CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED GUITARIST SEAN SPICER WINS TWO GMA CANADA COVENANT AWARDS
Critically-acclaimed Christian guitarist Sean Spicer took home the Instrumental Album of the Year award for his current release, Olive Tree , as well as the Instrumental Song of the Year award for “Rejoice in Hope” at the prestigious Covenant Awards held October 28 in Calgary, Alberta, as the finale to the GMA Canada Week.
In addition to claiming two awards, Spicer was on stage as a performer, playing “Rejoice in Hope,” his winning instrumental piece.
“Winning the two awards was the icing on the cake to an amazing GMA week in Calgary,” says Spicer. “I had the privilege of being accompanied by the president of City of Peace Media, Yochanan Marcellino. We attended a movie premiere and seminars and met incredible artists. The highlight for me was performing the instrumental song of the year ‘Rejoice in Hope’ and looking out in the audience and seeing artists I deeply respect and admire, such as Jacob Moon, Ali Matthews, Brian Doerksen and Kevin Pauls.”
Spicer’s 2011 honors have earned Olive Tree a total of three Covenant Awards. Last year, Spicer won the Jazz/Blues Song of the Year Covenant Award for his Keith Green-inspired composition, “No Compromise.”
Spicer received six nominations in three categories for this year’s Covenant Awards, presented annually by the Gospel Music Association of Canada.
Olive Tree was nominated for Instrumental Album of the Year along with Try to Remember by Mike Janzen; Beyond The Rain by Laurie Trayer; See Amid the Winter’s Snow by Suzanne Vaartstra; and Come Just As You Are by Tisha Murvihill.
Spicer was nominated twice in the Instrumental Song of the Year category — for “Rejoice In Hope,” the winning piece, and “Now And Forever.” He shared the nominations with “Return To Provision” by Brian Doerksen; “Carry Me Home (Instrumental)” by Ali Matthews; and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Toronto Mass Choir.
Photo caption: Photo 1: Spicer performs at the 2011 Covenant Awards. Photo 2: (L to R) Andy Horrocks, Olive Tree producer and GMA Canada’s 2010 and 2011 Producer of the Year; Spicer; and Marcellino, Olive Tree co-producer, founder and president of City of Peace Media & Films.
About Olive Tree and Sean Spicer:
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.