Local music awards begin on a high note

Here are the categories for the Youngstown Music Awards:

Best Rock Band

Best Original Band

Best Male Vocalist

Best Female Vocalist

Best Original Band Song

Best Country Band

Best Acoustic Act

Best Bass Player

Best Piano/Keyboard Player

Best Guitar Player

Best Drummer

Best Live Performance

Best Alternative Band

Best Blues Band

Best Radio DJ

Best Club DJ

Best Dance Band

Best Hip-Hop Act

Best Metal/Hardcore Band

Best Jam/Funk Band

Best Horn Player

Best Punk Band

Best R&B/Urban Band




Michael Kermec figured the Youngstown Music Awards would be popular.

But he has been surprised by the strong response he’s received from people who want to be a part of the inaugural event.

Bands, bar owners, radio personalities and other music-industry folks are lining up to be part of the YMAs, as they’re called, which will get started in earnest this week.

The nomination phase begins today. Members of the public can suggest candidates for awards in about two dozen categories at ytownmusicawards.com.

After the nominations close at the end of June, the top vote-getters in each category will be posted on the site, and the public will then vote for the winners. Photos and a sample song will accompany each contestant, and voting will be open through September.

The YMAs will culminate in an awards ceremony and performance night in early December at Rodeo Music Hall in Austintown.

Kermec said the December event will be 30 percent awards and 70 percent performances. For the headliner, he is in talks with legendary Youngstown band Left End, which was wildly popular in the region in the 1970s and ’80s, and flirted with national fame.

Kermec described the spirit of the YMAs, which will be more about the music than picking a winner.

“I said it will be 30 percent awards and the rest music because I don’t want this to be an event where people really have to compete,” he said.

“The YMAs are about the way music makes you feel. It’s about the celebration and history of music in and around Youngstown. We all share a passion in music, and it’s one night of friends enjoying and appreciating that side of us we put out there. I want to see musicians who have entertained this area from the ’60s through today come together and share stories and great times because of the music.”

The winners of the most popular categories will receive plaques, with smaller trophies going to the winners of the other categories.

To get the nomination process off to a strong start, Kermec will have two “YMA Night Out” events June 14.

One will feature original-music bands Token, Amnesty for Astronauts, Phoenix Rising and Remains of Jade, and will be at Cricket’s Lounge on Midlothian Boulevard in Youngstown.

The other will feature cover band Leddfoot and will be at the New Manhattan Club on Hubbard-Masury Road in Hubbard Township.

Kermec, by the way, is the guitarist in the popular duo Perfect Pair, along with singer Ashley Miller.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.