Community radio station WYCE-FM (88.1) is partnering with Local Spins for a monthly column highlighting West Michigan’s music scene, including its Top 5 spins of the month. This week, it’s all about the Jammie Awards. See the full schedule for Friday’s big awards show.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Starting today, community radio’s WYCE – the Grand Rapids station that showcases regional music more than any other – will publish a monthly column at Local Spins that explores various facets of West Michigan’s music scene. These commentaries will include a listing of new regional albums added to the station’s playlist, as well as the Top 5 local artists played on WYCE the previous month based on total spins of their music – sort of our own version of a Billboard chart. For the debut commentary, WYCE station manager Quinn Mathews assesses WYCE’s upcoming Jammie Awards show on Friday, aka West Michigan music’s biggest night of the year.
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As the 18th annual Jammie Awards unfold Friday at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of recognizing and showcasing the incredible music that has come out of West Michigan this past year.
I started as station manager at WYCE-FM (88.1) in August 2016, and having a background as a musician, promoting the music of local artists is obviously something I am very passionate about. But what I’ve really come to enjoy throughout my time here in the city of Grand Rapids is the sense of community and the support directed towards music and the arts.
The Jammies are the perfect example of that, and this year is no exception. Around the station, we jokingly proclaim, “Best Jammies Ever,” but that statement certainly doesn’t seem to be a joke any longer.
For one thing, we have more bands than ever: 25 bands on two stages, and some of our highest numbers for participants in our online balloting for the listeners’ choice awards. (See the full schedule of performances to the right.)
So much music was released locally in 2016, it was almost impossible to narrow it down to just 25 for live performances. We may have to look at a Jammies “weekend” soon if this much music continues to be released locally.
(Editor’s Note: This year, a record-setting 197 local and regional recordings are nominated for “album of the year,” with an astounding 79 acts nominated for “best album by a new artist.”)
With 2017 marking the 30th anniversary of WYCE, we are also very excited to honor several longtime programmers of WYCE and induct our first class of the WYCE Programmers Hall of Fame.
First up, Oscar Zuniga of “El Mundo Musical,” earns a lifetime achievement award because no one has shown the commitment to this station for a longer period of time than Oscar.
And our first two entries into the Hall of Fame are Nanette O’Connell and Capt’n Kurt, two programmers truly deserving of these “Dick Destiny Legacy Awards” (named after former programmer Jeffrey Van Kuiken, who passed away in 2011).
After all, a statement we say every hour on the hour, “listener sponsored and volunteer powered,” means so much more than the way those words flow off programmers’ voices on the air. We exist at WYCE because of listeners and the support they give us year-round and we only have a station because of the volunteers that join our organization and run the show.
As the staff, we are there to run day-to-day operations and make sure the bills get paid and we have music to play. Otherwise, volunteer programmers run the show.
I’m beyond thrilled at the work we do at the station as well as with my colleagues at the Grand Rapids Community Media Center. From television, live performance, online media and journalism, there is no other organization I’d rather be a part of, especially these days, if you know what I mean.
We have a community, non-commercial, independent radio station that has been around now for 30 years and I feel our best days can still be ahead of us. The city is growing, the community, the organizations, the music scene, and we are right there with it.
So come join us Friday to celebrate local music, community, radio and whatever you feel like celebrating as we host the 18th WYCE 88.1-FM Jammie Awards at The Intersection.
See you there! — Quinn Mathews, station manager
NEW LOCAL MUSIC ADDITIONS TO WYCE: JANUARY 2017
Seth Bernard, “Eggtones Blues”
Duffiend Caron Project, “Alright You Win”
John Merchant & The Desolation Angels, “Midwest Blues”
Morgan Haner, “Transmitter Blues”
Alicia Marie, “Old Soul”
Jeremy Ensley, “2016 Q4 Report”
Afro Zuma, “Followers”
Timothy Monger, “Amber Lantern”
Carolyn Koebel, “Breathing Together”
Copyright 2017, Spins on Music LLC