Posted by Bill Leslie on May 19, 2014 at 11:10 AM

It was a WONDERFUL weekend in New Orleans at the Joy Theatre in the French Quarter. My latest album "Scotland: Grace of the Wild" won the top award presented annually by ZoneMusicReporter which tracks radio airplay of mostly instrumental New Age, jazz, World and Celtic music in the US and nearly 20 other countries.



It is my sixth ZMR award dating back to Best New Artist in 2005 but my first ALBUM OF THE YEAR award and to say the least, I am thrilled, humbled and honored. The presenter was none other than the godfather of New Age Music - Will Ackerman who founded Windham Hill Records and who continues to be a major force in the genre as a producer and owner of Windham Hill Studios in Vermont.



My album was among five finalists and it was number one on the ZMR charts in October and November of last year. I feel particularly good about this award because the competition included some heavyweights.



So many people played major roles in this honor. My lovely wife Cindy and family were very supportive. Radio promotions legend Ed Bonk and his daughter Stacey Bonk were invaluable. Bill Covington and John Plymale co-produced the album with me and they were spectacular. After Plymale's mix the incomparable Greg Calbi mastered the tracks at Sterling Sound in New York. Covington also played on the album along with violinist Jennifer Curtis, Cellists Nancy Green and David Oh, oboist Melanie Wilsden and percussionist Will Leslie. The musicianship was top shelf on each track. Chris Groegler kept my studio in top notch shape on the technical side. Wes Lachot added a crucial pair of ears to the project. Rick Flickinger's transcription work made everything go smoothly.


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