By Free Weekly Staff


Northwest Arkansas’ big local music celebration, the Northwest Arkansas Music Awards (NAMA), will mark its 14th anniversary on Thursday, April 23, at the Dickson Theater. NAMA XIV kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with a private reception for musicians. Doors open to the public at 8 p.m. for a Grammy-style ceremony, which will feature performances by five showcase bands.
Nominated musicians will arrive by limousine, pausing for taped interviews on the red carpet outside the theater with red carpet host Michelle Obana, formerly of the ’90s award-winning band Paper Hearts.
Awards will be presented in 22 categories. A committee of individuals involved in the local music industry chooses the nominees. Selections are based on achievements made in the previous year including number of local performances, talent and popularity. The winners are selected by music fans who cast their votes in an online poll. Winners are announced for the first time at the April 23 event.
Also honored at this year’s NAMA will be two Hall of Fame award recipients and a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Hall of Fame awards are given to bands or individuals who have received three NAMA awards. Hall of Fame winners are unable to compete in future NAMA polls. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to performers who have made major contributions to NWA music.
Master of Ceremonies for the event will be KUAF news director and creator of Ozarks at Large, Kyle Kellams, and music historian and director of the Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies at the University of Arkansas, Robert Cochran.
Special guests this year, to help put the “roll” into the “rock” will be the Northwest Arkansas Rollergirls, who will be assisting on the red carpet and handing out awards at the ceremony.
Each year a sampling of the variety of musical talent coming from Northwest Arkansas is a big part of the event. Both emerging artists and well-seasoned artists are selected to showcase their talent. Showcase bands performing this year are: Jarris, Souled Out, Pat and Mattie, Cletus Got Shot and Kory Montgomery Band.
The event is a benefit for the Fayetteville-based Northwest Arkansas Free Health and Dental Clinic, which provides health services for the underserved.
Tickets are $10 and are available at the door. For more information, go to or e-mail Musicians who want to attend the private reception should e-mail for information on passes.
Sponsors include Budweiser, Stratton Entertainment Group, Key Architecture, Pesto Cafe, Joe’s Bistro, Lucky Luke’s BBQ, Fayetteville Free Weekly, Fayetteville Flyer, Honest Tunes Radio, Y94.9, 92.1 The Keg, Eventures, Mr. Tux, Dickson Theater and Archetype Productions.

Categories: Features