The Blues Foundation announces the nominations for its annual Blues Music Awards, which the international organization will present on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The Blues Music Awards honor the past year’s superior achievements in blues performance, songwriting, and recording. This annual ceremony represents the premier event for blues professionals, musicians, and fans around the globe.

The Blues Foundation’s mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form.  Founded in 1980, The Blues Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 200 affiliated local blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. The Blues Music Awards is one of the organization’s signature events, along with the Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge, and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards. The Blues Hall of Fame Museum recently opened in Memphis.

Categories for the Blues Music Awards comprise Acoustic Artist, Acoustic Album, Album, Band, B.B. King Entertainer, Best Emerging Artist Album, Contemporary Blues Album, Contemporary Blues Female Artist, Contemporary Blues Male Artist, Historical Album, Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female), Pinetop Perkins Piano Player, Rock Blues Album of the Year, Song, Soul Blues Album, Soul Blues Female Artist, Soul Blues Male Artist, Traditional Blues Album, and Traditional Blues Male Artist, plus Instrumentalist categories for drums, bass, guitar, harmonica, and horn.

The nominees for the 38th Blues Music Awards in the Instrumentalist-Drums category are:

Jimi Bott

Tony Braunagel


Cedric Burnside

June Core

Tom Hambridge

Some drummers who are associated with nominated projects, artists, or bands include Wes Starr (Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue), Kelly Littleton (Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials), Patrick Seals (Nick Moss Band), Neil Gouvin (Sugar Ray and the Bluetones), Tyler Greenwell (Tedeschi Trucks Band), JJ Johnson (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Anton Fig (Joe Bonamassa), and Neil Gould III (Shemekia Copeland), among many others.

Sugar Ray Norcia received the most nominations — individually and collectively with his band, The Bluetones — with seven, including B.B. King Entertainer Award, Best Song, Best Album and Best Band. The total reaches ten with the inclusion of his Bluetones bandmates Monster Mike Welch (Instrumentalist-Guitar), Michael “Mudcat” Ward (Instrumentalist-Bass) and Anthony Geraci (Pinetop Perkins Piano Player). Chicago-based guitarist Toronzo Cannon garnered four nominations and he faces off against Norcia in both the Best Song and Best Album categories. The Best Album category sees Norcia and Cannon competing with Bobby Rush, Kenny Neal, William Bell and the Nick Moss Band, who all have three nominations.

Several nominees will be defending their titles won at last year’s Blues Music Awards. Cedric Burnside is again vying for the Instrumentalist-Drums crown.

Blues Foundation members will vote for winners in each category. Anyone interested in casting a vote to decide this year’s winners may receive a ballot by joining or renewing their membership with The Blues Foundation at any time up to February 28, 2017.

More information and the complete list of 38th Blues Music Award nominees is available at