San Diego Music Awards: Thee Sacred Souls and Rebecca Jade lead the field with five nominations each

The Sacred Souls perform on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" November 30, 2022
The Sacred Souls perform on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Nov. 30, 2022.
(Randy Holmes / ABC via Getty Images)

Solo artist and Former Frank Zappa band guitar and keyboard wizard Mike Keneally will be presented with Lifetime Achievement Award at the 32nd annual edition of the homegrown music fete


Rebecca Jade and Thee Sacred Souls have a field-leading five nominations each for the 2023 San Diego Music Awards.

It’s the latest achievement for Jade, who won two awards at last year’s edition, and for Thee Sacred Souls, whose wistful “Will I See You Again?” last year scored an upset Song of the Year win over Grammy winners Switchfoot and Jason Mraz.

After playing in intimate San Diego venues, the three-year-old trio is making an international impact with its sweet soul music

Dec. 9, 2022

Guitar and keyboard wizard Mike Keneally will receive the Country Dick Montana Lifetime Achievement Award. An acclaimed solo artist and band leader, Keneally rose to fame in the late 1980s as the “stunt guitarist” in former San Diegan Frank Zappa’s band.

His new album was recorded mostly at home during the COVID shutdown, with long-distance cameos by Steve Vai and Malcolm Mortimore

Jan. 11, 2023

Jade has been a major artistic force here for more than a decade and has toured nationally with an array of music stars, including Sheila E. Thee Sacred Souls was co-founded in 2019 by drummer Alex Garcia, bassist Sal Samano and lead singer Josh Lane.

Jade and The Sacred Souls are both up for Album and Artist of the Year honors. The other Artist of the Year nominees include Mraz, Switchfoot, jazz trumpet dynamo Gilbert Castellanos, rap-metal band P.O.D., Americana-music champion Jeff Berkley and the death-metal and grindcore band Cattle Decapitation, which is now in its 27th year.

“When the pandemic started in 2020, we eliminated the Artist of the Year category because nobody was out performing live. But we added it back this year,” said Kevin Hellman, who launched the San Diego Music Awards in 1991.

APRIL 3, 2022: Singer Rebecca Jade
For the second year in a row, verstaile singer Rebecca Jade is up for five San Diego Music Awards nominations. The winners will be announced April 25 at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay during the 32nd edition of the annual awards fete.
(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Jade and Thee Sacred Souls are also nominated for Best R&B, Funk or Soul Album and for Best R&B, Funk or Soul Song. This is the second consecutive year Jade will be vying in five categories.

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

April 8, 2022

Other multiple nominees for this year’s awards include bluesy singer Whitney Shay, veteran troubadour Gregory Page, rappers B-Turn and Dezzy Hollow, singer-songwriters Lauren Leigh, Ash Easton, Tamar Berk and Bobo Czarnowski, and the bands Inflorescence, Daring Greatly, Aviator Stash and Jeff Berkley & The Banned.

Her Friday concert at the Music Box comes more than a year after the San Diego vocal dynamo’s “STAND UP!” topped Billboard’s national Blues Album charts

July 15, 2021

Nominees in all 27 categories were announced online Monday evening by the nonprofit San Diego Music Foundation, under whose auspices the awards are presented.

The winners will be announced at the 32nd annual edition of the awards fete, which will be held April 25 at the open-air Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.

Scheduled performers include Lifetime Achievement Award-recipient Keneally, trumpeter Castellanos, blues-rock guitarist Anthony Cullins, vocal great Earl Thomas & The Gospel Ambassadors, Daring Greatly and and the Berkley-led group Banned.

The 2023 nominations were announced Monday night during an audience-free livestreamed event. It was hosted by San Diego radio mainstays Tim Pyles and Lou Niles, along with Rick Lawrence, the longtime voice of the awards show. They were streaming from Finest City Entertainment, a recording studio in Logan Heights.

Monday’s nominee announcements were interspersed with recently filmed performances by six of this year’s nominees — Robin Henkel, Jeff Berkley, Lauren Leigh, Amanda Cogan, Ash Easton, and Bobo Czarnowski.

The annual awards show has raised $746,192 since its inception, according to event founder Hellman. Those funds have been used to fund the San Diego Music Foundation and Guitars for Schools, a partnership between the foundation and Taylor Guitars that began in 1999.

San Diego Music Awards showcase concerts will be held between April 14 and April 23 at Winstons, The Pourhouse, Humphreys Backstage, Til-Two, Tio Leo’s, 710 Beach Club and Navajo Live. The lineups for these fundraising shows will be announced Feb. 22.

Online voting for nominees will open to the public starting Tuesday and concluding March 27. Tickets go on sale on Friday. Voting and ticket purchases can both be done online at:

Sponsors of the awards show include the San Diego Union-Tribune.