Alberta Music is excited for our Juno Nominees and wish everyone well who is attending the 2014 Juno Awards in Winnipeg this weekend!
Brett Kissel / Started With a Song - Country Album of the Year
When you come from a place called Flat Lake, Alberta, it’s pretty tough to get noticed. For Brett Kissel, it’s pretty tough to be ignored. The 23-year-old singer/songwriter has released two independent albums, sold out countless shows and earned two Canadian Country Music Association Award nominations, becoming its youngest nominee ever. Even before the release of Started With A Song, his major label debut album through Warner Music Canada, Kissel made radio history. With more than 93 per cent of Canadian country stations adding the first single "Started With A Song," the track eclipsed the record for most adds at Canadian country radio in one week, a record previously held by Taylor Swift. Co-produced by Kissel with Ted Hewitt (Rodney Atkins) and CCMA Award-winner Bart McKay, the album is an exhilarating collection of music that can be best described as the new wave of old country: each song a slice of real-life sentiment; emotional touchstones that run the gamut of highs and lows and explore such subjects as deep love, trying moments and poignant reflection, measured out by party anthems and a sense that something special is happening here.
Gord Bamford / Country Junkie - Country Album of the Year
Gord Bamford’s rising star continues to shine. This sixteen-time Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) award-winning and JUNO Award nominated artist keeps putting out great country music, all by staying true to his unique sound. Gord’s humble nature and get-it-done cowboy attitude make his shows entertaining and inspiring. There’s little doubt Gord Bamford is one of Canada’s A-list country artists: he was the leading winner at the 2013 CCMA awards taking home five awards including song of the year for "Leaning On A Lonesome Song". He even donated $100,000.00 to Children's Hospitals across Canada during his October tour! Gord Bamford is a true Canadian boy.
Allan Gordon Bell / Field Notes - Classical Composition of the Year
Allan Gordon Bell was born in Calgary in 1953. He received a Master of Music degree from the University of Alberta where he studied with Violet Archer, Malcolm Forsyth, and Manus Sasonkin. He also did advanced studies in composition at the Banff Centre for the Arts where his teachers were Jean Coulthard, Bruce Mather, and Oskar Morawetz. Bell has created works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra, band, and electro-acoustic media, as well as an opera. His music has been performed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra the Orford String Quartet, eighth blackbird, the ensembles of Toronto New Music Concerts, Arraymusic, Soundstreams Canada, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, New Works Calgary and Lands End Chamber Music as well as many other professional and amateur organizations in North America, Europe and Asia. Bell is Professor of Music at the University of Calgary, an Associate Composer and Past-President of the Canadian Music Centre, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Member of the Order of Canada.
Chloe Albert / Dream Catcher - Adult Contemporary Album of the Year
Edmonton-based singer/songwriter Chloe Albert is on to something good. Born and raised in the Alberta capital, the multi-instrumentalist had strong showings in numerous major songwriting contests, and according to Penguin Eggs Magazine, "has a better sense for pop hooks than many....This is slick, well-crafted stuff." When not performing her own material, Chloe plays with several different Edmonton bands. Her impressive, self-generated debut album Dedicated State garnered a Canadian Folk Music Award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 2008. Since then she's been touring, showcasing and writing in anticipation of her sophomore release, Dream Catcher, which remained number one for six weeks on Alberta’s CKUA radio charts; reached number one on Halifax’s CKDU; and was number five on the Canadian Folk/Roots/Blues charts.
Joanna Borromeo / Kaleidoscope - R&B/Soul Recording of the Year
Hearing Joanna Borromeo's music for the first time is similar to approaching an ice berg in the deep oceans of the Arctic. One immediately recognizes how beautifully crafted and organic her songs are, with her powerful voice illuminating out like a sunrise. Beneath the surface is the work of a skilled and expressive artist; the threads and pieces of her lush productions that listeners eventually only discover after several rotations through the album. Realizing the music has all been written by Joanna Borromeo alone, one can be inspired by the scope of her numerous ways of communicating the music of her soul through voice, keyboard playing, songwriting and producing. She began as a Classical pianist in her childhood, eventually moving on to jazz in her late teens. In her early twenties, Joanna started her professional music career as a successful freelancer, working with everyone from R&B artist Divine Brown to Canadian folk singer/songwriter David Myles, and to beloved childhood entertainer Raffi. In 2009, Joanna changed course to pursue a solo artist career, which led her to release two critically-acclaimed soul/jazz records, Through the Dark (2010) and Kaleidoscope (2013).
Nathan Cunningham / New Leaf - Aboriginal Recording of the Year
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As a child, Nathan Cunningham began to hone his skills as a singer by impersonating artists he admired; by the time he hit his teens, he was ready to take it public. Nathan has had a notable year, winning Aboriginal Male Entertainer of the Year as well as Country CD of the Year at the 2013 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. He's since performed at hundreds of live events including; The Worlds Festival (with Rita Coolidge), the 2010 CCMA's, as a tenor in Johnny Reid's choir and he's shared the stage with Dwight Yoakam, Nazareth and a host of other mainstream country artists. With no formal training, Nathan has fine-tuned his voice and has become a prolific songwriter. As a composer, he's found a unique way of blending musical genres that inspire him while staying true to his country roots. Today, his music can be heard all over aboriginal and country radio. His most recent single, "The Finer Things", climbed to number one on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown. Nathan is currently writing and recording a follow up to his debut release, Road Renditions, which held six number one spots on the National Aboriginal Top 40.