By Tracy Dietlin

As the owner, Promoter and Producer of the 3rd Annual CV Music Awards I would like to Congratulate all of the winners AND the nominees. You didn’t have to take home a trophy to be an amazing musician in this thriving desert music scene. Being nominated in your category alone was a compliment to what you have accomplished and that you are doing something right! And for those not nominated…please know that there were many categories that had only 1 or 2 points keeping you from being one of the 6 or 10 nominated in your category. We had a total of over 24,000 votes this year, from you the people, and that says a lot about how passionate you are about this local music community.

And to the winners, be proud of what you accomplished this last year, or perhaps years leading up to your win.

As for the event itself, I couldn’t be more proud of every performance, and this year all genres were well represented and appreciated. We had some amazing collaborations this year starting with the cool vibe of the Jazz Jam that kicked off the Pre-party awards to the opening of the second half of the awards with the amazing Drum Hall, created by Steven Hall of Se7en4, to the off the hook collaboration of the rap/hip-hop community, to the All-Star collab performances with Long Duk Dong at the After Party. There were also special moments that included John Carey & Smooth Brothers doing a beautiful tribute to Prince with “Purple Rain” and the heartfelt and tearful “In Memory” tribute to our dear friend Randy Hewitson, owner of Musicians Outlet and SIR, where John Stanley King sang one of Randy’s favorite songs, “Needle and the Damage Done,” by Neil Young, followed by a poignant slide show of Randy, perfectly put together by Rob Pickett.

Special Awards were given out as well. “Trailblazer Award” to The Hellions for their years of bringing their special brand of ‘rawk n roll’ to the desert, as well as Gary Arce, also receiving a “Trailblazer Award” for his years of being a staple in the desert rock scene.

Another highlight of the event was the Evaro family being presented with the “Pioneer Award” for decades of providing this desert with music from one generation to the other. It was beautiful to have so many Evaro’s on stage including Angie Evaro, accepting for husband Sonny, who was not able to attend due to his recent health issues. What an amazing and talented family!

Personally, it was extremely gratifying to see so many people from different musical genres all having such a great time together, laughing, sharing, congratulating and collaborating. There was such a cool vibe in the room and so much love and positivity that my heart is truly full. Everyone left their egos at the door which made for an enjoyable night.

I just want to thank everyone who came out to the CV Music Awards on Sunday. Thank you to the all the bands that performed and congratulations to all the winners AND nominees. There was so much love, support and respect in that room; amazing performances and collaborations. The music community of all genres hanging out with each other giving hugs and high fives. That’s what it’s all about and why I do this. You all made me feel like it is worth it.

Thank you to all our sponsors: Presenting Sponsor- Hot Purple Energy (David Herrlinger & Nate Otto) Jackalope Ranch (Paul Goldstine, Lee Morcus), Crater Lake Vodka (Kathleen Schriefer & Jim Bendis), Coachella Valley Brewing (David Humphrey, Jamie Brothers Humphrey, Chris Anderson), the Riviera Palm Springs (Frederick Berry), Desert Wraps (Shelly Sheppard & Soterios Anagnostou), DarMar Awards (Martina Webster & Daren Webster), CV 104.3 (Jimi Fitz), Loving All Animals. A huge thank you to Paul Rodgers and his wife Cynthia for donating the amazing signed acoustic guitar from Bad Company and all the goodies that came with it. Robert Chance, my Art Director at CV Weekly, for putting together the big screen and slide shows, Ming Bob, Maria Alaina Majiros, Tom Edwards for working the door. Ray Bill and Kris Bossi for taking care of our VIP seating, Curtis Hendricks & Sarah Hendricks for setting up and handing out the awards, Pablo Ortiz and his security crew, my “Dream Team” Brandon Ray Henderson, Kevin Swank from CYM Lighting and Pat Connelly from All Star Sound for making everything run so smooth and look and sound so amazing! Gregory Little for assisting with so many things , Brian Champagne for video, Scott Pam, Esther Sanchez, Laura Hunt Little and Steven Young for photography. And our emcees for the night: Bianca Rae, Patrick Evans, Bronwyn Ison and Craig Michaels. Thank you to our resident DJ Alex Harrington, who also won for Best Club DJ. And Long Duk Dong, who won for Best Cover Band and Chelsea Sugarbritches, who won for Best Frontwoman, nominee DJ Guy Worden for DJing the VIP afterparty, Maily Pinkerton O’Neil for waiting around 4 hours to do my hair, my beautiful daughter Michelle Brewer & Michael Brewer for all their support. And Cindy Hewitson and Musicians Outlet & SIR for providing the backline. And as always, “my man” Phil Lacombe for being my partner in crime.

2016 CV Music Awards Winners:

Best BandCaxton

Best Rock Band – Blasting Echo

Best Metal Band – House of Broken Promises

Best Punk Band – Bridger

Best Alternative Rock band – YIP YOPS

Best Rap/Hip Hop – Thr3 Strykes

Best Reggae Band – Mikey Reyes’ Acoustic Movement

Best Jazz Instrumental – Will Donato

Best Blues Band – John Stanley King

Best Country Band – Lisa Lynn & The Country Gentlemen

Best Adult Contemporary Artist – Gina Carey

Best Duo – David Macias & Giselle Woo

Best New Band – Hollace

Best Live Performance Band – Thr3 Strykes

Best Cover Band – Long Duk Dong

Best Female Vocalist – Christina Reyes

Best Male Vocalist – Michael Keeth

Best Frontman – Nick Flores

Best Frontwoman – Chelsea Sugarbritches

Best Guitar – Mike Pygmie

Best Bass – Dan Dillinger

Best Drummer – Mike Cancino

Best Keyboards – Andy Cahan

Best Jazz Vocals – Slim Man

Best Club DJ – Tie – DJ Alex Harrington and DJ Day

Best Event DJ – Alf Alpha

Best Club Promoter – Ming Bob

Best Event Promoter – BB Ingle

Best Live Performance Venue – Pappy and Harriet’s

Best Unsigned Album – Tie – J Patron “Latino Immigrant” and Bridger “Forces Against Us”

Best Producer – Ronnie King

Best Band Photographer – Chris Miller

Special Awards:

Trailblazer Award

The Hellions

In Appreciation for Your Contribution & Dedication to the Creation of the Coachella Valley Music Scene

Trailblazer Award

Gary Arce

In Appreciation for Your Contribution & Dedication to the Creation of the Coachella Valley Music Scene

Pioneer Award

Sonny Evaro

In Appreciation for Your Contribution & Dedication to the Creation of the Coachella Valley Music Scene

Lifetime Achievement Award

Terry Reid

In Appreciation for Your Contribution & Dedication to the Creation of a Lifetime of Music

In Memory Tribute of our dear friend Randy Hewitson/Owner of Musician’s Outlet & SIR 12-26-55 – 5-22-16

Photos By Laura Hunt Little – See these and more on her Facebook Page


Live Photos by Steven Avila