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Late life for the San Diego Music Awards

After being announced it was off for 2016, the awards are back on

With late life for the 2016 SDMAs, perhaps it’s time to give the late Ramón “Chunky” Sánchez his lifetime-achievement props.
With late life for the 2016 SDMAs, perhaps it’s time to give the late Ramón “Chunky” Sánchez his lifetime-achievement props.

It was announced on 91X’s Loudspeaker show November 6 that the San Diego Music Awards was taking a year off this year with hopes to return next year. Through November 7 the SDMA website was still displaying the news from last year’s event.

Something called the San Diego Music Foundation oversees the SDMAs. The phone number listed for the Foundation no longer works. Its website lists Bar Pink’s co-owner Dang Nguyen as president and ABC channel 10’s Unherd executive director Scott Richison as director. Nguyen had no response. Richison stated via email, “The Foundation and Kevin are working on keeping the tradition he built alive and are excited about our progress.”

On November 8, the SDMA website was updated.

Kevin Hellman, publisher of CityBeat, ran the SDMAs during its 25 years. Hellman oversaw the sponsorship and the ceremony production. Hellman’s CityBeat has been silent about this year’s SDMAs. By phone last week, Hellman indicated he was no longer involved. “I haven’t been involved in the [San Diego Music] Foundation for months,” he told the Reader. “You have to ask [the Foundation].”

On November 8, the SDMA website was updated. Local artists were told they had to submit their CDs by mail by December 31 and that nominees would be announced on January 8. There was no mention of the 2017 venue.

The SDMAs have been held at SDSU’s Montezuma Hall, Spreckels Theatre, and Viejas. The 2015 event was held at Humphreys by the Bay.

“If they hold it at the House of Blues or Music Box, I don’t think it will have the same juice,” says one person who has been involved with the SDMAs in previous years.

Attempts to get more comments from Richison were not productive.

Producer/manager/radio host Lou Niles, who was involved with the SDMAs during its first decade, says he would miss them. “People complain that it’s a popularity contest or whatever, but it’s the only time everyone in local music gets together for a celebration.”

Video:

"Linda Chicana"

...by Los Alacranes

...by Los Alacranes

Local reggae band Big Mountain won SDMAs in the ’90s and returned to perform last year. “Kevin has done a hell of a job to try and keep it going,” says Big Mountain frontman Quino. “It hasn’t been easy. It was hard to get free passes from him, but that’s because he had so [many expenses] to cover.”

Quino’s biggest SDMA regret: “[Ramón] Chunky Sánchez was never given his dues before he died. I don’t think [his band] Los Alacranes was ever given an award.”

Promoter/band manager Al Guerra, who volunteered for the SDMAs for years and was given a lifetime achievement award, agrees. “For three or four years I was trying to get Chunky the lifetime award. He dies, and now we regret it.”

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With late life for the 2016 SDMAs, perhaps it’s time to give the late Ramón “Chunky” Sánchez his lifetime-achievement props.
With late life for the 2016 SDMAs, perhaps it’s time to give the late Ramón “Chunky” Sánchez his lifetime-achievement props.

It was announced on 91X’s Loudspeaker show November 6 that the San Diego Music Awards was taking a year off this year with hopes to return next year. Through November 7 the SDMA website was still displaying the news from last year’s event.

Something called the San Diego Music Foundation oversees the SDMAs. The phone number listed for the Foundation no longer works. Its website lists Bar Pink’s co-owner Dang Nguyen as president and ABC channel 10’s Unherd executive director Scott Richison as director. Nguyen had no response. Richison stated via email, “The Foundation and Kevin are working on keeping the tradition he built alive and are excited about our progress.”

On November 8, the SDMA website was updated.

Kevin Hellman, publisher of CityBeat, ran the SDMAs during its 25 years. Hellman oversaw the sponsorship and the ceremony production. Hellman’s CityBeat has been silent about this year’s SDMAs. By phone last week, Hellman indicated he was no longer involved. “I haven’t been involved in the [San Diego Music] Foundation for months,” he told the Reader. “You have to ask [the Foundation].”

On November 8, the SDMA website was updated. Local artists were told they had to submit their CDs by mail by December 31 and that nominees would be announced on January 8. There was no mention of the 2017 venue.

The SDMAs have been held at SDSU’s Montezuma Hall, Spreckels Theatre, and Viejas. The 2015 event was held at Humphreys by the Bay.

“If they hold it at the House of Blues or Music Box, I don’t think it will have the same juice,” says one person who has been involved with the SDMAs in previous years.

Attempts to get more comments from Richison were not productive.

Producer/manager/radio host Lou Niles, who was involved with the SDMAs during its first decade, says he would miss them. “People complain that it’s a popularity contest or whatever, but it’s the only time everyone in local music gets together for a celebration.”

Video:

"Linda Chicana"

...by Los Alacranes

...by Los Alacranes

Local reggae band Big Mountain won SDMAs in the ’90s and returned to perform last year. “Kevin has done a hell of a job to try and keep it going,” says Big Mountain frontman Quino. “It hasn’t been easy. It was hard to get free passes from him, but that’s because he had so [many expenses] to cover.”

Quino’s biggest SDMA regret: “[Ramón] Chunky Sánchez was never given his dues before he died. I don’t think [his band] Los Alacranes was ever given an award.”

Promoter/band manager Al Guerra, who volunteered for the SDMAs for years and was given a lifetime achievement award, agrees. “For three or four years I was trying to get Chunky the lifetime award. He dies, and now we regret it.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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