The awards nominations are made by a committee of about 24 people, music writers, club owners, booking agents, music producers and radio DJ's.
They are required to meet together once a year in January to discuss the musical achievements and happenings in the previous year. They listen to all opinions, and in addition some people with special knowledge about certain genres, such as gospel & rap/hip hop contribute to the discussion. Nominees must live in New Orleans or play here regularly enough to have a local following if they live in other parts of Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Lafayette, etc).
Committee members are encouraged to only vote in categories in which they have a great deal of knowledge. After the meeting there is a private, secret ballot to determine the three top in each genre. These become the nominees, then a second secret ballot is held to select one winner in each category. The results of that final ballot are not made public until the evening of the awards. This was our 23rd edition. The Foundation produces the event to honor the performing musicians of New Orleans and the region to acknowledge the importance of music to the culture of the city. Bands or artists may be nominated in the Emerging category only once, then they are considered in the genre of the music they perform. The Foundation and the Nominating Committee take great pride in the credibility of the selections.
- Gloria Powers
Executive Director of the Big Easy Foundation
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