Nashville Music Awards revived

Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 5:28pm

Leadership Music, Inc. (LM) and Next Big Nashville (NBN) have joined forces to revive the Nashville Music Awards (NMA), which have been dormant since 2000.

Final nominees will be announced in August, and the 2009 Nashville Music Award winners in 19 categories will be revealed at an Oct. 7 reception at the Cannery Ballroom. The event will be followed by a NBN opening night showcase, which kicks off the music festival’s activities being held Oct. 7-11.

The NMA’s were established in 1995 to recognize outstanding musical achievement locally in all genres of music, plus honor the diversity and quality of performers who live and work in Nashville.

The award recipients are chosen by popular vote via online balloting, but committees consisting of experts in the various genres select final nominees. (I am the chairman of the jazz/blues nomination committee, which is composed of six other people.) Submissions of names and titles may be made online through July 15, with final nominees in each category and voting instructions publicized next month. Submissions may be made at

There is no limit to the number of submissions that may be made, but candidates only need to be submitted one time. The awards are limited to persons and organizations residing in Davidson County and surrounding counties. These include Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford, Sumner, Robertson, Cheatham, Dickson, Maury, Hickman, Bedford and Montgomery counties. These areas also encompass such places as Franklin, Murfreesboro, Lebanon, Dickson, Gallatin, Hendersonville, Goodlettsville, Ashland City, Shelbyville, Columbia, and Clarksville.

Nominees must have resided in the NMA area for more than half of the eligibility period, which is Jan. 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. Eligible part-time residents must maintain a Nashville-area profile in the judgment of the nominating committee.

“I am honored and excited to be a part of the revival of the Nashville Music Awards,” Jason Moon Wilkins, director and owner of Next Big Nashville said in a press release. “I was involved in the nominating process for three of the last four years of the original NBA’s and I remember how integral the NMA’s were in the recognition of the diversity of Nashville’s music community.

“That musical diversity has grown substantially since then and I look forward to working with Leadership Music in rebuilding the NMA’s and doing our part to highlight the creative depth of Music City.”

Winners in the categories of Heritage Award, Brian Williams Ambassador Award (formerly the “Bridge Award”) and Innovator of the Year (for a Nashville music-related tech innovator) are the only ones not voted on by the public. A complete list of categories and other details about the 2009 Nashville Music Awards is available at