CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED GUITARIST SEAN SPICER GARNERS SIX GMA COVENANT AWARD NOMINATIONS
Critically-acclaimed Christian guitarist Sean Spicer’s current project, Olive Tree , has received six nominations in three categories for the prestigious Covenant Awards, presented annually by the Gospel Music Association of Canada. Other artists receiving multiple nominations included Hawk Nelson, Matt Maher, downhere and Brian Doerksen.
Spicer received three nominations for Jazz/Blues Song of the Year for “Sephardim,” “Diaspora” and “A Thousand Generations.” “Rejoice In Hope” and “Now and Forever” were nominated for Instrumental Song of the Year. All of the nominated songs are from the Olive Tree CD project, which also earned a nomination for Instrumental Album of the Year. Last year, Spicer took home the Jazz/Blues Song of the Year Covenant Award for his Keith Green-inspired composition, “No Compromise.”
Winners will be announced at the 2011 Covenant Awards, to be held October 28 in Calgary, Alberta, as the finale to GMA Canada Week, a three-day event that includes artist activities and a conference for those working in radio, television and other media.
Olive Tree, which released to Christian media in March through City of Peace Media and Provident Distribution and released digitally September 6, is an 11-song collection of original material, weaving cool, bluesy melodic riffs into warm, jazz-fusion melodies to create an electrifying atmosphere that evokes a spirit of peace. Eleven different electric and acoustic guitars were used during the recording process, including the ESD-1275 (6- and 12-string double neck), as well as the Gibson 1959 Les Paul re-issue, a nylon string classical guitar, 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars, Gibson jazz guitars (ES-345 and ES-137 classic), a few Les Pauls, an SG standard and the E-bow.
Olive Tree encompasses a range of genres from swirling, ethereal smooth jazz and knee-bending worship arias to rejoicing jazz fusion numbers, making it impossible to pigeonhole. Spicer has been influenced by musicians as varied as David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Alex Lifeson (Rush) and Andy Summers (The Police), as well as Phil Keaggy’s and Larry Carlton’s contemporary jazz fusion.
Spicer might not be a household name in the United States yet, but he is no stranger to the international stage. Picking up the guitar at age 9, Spicer trained formally at Humber College and the Royal Conservatory of Music, and was playing professionally by the time he reached 17. He has shared the stage with mainstream legends such as Nazareth, as well as Christian music superstars like Jars of Clay and Avalon. He is currently opening for labelmate Jordan Elias on tour and serving as the lead guitarist of Elias’s band.
Spicer’s Olive Tree is available through City of Peace Media and Provident Distribution. The CD is also available for purchase and download via iTunes, Amazon mp3, Napster, Rhapsody, CD Baby and other online digital music stores. For more information on Spicer and Olive Tree, visit cityofpeace.com.