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San Diego Music Awards: 3 wins for Sara Petite, 2 for Rebecca Jade, Riston Diggs, Mrs. Henry, Aviator Stash

 Sara Petite
Sara Petite, shown above at a performance last year, was the biggest victor at the 2022 San Diego Music Awards with three wins. Two were for “Rare Bird,” the most accomplished album of her career.
(Daniel Knighton / Getty Images)

The 31st annual edition saw versatile singer Jesse Davis honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award

Singer-songwriter Sara Petite was the biggest winner Tuesday night at the 2022 San Diego Music Awards with three victories, while Thee Sacred Souls’ Curtis Mayfield-flavored “Will I See You Again?” scored an upset Song of the Year win by beating out a roster of nominees that included Grammy winners Jason Mraz and Switchfoot.

Petite’s “Rare Bird” won top honors in the Album of the Year and Best Country or Americana Album categories. She also won for Best Country or Americana Artist.

“I’m really humbled and honored and blessed,” Petite said as she accepted her Album of the Year award at the end of the evening. She began and concluded her brief acceptance speech by singing a cappella excerpts from “Scars,” a standout song from “Rare Bird.”

Close behind, with two wins, was versatile singer-songwriter Rebecca Jade. Her uplifting song of affirmation, “What It’s Gonna Be,” won for Best Video and Best R&B, Funk or Soul Song. Jade, who performed with Elton John at the 2020 Academy Awards, had a field-leading five nominations.

“Thank you so much everybody,” Jade said as she accepted her Best Video award. “I am so grateful!”

The versatile singer, who counts Elton John, Sheila E and Dave Koz among her many collaborators, is gearing up for new album with her band, The Cold Fact, and concerts in Europe and Barbados

Three other artists also had double wins at the annual awards show, which was held at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay and will air in an edited two-hour version on Fox 5 KSWB-TV at 6 p.m. on May 14.

Riston Diggs was the victor in the Best Hip-Hop/Rap Artist and Best Hip-Hop/Rap Album categories, the latter for his album “35.”

The Americana band Mrs. Henry triumphed in the Best Rock Artist category and also won the Best Rock Album trophy for “Keep On Rising — Act I : The Sex Sells, Love Drugs, Rock N Roll Society.” Another North County band, Aviator Stash, won for Best Indie/Alternative Artist and Best Indie/Alternative Song (for “She’s Money”).

The classic 1976 live album and concert film by The Band have both been remade anew, in a loving tribute from the San Diego band Mrs. Henry.

Jesse Davis, the debonair jazz, soul and pop singer who became a staple of the music scene here in the 1970s, was the recipient of the Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Award. He beamed on stage, but had his wife make acceptance remarks on his behalf.

TonyaJae & Carlo V. won Best R&B, Funk or Soul Album honors for “Sweet Talk.” Both thanked, among others, their native Guam.

TonyaJae, who won last year for Best Pop Song, also spoke movingly Tuesday about mental health issues and recalled being bullied as a sixth grader and, more recently, by fellow musicians.

“A lot of things were said that were negative and very detrimental to my mental health,” she told the audience. “It made me feel worthless and alone... Somebody said it was meaningless for me to stand up here (when I won) last year. But I do remember how happy it made my parents, my girlfriend and my island... So, how could that be meaningless?”

There were standout performances at the awards show from, among others, Thee Sacred Souls, The Sully Band (featuring Rebecca Jade), Mrs. Henry, Slack Key Ohana and the Ira B. Liss Big Band Machine, which kicked off the evening with brassy aplomb.

The group’s album features bass great Nathan East. A recording with country-music star and Eagles’ member Vince Gill is also in the offing

The Best Hip Hop/Rap Song award went to Crhymes for “More Divide.” After dancing his way out of his seat before taking the stage, Crhymes (real name: Cesar Tellez) thanked “my beautiful mother, my beautiful girlfriend... foster children... underdogs... and the community of Southeast San Diego.”

He then put in a plug for Non Fungible Tokens. “NFTs are the future: Buy my NFT!” Crhymes urged the capacity crowd of more than 1,000. “Welcome to the future, baby!”

A total of 28 awards were presented during the outdoor event. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit San Diego Music Foundation and Guitars for Schools, a partnership between the foundation and Taylor Guitars that began in 1999.

Prior to Tuesday, the awards show had raised $694,396 for Guitars for Schools. On Tuesday night, San Diego Music Awards Founder Hellman announced that an additional $51,793 had been raised this year.

San Diego Music Awards 2022 winners

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jesse Davis

Album of the Year: Sara Petite, “Rare Bird”

Song of the Year: Thee Sacred Souls, “Will I See You Again?”

Best New Artist: Lords of the Satellite

Best Video: Rebecca Jade, “What’s It Gonna Be?”

Best Country or Americana Artist: Sara Petite

Best Country or Americana Album: Sara Petite, “Rare Bird”

Best Folk/Acoustic Song: Lindsay White, “Piece of Quiet”

Best Folk or Acoustic Album: Whiskey & Burlap, “Around the Bend”

Best Jazz Artist: Ed Kornhauser

Best Blues Artist: Taryn Donath

Best Jazz or Blues Album: Chickenbone Slim, “Serve It To Me Hot”

Best Hip Hop/Rap Artist: Riston Diggs

Best Hip Hop/Rap Song: Crhymes, “More Divide”

Best Hip Hop/Rap Album: Riston Diggs, “35"

Best Pop Artist: Evan Diamond

Best Pop Song: Lauren Leigh, “Trust Fall”

Best Pop Album: The Verigolds, “Take it to the Sun”

Best Rock Artist: Mrs. Henry

Best Rock Album: Mrs. Henry, “Keep On Rising — Act I : The Sex Sells, Love Drugs, Rock N Roll Society”

Best Rock Song: Jon Campos & The Incurables, “Birds of A Feather”

Best Indie/Alternative Artist: Aviator Stash

Best Indie/Alternative Song: Aviator Stash, “She’s Money”

Best Indie/Alternative Album: The Petty Saints, “Long Way Home”

Best World Music Album: Slack Key Ohana, “Slack Key Ohana”

Best R&B, Funk or Soul Song: Rebecca Jade, “What’s It Gonna Be”

Best R&B, Funk or Soul Album: TonyaJae & Carlo V., “Sweet Talk”

Best Local Recording: Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra, “Movin’ Along”


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