Billboard Bits: Macy Gray, Nammys, Megadeth
News on Macy Gray, Nammys, MegadethMacy Gray, Angelique Kidjo, the Keb Mo' Band, and G Love & Special Sauce are among the artists who have been added to the lineup for this year's annual Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day festival in Aspen, Colo. The artists will perform Aug. 30-Sept. 1 alongside such previously announced notables as Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Nickel Creek, Phil Lesh & Friends, and Gov't Mule.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Jose Conde Afro Cuban, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have also been added to the show, usually held in Snowmass Village, but expected this year to be moved to the Buttermilk Mountain base area because of an ongoing construction project.
Four-day festival passes are available now and individual tickets will go on sale to the public Monday (July 1). For more information on the festival, visit the official Jazz Aspen Web site.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Veteran country performer Crystal Gayle has been drafted to host the fifth annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA). Set for Sept. 7 at the Marcus Amphitheatre in Milwaukee, the event will feature live performances and see more than 30 awards presented.
Martha Redbone and Brule (real name: Paul LaRoche) lead the field with four nominations each. The list also finds Bruce Cockburn, Neil Young, and the late Joey Ramone all nominated in NAMA's Native Heart category. Cockburn and Young each earned the nod for their appearances on Joanne Shenandoah's "Eagle Cries" (Red Feather/Paras), while Ramone is acknowledged for his turn on Blackfire's "One Nation Under" (Tacoho). Voting is open to the general public through the event's official Web site at nammys.com.
Tickets are on sale to the public for $35 via Ticketmaster, and include a pass to Indian Summer Festivals; $100 VIP tickets, which include admission into the post-show party at the Potawatomi Casino, are available through the Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Former Megadeth bandmembers David Ellefson (bass), Jimmy DeGrasso (drums), Al Pitrelli (guitar), and Marty Friedman (guitar) have decided to soldier on together following founder Dave Mustaine's decision in April to dissolve the band. As previously reported, Mustaine put an end to Megadeth after sustaining severe nerve damage to his left arm and hand.
The new as-yet-unnamed group is searching for a vocalist, and has sent out an open call for interested parties to audition for the role. To be considered, contact Entertainment Services Unlimited at Main Street Plaza 1000/Suite 303, Voorhees, NJ 08043.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.