Zone Music Reporter Recognizes Top Music and Artists at 9th Annual ZMR Awards

Will Ackerman was honored with a ZMR Lifetime Achievement Award at the Joy Theater in New Orleans. Stellar performances, camaraderie, and celebration marked the weekend’s events. Event organizers offering sponsorships of 10th Annual ZMR Awards in May 2014.

Online PR News – 10-June-2013 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans-based Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) forged new ground in the global music scene, staging its first live Annual ZMR Music Awards Ceremony in New Orleans. While 2013 marks the 9th Year of the Awards, this is the first time nominees, honorees, and the music industry has convened in New Orleans for the unique event, many meeting face to face for the very first time.

Daryl Portier and Ben Dugas, partners in ZMR (a radio airplay charting service) say that the event was about uniting the music community and sharing New Orleans with the world. “In the rich tradition of New Orleans musical diversity, this night opened a new chapter in our city’s ever expanding music scene. As it worked out, we were able to assemble the pioneers of these music genres and mixed in the new generation to carry the torch forward. It was the magical evening all anticipated!”

Recording artists, radio executives and music industry professionals were the primary attendees, traveling from Denmark, Toronto, Paris, Germany and all across the U.S. A catered Meet-and-Greet at The Vacherie on Friday night opened the weekend events, with the main ZMR Awards Show taking place on Saturday, May 11 at the historic and newly-restored Joy Theater on Canal Street in New Orleans. Many of the attendees visiting New Orleans for the first time enjoyed the event’s close proximity to The French Quarter and various historical sites.

On Saturday evening, the inaugural live awards ceremony featured performances by ZMR Award winners, past and present, who painted a broad musical panorama of original solo and ensemble performances spanning diverse genres such as Neo-Classical, Electronic, Native American Flute, Meditation and Ambient Jazz to name a few. The event, open to the public, was a unique opportunity for local residents to experience a spectacular lineup of extraordinarily talented musician/songwriters in genres outside the traditional Rock, Brass Band, Blues and Jazz formats more typical in New Orleans.

Distinguished radio programmer Renee Blanche, host of the popular show "Night Tides" on KCUR-FM in Kansas City, emceed the evening’s festivities. Artists who performed included an impressive list of award-winning talent who employed electronic and acoustic, strings, wind instruments, percussion, piano and voice.

This line-up of world-class musicians included the founder of Windham Hill Records and GRAMMY®-winning guitarist, Will Ackerman. Ackerman was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and received the awards for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for The Gathering at the event. He also accepted an award on behalf of Todd Boston for Touched by the Sun, which he produced, and which won Best Instrumental Album: Acoustic. Ackerman's awards celebrated recent productions by his Imaginary Road Studios, as well as his overall influence of excellence on the plethora of music he has produced. The Gathering is a compilation of music and artists he recently produced, released by his new record label, West River Records.

Ackerman's performance was complemented by over a dozen leading ZMR artists, many of whom won awards in 2012, performing a myriad of musical styles including solo piano, multi-instrumental, electronic, and every manner of acoustic music defying standard genres. They included Meagan Ballantyne, Hennie Bekker, Heidi Anne Breyer, Catherine Marie Charlton, David Cullen, Michael Brant DeMaria, Jill Haley, David Helpling, Rod Ibieta, Jon Jenkins, Michael Manring, Jeff Oster, Michael Ronstadt, Sajjad (with a Loyola String ensemble), Lorrie Sarrafin, Matthew Schoening, Matthew Stewart, Premik Russell-Tubbs, and Carl Weingarten.

The awards categories, which are voted on by Radio Programmers and DJs, included Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Chill/Groove Album, Best World Album, Best Instrumental Album-Piano, and many more. See below for a complete list of winners, or visit

Radio promoter Ed Bonk, of LAZZ Promotions, commented on the significance of the awards, saying, “It was a wonderful weekend in NOLA at the inaugural Live ZMR Music Awards Show. It was fantastic to meet so many people, face to face, after all of these years! A big ‘Way to Go!’ to Ben Dugas and Daryl Portier, along with all of the people behind the scenes who made this spectacular event happen. I had an amazing time and I'm eagerly looking forward to next year. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of the nominees and winners.”

The ZMR team utilized crowd-funding techniques to establish the viability of the event and to attract sponsorship, which included Yamaha International, Southern Eagle Distributing, Vision Quest Entertainment and ZMR. The international radio community covered the event, with U.K.-based One World Radio (OWR) preparing a special show in June 2013. DJ Thornton, of KSBR’s The Morning Breeze broadcasted live interviews the morning after the event, and several other leading stations reported on the event via social media.

Planning is already underway with performers, sponsors and partners for the May 2014 event, Portier says, concluding “I knew we were building a great show. I called it 'the grand experiment' but was corrected by one of the artists saying this was a ‘Landmark Event’ for the category. One of the great side benefits of the weekend was the bonding and first-time meeting of so many of these artists. Most of them work solo and to finally gather in one place for one weekend was a benefit I did not foresee. It was a great energizer for many of the artists, which is why this needs to continue on as a yearly event. It is fitting that the Album of the Year was the recording called The Gathering."

For more information, please contact: Daryl Portier or Ben Dugas,, 504-237-6368 (Daryl), 504-237-6367 (Ben), or email

Official List - 9th Annual ZMR Award Winners:
Album Of The Year - “The Gathering” - V/A - West River Records
Best New Artist – “inhale slowly” – Tim White & Joe Paulino - White Gates Music
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album - “The Gathering” - V/A - West River Records
Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic - “Touched by the Sun” - Todd Boston - Gita Records
Best Instrumental Album – Piano - “Beyond the Turning” - Heidi Breyer - Winterhall Records
Best Vocal Album - “Between the Shores of Our Souls” - Mirabai Ceiba - Spirit Voyage
Best Electronic Album - “Between Empires” - AeTopus - 12Ton Productions
Best Ambient Album - “Bindu” - Michael Brant DeMaria - Ontos Music
Best Neo-Classical Album – “The Day I Met Myself” - Kevin Keller - Kevin Keller Productions
Best Relaxation/Meditation Album - “Light Body” - Peter Kater - Mysterium Music
Best Chill/Groove Album - “Panamorphia” - Carl Weingarten - Multiphase Records
Best World Album - “El Dorado” - Luna Blanca - Confido
Best Native American Album - “ Sleep: The Dreaming Flute” - Paul Adams - Lakefront
Best Holiday Album - “Embracing Winter” - Jim Hudak - Brainstorm Records
Lifetime Achievement Award - Will Ackerman

About ZMR:
Zone Music Reporter, formerly New Age Reporter, is the Industry Source for radio airplay reports for a myriad of different musical styles. ZMR tracks radio airplay of both terrestrial and internet broadcast radio stations reporting their airplay from around the world. The site features a weekly broadcaster playlists, monthly airplay charts, album reviews, and annual awards as voted upon by the international programmers. ZMR is the premier Record Charting site for radio airplay reports in the New Age, World, Solo Piano, Acoustic Instrumental, Ambient, Celtic, Chill, Contemporary Instrumental, Electronic, Folk, Jazz, Meditative/Healing, Neo-Classical, Native American, Relaxation, and Instrumental genres.

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