Stompin' Tom awards honour five musicians, singers

Five musicians and singers were honoured for their contribution to music on Canada's East Coast with the Stompin' Tom Award.

Five musicians and singerswere honoured for their contribution to music on Canada's East Coast with the Stompin' Tom Award.

The awards were presented during the day on Sunday, prior to the East Coast Music Association awardsgala taking place in the evening in Halifax.

Jazz bassist Skip Beckwith of Nova Scotia, accordion player Frank Maher of Newfoundland and guitarist Brent Mason of New Brunswick are the musicians recognized this year.

P.E.I. songwriter Neil Matthews and Cape Breton vocalist Sam Moon were also honoured.

The origins of the Stompin' Tom Award go back to 1993, when Stompin' Tom Connors was presented with the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement award. Instead of accepting it, the singer said a prize should be created to honour musicians who have made long-term contributions to music in the region.

Since then, the ECMA has recognized 70 musical pioneers.The winners are chosen by a committee of Atlantic Canadian folklorists in consultation with the ECMA board of directors.

This year's winners are:

  • Skip Beckwith - a jazz bassist, composer, arranger and producer.He studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and was a favourite of the Ontario jazz scene.He's recorded with the likes of Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson and Sonny Stitt.
  • Frank Maher - Maher used to busk with his harmonica until he acquired an accordion and his musical life took off, playing with the Quidi Vidi Minstrels and the Newfoundland Kitchen Band.He holds a 2003 St. John's Folk Arts Council Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Brent Mason- Mason, a guitar-player, is considered one of the most prolific folk artists in Atlantic Canada.He's produced five full-length recordings and toured extensively. He hosted a now legendary Open Mic Night at his hometown of Saint John for more than 10 years.
  • Neil Matthews - A songwriter, Matthews toured the country with the likes of Wilf Carter and Shirley Eikhart.He went solo in 1967 and released five albums. He's been a mainstay on P.E.I. stages for more than 20 years.
  • Sam Moon - This vocalist has performed with hundreds of musicians for three decades, from Moon-Minglewood to Sun Machine to the Sam Moon Band. He has also shared the stage with rock icons such asZZ Top, the Doobie Brothers and The Band.