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Back to the Future 

2002 Big Easy Entertainment Awards music honorees and nominees connect the past with the present.

Legends young and old promise to make the 15th annual Big Easy Entertainment Awards one of the most exciting in recent years. Where else will party goers be able to witness the coronation of hot jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton as its Entertainer of the Year as well as a nod to legendary saxophonist, arranger and bandleader Sam Butera as the Lifetime Achievement Award winner in music?

And that's only the tip of the iceberg, as R&B singer Clarence "Frogman" Henry will receive the Music Heritage Award while Edward "Kidd" Jordan will serve as the Honorary Music Chairman. (The theater nominees will be announced in next week's issue.)

Veteran co-host and part-time New Orleanian Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, NPR's Le Show) will team up this year with New Orleans native and Rendez-View producer and former Daily Show correspondent Vance DeGeneres as this year's masters of ceremonies -- guaranteeing a night of zippy one-liners. The awards, which also features performances by nominees in both music and theater, will be held Monday, April 22 at the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Riverside New Orleans Hotel, followed by the Harrah's Celebration Bash at Harrah's New Orleans Casino.

This year's Business Recognition Award honors the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Committee for its support of the Louisiana Living History Project, which for five years has employed actors each December to provide visitors with live history pieces in the French Quarter.

VIP tickets to the Big Easy Entertainment Awards are $125 each, with tables of 10 going for $1,000. Cost includes open bar, buffet dinner, special reserved seating for the awards ceremonies and the Harrah's Celebration Bash afterwards. Call Lindsay Moylan at 486-5900, ext. 160 for reservations. The Big Easy Entertainment Awards is presented by Gambit Weekly, Harrah's New Orleans Casino, CC's Coffee, John Jay, Cox Communications, WWOZ, and Coleman E. Adler & Sons. The awards gala benefits the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education.

Among the music nominees, legendary R&B singer/piano professor Dr. John scored a hat trick with his three nominations: Best Male Performer, Best R&B Artist, and Best Album (Creole Moon). Chris Thomas King, who last week shared three Grammy Awards for his contribution to the O, Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, earned Big Easy nominations for Best Blues Artist and Best Male Performer. Fellow Grammy nominee Los Hombres Calientes earned Big Easy nominations for Best Contemporary Jazz Artist and Best Album (Vol. 3 -- New Congo Square). Payton, whose Dear Louis CD honored the centennial birthday of Louis Armstrong, was also nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Artist.

BIG EASY AWARDS -- MUSIC NOMINEES

(for accomplishment in calendar year 2001)

TRADITIONAL JAZZ

Doreen Ketchens

Tom McDermott

Michael White

CONTEMPORARY JAZZ

Donald Harrison Jr.

Los Hombres Calientes

Nicholas Payton

TRADITIONAL BRASS

Olympia Brass Band

Storyville Stompers

Treme Brass Band

CONTEMPORARY BRASS

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Lil Rascals Brass Band

ReBirth Brass Band

GOSPEL CHOIR

Beacon Light Baptist Church Choir

Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir

Greater St. Stephens Full Gospel Baptist Church Choir

GOSPEL GROUP/INDIVIDUAL

Paulette Wright Davis

One-A-Chord

Trin-i-Tee 5:7

FUNK

funky Meters

Galactic

Papa Grows Funk

R&B

Eddie Bo

Dr. John

James Rivers

RAP/HIP-HOP

Lil' Romeo

Mystikal

UNLV

BLUES

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

Henry Gray

Chris Thomas King

ROCK

Daydreams & Curry

Morning 40 Federation

Supagroup

ROOTS ROCK

Bluerunners

Egg Yolk Jubilee

Anders Osborne

ZYDECO

Sean Ardoin

Buckwheat Zydeco

Rosie Ledet

CAJUN

BeauSoleil

Bruce Daigrepont

Steve Riley

COUNTRY/FOLK

Spencer Bohren

Jim McCormick

New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars

LATIN

Los Babies

Los Vecinos

Fredy Omar

WORLD/REGGAE

Bamboula 2000

Revealers

Zion

MALE PERFORMER

Dr. John

Chris Thomas King

Phillip Manuel

Kermit Ruffins

FEMALE PERFORMER

Topsy Chapman

Leah Chase

Tricia Boutté

EMERGING ARTIST

Rob Wagner Trio

Matt Lemmler

Joe Stark

BEST ALBUM

Bluerunners -- Le Grand Bleu

(Louisiana Red Hot Records; produced by Mark Meaux; recorded at La Louisianne Studios)

Dr. John -- Creole Moon

(EMI/Blue Note Records; produced by Mac Rebennack; recorded at Dockside Studios)

Los Hombres Calientes -- Vol. 3 -- New Congo Square

(Basin Street Records; produced by Delfeayo Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield and Bill Summers; recorded at Mama Yvette Studios, UltraSonic Studios, Abdala Studios, African Symbol Studio, and the streets of the Dominican Republic)

Papa Grows Funk (Doin' It)

(Independent; produced by Tracey Freeman; recorded at UltraSonic Studios)

click to enlarge Legendary saxophonist, arranger, singer and bandleader Sam Butera will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Music.
  • Legendary saxophonist, arranger, singer and bandleader Sam Butera will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Music.
click to enlarge Entertainer of the Year Nicholas Payton captured the spirit of Satchmo with last year's CD, Dear Louis.
  • Entertainer of the Year Nicholas Payton captured the spirit of Satchmo with last year's CD, Dear Louis.
click to enlarge South Louisiana's Bluerunners scored nominations for Best Roots Rock Artist and its critically acclaimed, guest-star-filled CD, Le Grand Bleu.
  • South Louisiana's Bluerunners scored nominations for Best Roots Rock Artist and its critically acclaimed, guest-star-filled CD, Le Grand Bleu.
click to enlarge R&B singer Clarence "Frogman" Henry will receive the Music Heritage Award.
  • R&B singer Clarence "Frogman" Henry will receive the Music Heritage Award.
click to enlarge Vance DeGeneres joins veteran co-host Harry Shearer as masters of ceremonies this year.
  • Vance DeGeneres joins veteran co-host Harry Shearer as masters of ceremonies this year.
click to enlarge Dr. John hit the trifecta with nominations for Best R&B Artist, Best Male Performer and Best Album (Creole Moon).
  • Dr. John hit the trifecta with nominations for Best R&B Artist, Best Male Performer and Best Album (Creole Moon).
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