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According to the SDMA website, more than 3000 "Baby Taylor" guitars have been provided to local students over the years.
Kevin Hellman says he was convinced to come back and resurrect the San Diego Music Awards, which will be held March 21 at the House of Blues downtown.
Hellman told the Reader two weeks ago that he had notified the San Diego Music Foundation, which ostensibly runs the SDMAs, that he would not be coming back as executive director for what would have been the 26th annual awards event. The last SDMA ceremony was October of 2015 at Humphrey’s by the Bay.
In June, SoundDiego quoted San Diego Music Foundation Director Scott Richison as saying, “It’ll be held November 10 as part of the San Diego Music Thing,” but that event came and went with no mention of the SDMAs.
Hellman said the scaling down of the awards from Humphrey’s to the House of Blues was due to financial realities. He admitted that sponsorships are not as plentiful as they were in year’s past. “Currently we just have Taylor Guitars,” he says.
El Cajon’s Taylor Guitars is an important part of the charity component of the SDMAs. Proceeds from the event have helped provide “Baby Taylor” guitars to local school districts. According to the SDMA website, more than 3000 guitars have been provided to local students over the years.
Hellman founded the SDMAs and was synonymous with its operation over it first 25 years. He says the SDMAs will now be run through SDS Events, a company owned by Hellman that he says produces beer festivals and other events.
It has not been easy for So Cal music awards. The Inland Empire Music Awards folded in 2008. One insider who was close to the Orange County Music Awards explains, “The awards went away last year because they couldn’t get sponsors. They promised they would be back this year. They didn’t and said nothing about it.” Attempts to reach OCMA producer Ashley Eckenweiler were not successful.
Additional SDMA event details will be announced on Sunday, January 15, 2017, including performers, nominees, and a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. For more information, visit sandiegomusicawards.com.
Meanwhile, a couple San Diego County musicians did win awards in 2016. The third annual Temecula Valley Music Awards were given out November 12 at Franklin’s Cove in Murrieta and Fallbrook’s Anthony Cullins was honored with “Best Youth Original,” while Escondido-based Daring Greatly was named “Best Out of Town.” TVMA founder Tim Moyer says his awards focus on the area between Lake Elsinore and Fallbrook (tvmawards.com).