San Diego Music Week topped off with Awards gala

The acoustic, hip-hop, rock, Americana, blues, jazz and punk pied pipers are all out in full force to lead San Diego music virgins and whores alike all over our fair city in celebration of San Diego Music Week.

The 14th annual San Diego Music Week culminates with the the San Diego Music Awards, held Sept. 28 at Humphrey’s by the Bay and featuring performances by the best in San Diego music.

Music Week 2004 began Sept. 20 and kicks into full gear this weekend with the Acoustic Music Fest on Sept. 24 at Claire De Lune.

From 7 p.m. to midnight, $10 will buy you the brand of coffeehouse acoustic rock San Diego is famous for, with two stages and 26 artists, including Best Acoustic Artist nominees Anya Marina, Pete Thurston, Saba, Billy Shaddox and The Gandhi Method.

For those craving a little more than a guy and his guitar, the PB & Jam in Pacific Beach on Sept. 26 features 57-plus bands from various genres in 12 Pacific Beach clubs for a cover of $10. Unfortunately for those under 21, Hennessey’s is the only venue that will be all-ages.

Performers at PB & Jam include the Buzzkill Romantics, the Parker Theory, Al Howard & K23 Orchestra and Steve Poltz.

Performing live at the Sept. 28 awards show are co-Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Chris Hillman, the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers and Charles

McPherson, along with nominees for Best Artist from diverse categories: the Album Leaf (Artist of the Year), the Locust (Best Punk), A.J. Croce (Best Pop Album), Tristan Prettyman (Best Acoustic), Scarlet Symphony (Best Alternative) and Deep Rooted featuring Mr. Brady & Johaz (Best Hip-Hop).

Hillman and the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers sound like just a bunch of crazy bluegrass kids — in fact, they are. Forty years after their “official” breakup, the lineup that has been rearranged more times than Destiny’s Child has finally settled into a groove that debuted at San Diego’s 30th Annual Roots Festival last year. The enigmatic group earns the prestigious honor because of their timeless and legendary music, which became a precursor to current bluegrass acts like Nickel Creek.

Spotted by Clint Eastwood to fill in saxophone parts for the director’s biopic on jazz and bebop legend Charlie Parker, Charles McPherson has evolved his own jazz style with Parker’s influence. McPherson is devoted to the classic grace of jazz, having worked for 35 years in the industry to create innovative, honest music that’s won over many fans in McPherson’s adopted home of San Diego.

With award categories ranging from Best Cover/Tribute Band to Best Pop (with fans able to vote by computer worldwide), plus a smattering of Academy-chosen titles, the San Diego Music Awards walks the line between mass-appeal music and academic merit.

Not only does the awards show go to great lengths to involve the audience, it also strives to give back to the community; proceeds from the San Diego Music Week events benefit music programs at San Diego County elementary schools.

At first the program directly allowed the school districts to buy smaller instruments.

But in 1999, the San Diego Music Awards Foundation joined forces with San Diego CityBeat and Taylor Guitars to create a one-of-a-kind fundraising program that directly places Baby Taylor guitars and guitar instruction into the public elementary schools.

The San Diego Music Awards will be held Sept. 28 at Humphrey’s by the Bay. Tickets are available for purchase at