By Jeff Maisey

On February 5, the City of Hampton presented the 2023 Veer Music Awards at The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery.

The Honorable Mayor Donny Tuck of Hampton personally presented the first pair of awards — Best Smooth Jazz and Best Traditional Jazz — while also announcing to the return of the Hampton Jazz Festival coming in June.

It was a big night for the genre as Jae Sinnett’s Zero to 60 Quartet with Symphonicity’s “Live at the Sandler Center” marked the first time a jazz record won Album of the Year honors. 

Following are this year’s final results. 

Album of the Year: Jae Sinnett’s Zero to 60 Quartet/Symphonicity, “Live at the Sandler Center”

Honorable Mentions:

Cody Christian, “Canary in a Coal Mine”

Freedom Hawk, “Take All You Can”

Suburban Key Party, “Darkness and Rainbows”


EP of the Year: Wilde Owl, “That Gasoline”

Honorable Mentions:

Demons, “Swallow”

The JD3 Band, “Homestead”

The Dual Gravitons, “It’s a Riddle”


Song of the Year: Cody Christian, “Canary in a Coal Mine”

Honorable Mentions:

Bennett Walker Wales, “Fly” 

Jared Farrell, “California Smile”

Kristi K feat. Noah Motion, “Leaving Again” 



Music Video of the Year: Kristi K, “Born to Run”

Honorable Mentions:

Jonah’s Run, “Until You Treat Me Right”

Roberta Lea, “Ghetto Country Streets”

8th City featuring Bread Junkie & Ghetto Chris, “Motion”  


Best Jazz Traditional: Jae Sinnett

Honorable Mentions:

Liz Terrell

Chris Brydge 

John Toomey Trio


(Infinite Flava awarded Best Smooth Jazz)


Best Jazz Smooth; Infinite Flava

Honorable Mentions:

Duane Smith Quartet

J Staton

Matt Willard


Best R&B/Soul: Akeylah Simone

Honorable Mentions:

The Fuzz Band

Darius Ford

Talton Toneful Manning


Best Hip Hop: Teezy So Dope

Honorable Mentions:

Chuck Black

8th City featuring Ghetto Chris



(Jonah’s Run with manager Annette Clark)


Best Gospel: Jonah’s Run

Honorable Mentions:

God’s Chosen



Best World Music: Cultivated Mind

Honorable Mentions:

United Souls

One Culture

Jon Quan


Best IndiePop: Suburban Key Party

Honorable Mentions:

Pet Name

The Lifehacks

Secret Ingredients 


Best Pop: Chong Band

Honorable Mentions:


Kristi K

Roberta Lea


Best Metal: Magg Dylan

Honorable Mentions:

One Shot Fired

The New Mutiny

Babylon Rising


Best Rock: Freedom Hawk 

Honorable Mentions:

Same Time Tomorrow

Exploding Sun

Wilde Owl


Best Retro: Lucky 757

Honorable Mentions:

Mr. Fang & The Darktones

Jim Newsom

Jim Bulleit


Best Indie Alternative: Community Witch

Honorable Mentions:

The Warm Hug


Step Pets


Best Punk: Demons

Honorable Mentions:


The Dual Gravitons

The Nerve Scheme


Best Psychedelic/Jam: Bended Light

Honorable Mentions:

The Bread Collectors

That Which Sleeps


Best Ambient/Experimental : Karacell

Honorable Mentions:

Crash Mosaic


From Overseas


Best Bluegrass: Magic Holler Boys

Honorable Mention:

Rambin’ Jake


Best Country: Celeste Kellogg 

Honorable Mentions:

Cody Christian 

Runnin’ Shine

Tracie Lynn


Best Folk/Acoustic : Dustin Furlow

Honorable Mentions:

Dry Land

Dan Pellegrino

Richard David Spano


Best Blues: Paul Urban & Friends

Honorable Mentions:

Bobby Black Hat Walters

Jason Cale Band

JD3 Band


Best Cover Band: JD Silvia Band

Honorable Mentions:


Rocky 7

The Detonators


Best Themed Band: Nashville Nights

Honorable Mentions:

Good Shot Judy

The Deloreans

Wilder Horses


Best Live Band : Mr. Fang and the Darktones

Honorable Mentions:

Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos

The Fuzz Band

Magg Dylan


(Red Stapler Duo)


Best Live Cover Solo/Duo: Red Stapler Duo

Honorable Mentions:

Serious Black


Mike Gombas


Best Open Mic : Victorian Station

Honorable Mentions:


Winston’s Cafe

Venue on 35th


Best Live Music Venue (Bar): Scandal’s Live

Honorable Mentions:

Taphouse Ghent

Chicho’s Backstage Cafe



Best Live Music Venue (Brewery): The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery

Honorable Mentions:

Young Veterans The Bunker

Smartmouth NFK

Elation Brewing


Best Live Music Series: New Realm Music on the Lawn Series

Honorable Mentions:

Summer Breeze Series

YNOT Wednesdays

Miller Jazz Series @ Sandler Center


Best Photography Posed: Pete Federico, “Anthony Rosano”

Honorable Mentions:

Annette Holloway, “CXDIE”

Sean Chagnon, “Ben Joe Brown”

Janice Chandler, “Nashville Nights”


Best Photography Live: Glenn Woodell, “Jacob Vanko”

Honorable Mentions:

Wendy Woodell, “Hostile Within at Scandals Live”

George Marsh, “Good Shot Judy”

Diego Gomes, “Melanie DeLorian at Scandals Live”


Lifetime Achievement Award

Antic Hay


Lifetime Achievement Award

Big Al Staggs 


Industry Award

Annette Clark


Musicians Musician Award

Chidori Matsumoto