Awards Season
By Andrea R. Williams

Much is happening in the world of inspirational instrumental music, especially now that it's Award Season.  The season jumped off with the 25 th Annual Stellar Awards which were held again in Nashville in mid-January.  Touted as the finest ever, perennial favorite Ben Tankard walked away with the Stellar Award for Instrumental CD of the Year for his hit project, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.  Also joining him in the category were nominees Daniel Weatherspoon for his debut Official, Derrick Scott - The Seed of Kenaniah with The Total Experience, and one of Gospel Jazz's most popular artists, Mel Holder with Music Book Vol. 1.  Although the GRAMMY Awards don't have a Gospel Jazz category yet, Christian Jazz bassist John Patitucci and his trio were nominated for a GRAMMY for their most recent project, Remembrance, in the Best Instrumental Jazz category.

The Christian music version of the GRAMMYs, the GMA Dove Awards, recently announced their nominees in the Instrumental Album of the Year category.  Christopher Phillips' two projects, A Moment's Peace Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, received one nomination each.  Stan Whitmire's Joy Comes In the Morning, Ben Tankard's Mercy Mercy Mercy, and Sam Levine's Smooth Praise rounded out the category's nominees.  The GMA Dove Awards will be announced from the Grand Ole Opry on Sunday, April 25, 2010 and will air live at 8PM EST on Gospel Music Channel.