Mississippi has produced an abundance of musical talent. Blues and Gospel music has its roots in Mississippi and we host some of the top producers of these genres. The Jackson Music Awards Association’s purpose is to bring attention to the accomplishments of these artists, promoting pride in all Mississippians. PORTICO was able to talk with President, Jesse Thompson about this year’s weekend events and how the evolution of The Jackson Music Awards has impacted the city of Jackson and the artists.
PORTICO: What is your job title and what exactly do you do?
Jesse Thompson: I am Chairman of the Board and coordinate all three events
This is the 44th annual event – is there anything new and exciting for this year?
We will be doing a Malaco 50th Anniversary Saluting the R&B and Blues accomplishments of the label. The Tribute will be performed by Malaco artists: Mr. Sipp, Grady Champion, Eddie Cotton and many more.
How did the Jackson Music Awards get started?
Local musicians and bands get together at a west Jackson Night Club, CheckMate, and decided to honor each other every year with awards. The group would meet each Monday night at the club for a Jam Session because they were all not working on Mondays. So the tradition of Monday Nights continues to this day.
How has it evolved since then?
The award show started with four categories and has expanded to twenty-seven specialized categories and several other major awards. The scope has expended to include a two more shows: a Gospel awards show The Mississippi Gospel Music Awards and a community awards show The City with Soul Awards.
In what ways does this event affect the Jackson music scene?
We want to recognize, expose and encourage upcoming and established artists.
Will there be any special guests?
Yes, Sir Charles Jones, LaMorris Williams, Tara Keith, Black Diamond and Miss Lady Blues.
Is there a category that sticks out among the rest?
Record of the Year, Video of the Year and Entertainer of the Year
What’s your favorite part of the event?