Written by Staff Write-Blog Events Now
After cementing their place on the Washington DC music scene in 2020, the WAMMIE AWARDS are back- need we add and better?!
After two years of lock down due to the Covid 19 pandemic, your favorite Awards are back in-person to celebrate the best talent in music within the local Washington DC area. This time a number of categories have been included in the nomination, and the live event is scheduled for March 26th, 2022 at Capital Turnaround Hall and is sure to bring you great entertainment.
A recap from 2020 Wammies Award.
The Wammie Awards (Washington Area Music Awards) were started in 1985 with the aim of celebrating local artists within the Washington DC area. The Awards are a great exposure for these artists at the live events especially due to massive media coverage, and they are also a big source of entertainment for individuals and families alike.
The awards have undergone significant changes as promised by its stewards at the MusicianShip– a nonprofit education organization. Also, as promised the nomination system are straight forward and are a reflection of the flavors on the Washington DC music scene.
Here to celebrate local artists, this year’s event has nominations in over 50 categories. Some of the categories include; Best Acapella artist/ group, Best Bluegrass artist/ group, Best Blues artist/ group, Best Blues Song, Best Classical Song, Best Country/ Americana Album, Best Folk Album, Best Funk Song, Best Hip-Hop Album, Best R&B/ Soul Album (check out their website at https://www.wammiesdc.org/ to see more categories).
Among the artists (nominees) there’s: Brandon Camphor and One way, and Jarod Glou in the Best Acapella Artist/ Group category; Annie Stokes- The One that Gets Away, Bob Shellhouse- Cinnamon Dreams, and Craig Cummings- The Gulf Between Us are among those in the Best Country/ Americana Album. There’s also Deborah Bond and Mumu Fresh on the list.
This year’s event also recognizes other influencers in our midst, and awards such as the Do Good Award and the Educator Award have been included to celebrate our everyday heroes. The ones that impact everyday lives, and would otherwise go unnoticed.
There’s also a special category for the media. The media has played a big role in bringing music to the masses.The contenders in this category include; Alchemical Records, HomeTown Sounds, Living On Music With Steve Houk, SoulBounce, The Melomaniacs, The Washington Informer Bridge- What’s Going on DC, and WERE 96.7 FM- The Vinyl Vault Radio Show.
We had a chance to interview interviewed Jessica Teachey, the Senior Director of Community Engagement at
The MusicianShip in an amazing Q&A. Here’s how the vision of the Wammie Awards came to life.
Q: Tell us about Wammies Awards?
A: DC is the beneficiary of world-class music creatives who enrich and inspire millions of people around the world! In an effort to celebrate, honor, and uplift these creative heroes, The MusicianShip preserves and annually delivers: The Wammie Awards. The Wammie Awards is a 35-year-old award show aimed at recognizing DC, MD, and VA area artists and musicians for their artistic works and impact across the region.
Q: How did the name “The Wammies” come about?
The Wammie Awards were started by the now-defunct Washington Area Music Association – founded by regional musician & industry icon: Mike Schreibman. They were regionally known as “WAMA” back then and decided to name their annual awards show after another globally-famous show musicians/creatives were already familiar with & thus came up with: The Wammie Awards aka The Wammies!
Q: Tell us about the mission behind The Wammies Award?
The Wammie Awards is The MusicianShip’s 35-year-old awards show aimed at recognizing DC, MD, & VA area artists and musicians for their music releases and community impact across our region. As a 501(c)(3), focused primarily on music education for youth, at The MusicianShip we meld this mission with an aligned community of industry stakeholders to uncover shared value around “Changing Lives with Music” while honoring regional artists and musicians. The MusicianShip Wammie Awards recognizes new music talent & world-class music creatives in the Washington D.C. region. Nominated, voted, and scored by the public and a vetted pool of local Industry Judges, The Wammies yield thousands of nominations for 60 award categories, representing 20+ genres and D.C.’s vibrant and impressive music community.
Q: What is unique about The Wammie Awards?
At the end of the day, our region’s impact and inspiration are felt through our music education fundraiser attached to our show each year. This allows us to create room for even more students to attend our free Summer & After School programs. We’re also the only music awards show of our kind in the region delivering over 50 awards that recognize more than 25 genres and is approachable by musicians of all ages. Simply put, we found a way to compound intergenerational impact coupled with music education and entertainment for all and we’re just getting started!
Q: Were there any challenges during the building stages of The Wammies Award?
Absolutely, I think with any significant brand transition you will always have challenges. The Wammie Awards were in dire need of a new equitable structure, a transparent governing team, and eligibility rules that the region could respect. We also needed to create an entirely new, contemporary brand that music creatives could identify and get behind. Over the last 4 years, I’ve dedicated so much sweat & tears to creating those very plans & making those hard decisions with our team ensuring these measures stayed in place for the greater good & I think the proof of that hard work is truly starting to resonate with our supporters, stakeholders and the music communities we serve.
Q: Could you share with us the importance of awards such as Wammies?
Yes! We always hear the phrase “give folks their flowers while they can still smell them”…well, we felt like no one was approaching that action genuinely from a detailed perspective on behalf of this region’s highly successful and burgeoning music community. We decided to tackle that head-on each year & turn the Wammies into DC’s “annual prom for musicians” so that the love & recognition can be felt so much more now, versus later. Being the home of Education and the seat of the Federal Government, many times these industries’ presence override our region’s ability to be seen as a true “Music EcoSystem” like Austin, Nashville, NY, or LA. The Wammie Awards are highly important because we directly challenge the music industry to re-think the way they see Washington DC, Southern MD & Northern VA. We are not just one or two stops on your festival’s tour…we are a place where musicians can live a full-bodied life and maintain a successful career from right inside the Nation’s Capital while also having a philanthropic system that gives back to our local youth!
Q: What advice you would give to others who wanted to network at awards ceremonies such as The Wammies?
I’d tell them (3) Major things:
A) Get your tickets & Show up early! Take advantage of all of the time we offer – you have no idea who you will rub elbows with or finally meet in person after 2 years down due to COVID.
B) Be sure your social presence & business systems are in place – opportunities are here & they may pass you if you don’t seem ready and the next artist IS.
C) Support a new genre! Go break bread with someone you don’t know or haven’t heard of – we have the tendency to stick with our cliques but not at The Wammies – mix AND mingle baby! Your next collabo could be HERE!
Q: The Wammies have been around for 35 years. How has this awards show brought awareness to indie artists or musicians in general?
The Wammies are 35 years old but I can only honestly speak for my work at The MusicianShip over the last 4 years. Some of the ways we’ve brought more awareness as the new regime was to:
- Create a modern, contemporary brand that could be recognized and respected online & on social media – cool & creative content was key!
- Built press & marketing presence around our shows and year-round activities to highlight the amazing Wammie Winners & Live Performers each year on tv, radio & social media
- Offering education opportunities to our Wammie winning musicians so that they can diversify their careers locally and earn more with our non-profit throughout the year post-March
- Participate in music event collaborations where we can curate, promote and hire Wammie Winning artists for other music events, concerts & exhibitions
- Annually provided our Wammie Winners with free, high-quality professional content/recognition that they are able to use to bolster the status of their careers (trophies, graphics, photo albums, etc.)
Q: What would be some of the entertainment at the Wammies?
- Silent Paul Reed Smith Guitars Auction by Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center
- LIVE $5K fundraiser for The MusicianShip’s free-of-charge music programs
- Appearances from our 2022 Arts Partners & Sponsors such as: Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center & PRS Guitars, Levine Music, The PR Alliance, IMPACT Collective, Songwriter’s Assoc. of Washington, DMV Music Alliance & more…
Q: Who should consider attending The Wammies?
Anyone who is a music fan, performer, or lover who currently resides in DC, MD, or VA! It’s a night for all of us to loosen our ties, lose our labels and fellowship on behalf of music and the industry that keeps us all going, especially as we all strive to inspire the next generation of musicians! We honestly come together to have a GOOD time & that’s our major goal every year at The Wammies.
Q: As a minority-owned business, why is it important to support one another?
It’s important for minority-owned businesses to be supported because we all know that 100% of them begin at a disadvantage based on various forms of systemic oppression. For us at The MusicianShip, we are here to level the playing field of music access and education in the communities we serve, which are mostly black and brown communities. Access to music for those of us who are 25+ is such a core function that adults are used to basing their support on the level of access they had when they were young but that is not the case for the children of today. More music programs are being removed from the city, state, and federal level, and our non-profit digs down to do this work as a way to give hope and happiness to the youth who are caught in the balance of these shifts. I think we all saw over the last two years how important music and media are to keep our young people strengthened and in my opinion: building strong children into stronger adults is the smartest thing we can all do to invest in a better tomorrow for ourselves.
Q: How can people get tickets?
Q: When is the Wammies Award?
A: March 26, 2022 @ 6:00 PM-9:30 PM
Q: Is there a website to learn more about the Wammies?
Q: How can we follow for updates? Is there a social media?
A: @WammiesDC on IG/FB/Twitter
To get your ticket to this special event, go to https://www.wammiesdc.org/
Remember to get vaccinated against Covid 19! You’ll be required to present your ticket as well as the VaxYes Vaccine Passport before entry is granted.
The Wammies is also running a donation campaign to raise $5000 so that more students can attend the MusicianShip’s 2022 summer Programs for free. Feel free to give to this cause from our website.