Tag Archives: new england music

Limelight Magazine co-owners receive prestigious award

LOWELL – Katie Botelho and Jay Kenney, co-founders and co-owners of the JKB Entertainment Group, which publishes Limelight Magazine, were the recipients of the prestigious Scene Award presented at the New England Music Awards at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, April 13th.

This award is given annually to an individual or individuals for their outstanding dedication, involvement, and contribution to the New England music scene. It was presented to them by last year’s recipient of this award, Cat Wilson, co-founder of the weekly radio show The Cheap Seats, which airs Sunday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. on COOL 102 (101.9 FM).

“It was great to receive the award by someone who’s helped us out so much in the past and who also gives back to the local music scene,” said Botelho in regard to Wilson presenting the award. “Being recognized for the work we’ve done really means a lot to us and we couldn’t have asked for a better award!”

“This is truly an honor to be recognized for our contributions to the local music scene,” said Kenney. “While this means so very much, we wouldn’t be receiving this award if it weren’t for the many talented musicians we have here in New England. We accept this award on behalf of them.”

The New England Music Awards (NEMA) are presented every year to the musicians who call New England their home and whose dedication, spirit, and achievements have established themselves as a contributing force to the most robust and diverse music scene in the country. The NEMA nominating committee consists of journalists from music publications, radio personalities, talent buyers, and record label execs collectively representing all six New England states.

The goal of NEMA is to celebrate and recognize some of the areas best musical achievements. Every year NEMA nominates over 100 artists and/or bands spanning a number of categories and genres of popular music in New England, including the coveted individual state awards which select one band/act from each of the six states as its Best In State. The NEMA Nomination Committee also selects one winner in three Individual Award categories which are presented to individuals for their years of outstanding achievement and contribution to the New England music scene.

For more information about the New England Music Awards, visit www.nemusicawards.com.

Sarah Blacker to add host to her resume

Sarah Blacker (Photo by Katherine Hemmond)
Sarah Blacker (Photo by Katherine Hemond)

By LEAH ASTORE

On Saturday, March 16, 2013, singer-songwriter Sarah Blacker will host the fifth annual Limelight Magazine Music Awards.

Over the last three and a half years Blacker has worked on her music full-time, released two albums, one EP, and toured the United States and Germany, while working as a part-time music therapist. Now, the multi-talented artist can add “host” to her repertoire.

“I’m very excited,” Blacker said, of hosting. “I was totally flattered when [Limelight Magazine] asked me.”

Along with hosting, Blacker’s first music video “Knocked the Winds” is nominated for Music “Video of the Year” at the Limelight Magazine Music Awards. The video, which currently has over 16,000 views on YouTube, stars all of her close friends.

“It was a really incredible process,” Blacker said, of filming.

Blacker is also currently nominated for “Female Performer of the Year” by the New England Music Awards.

“It’s pretty amazing. I was completely flattered and honored,” Blacker said of her nomination.

The best thing about award shows, she said, is they give recognition to all of the work musicians put in to make their music.

“New England really takes note of what’s going on,” Blacker said. “It really means the music counts.”

Needless to say, Blacker has been busy since she first began writing music as a junior in high school. Over the years, Blacker’s music has evolved along with her and is inspired by a “melting pot of influences.” Her music recalls aspects of several styles from jazz, to avant-garde, to classical, she said. When she writes, her creative process is often inspired by whatever her feelings are at the moment.

“It’s influenced by mood more than anything and emotion, of course,” she said. “There are different characters inside of me and when I write a song it’s usually one of those characters.”

Among her musical influences she lists classics such as Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, and popular 90s artists such as Sarah McLachlan, to name a few.

“I think a little bit of everything I’ve heard have either a conscious or subconscious influence on all the music I make,” she said.

Currently, the singer-songwriter is finalizing her second EP titled Precious Little Things, which she funded through a PledgeMusic fundraiser.

“We reached our goal and that was pretty awesome,” she said. “[It] was a big help.”

While the public will have to wait until late spring or early fall for its release, Blacker will continue to tour and play house concerts with her percussionist, Shaysh, guitar player and vocalists Erik White and Chuck Fisher, and her bassist and producer/engineer at 37’ Productions, Sean McLaughlin. Blacker and her band will also hit the road to play some shows with local band, The Alternate Routes. As for another international tour, Blacker said she would love to and it’s “in the works.”

As a performer, Blacker offers her audiences a unique experience. She creates a fun atmosphere by telling “obscene jokes” and stories in between songs, she said.

“I think it’s nice to share with people why a song was written, and where it came from and what is going on,” Blacker said. “Typically I write in a way where people can choose how they relate to the songs.”

One of her favorite songs she’s written is from her first album The Only Way Out is Through called “Sand Piper.”

“I wrote it for my parents. I can play it anywhere and people really relate,” she said.

The Limelight Magazine Music Awards will take place at the Rock Junction in Coventry, R.I., on March 16th at 7:30 P.M. The awards will honor bands and musicians from New England selected by readers of the magazine in an online poll.

The Rock Junction is located at 731 Centre of New England Blvd. in Coventry, R.I. The venue has a full bar and dinner menu. Parking is free.

Tickets for the awards show are $10 each and $12 day of show. They can be purchased online through http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/315633.