Watch for Washington's first Wammy Awards this fall -- a local counterpart to the music industry's yearly Grammies -- patterned after San Francisco's successful local Bammies.
The awards are the brainchild and first public venture of the Washington Area Music Association (c/o Suite 300, 1737 DeSales St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036), a loose aggregation of about 25 independent promoters, club owners, music business attorneys, performers and studio representatives who have been meeting monthly since September 1984. Promoter Mike Schreibman, who's booked rock acts into just about every major venue in town for years, says WAMA was formed "to create a focus on local music, create a stronger local scene, recognize local artists."
The event is set for September 29 at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium, and current plans call for performances and award presentations by area artists. Schreibman says invitations will also go to performers who got their start in Washington and have since "made it," including Emmylou Harris, Roberta Flack and Nils Lofgren.
Categories and nominations will be initiated by the WAMA committee, which includes Schreibman, Keith Krokyn of the Warner, Bill Warrell of District Curators, Dodie Bowers of the 9:30 Club and Michael Jaworek of the University of Maryland (who instigated the whole thing). Schreibman says the public will vote on the winners. Future WAMA events include seminars on how to survive in the music biz, studios and the legal world.
With Washington's recent loss of two important music venues -- Adam's and the Wax Museum -- both of which he booked, Schreibman has been keeping busy promoting shows at Connecticut Avenue's Saba Club. "I'm trying to work out a way to continue the Wax Museum," he says "I really liked what we were doing there, the kind of performers we were getting and the rapport with the audience. So I'm looking for another building, either as big as the Wax, or something as small as Adam's."