event is one of the best this side of the state has to offer, and I’m so happy to be a part of it and represent hip hop.”
Grand Rapids roots rock band Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions has two recordings up for awards – “Three on Three EP” and “Bottled Up Like a Neon Light” – both in the rock/pop category.
“For us, the Jammies are a testament to the spirit of the Grand Rapids music scene,” Jack Droppers said when asked about playing the awards show.
“It is an unabashed celebration of local music. Most cities our size, the goal for musicians is to ‘break out’ of the city as if the city itself is the confinement. We are constantly reminded that Grand Rapids doesn’t hold back musicians; Grand Rapids lifts them up.”
“With 25 artists from all over West Michigan performing, there really will be something for everyone,” German said. “A community of artists and listeners coming together to support community radio. It’s always a pretty special night.”
This year’s after-party will be hosted by Grand Rapids Soul Club to help “get people dancing until the night ends,” German said.
‘A CLUB VIBE’ IN ELEVATION FOR JAMMIES SHOW THAT’S ‘GOING TO BE A BLAST’
Unlike last year when all four of the nightclub’s stages were in use, the 2020 Jammie Awards will take place on three stages with downstairs’ Elevation featuring electronic music and hip hop “for more of a club vibe,” he said.
The evening will also include a surprise performance.
“Being in the mix at this year’s Jammies is going to be a blast,” said Matt McAlpin, guitarist for Traverse City’s Medicinal Groove, who credited WYCE, the Local Spins website and West Michigan fans for “feeling our type of funk” in supporting the band’s latest album, “Fresh Take.”
That album is nominated for best rock/pop album, as well as album of the year.
Fellow Traverse City musician Laurel Premo, who last year released an acclaimed instrumental solo album, “The Iron Trios,” said she’s “thrilled to be asked to perform at the Jammie Awards” where her album is nominated for best Americana/roots album, best album by a new artist and WYCE’s “Traditions” award.
“Being met with an enthusiastic response to my new solo work has been a tremendous buoy for me,” said Premo, who’s best known as part of the award-winning Red Tail Ring folk duo.
In all, 88 regional releases — including all of the aforementioned albums — are nominated for album of the year honors. Read more about the nominations online here.
To vote for “listeners’ choice” awards in two categories — best album by a new artist and album of the year — visit wyce.org here.
Doors open for the Jammie Awards at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14. Admission is a suggested $10 donation to WYCE, with Feeding America West Michigan also accepting food items at the event.
VIDEO: Highlights from the 2019 Jammie Awards