GroundBeat Nominated for Boston Music Award

The third season of GroundBeat – the Esplanade’s free Riverfront Music Series, which went virtual for the first this summer in response to the ongoing pandemic – has been nominated for a 2020 Boston Music Award in the category of “Live Music Stream of the Year.”

Throughout August, the Esplanade Association again partnered with BAMS (Boston Art & Music Soul) Fest – a nonprofit that sponsors an annual festival, as well as other events and partnerships, with the goal of breaking down racial and social barriers in the arts across Greater Boston – to present the five-part, virtual concert series, which featured performances by Tim Hall, DJ ReaL P and Valerie Stephens, among other artists.

“We’re thrilled that ‘GroundBeat: A Virtual Series Featuring BAMS Fest’ has been nominated as Live Music Stream of the Year by the Boston Music Awards,” said Michael Nichols, executive director of the Esplanade Association. “Although we weren’t able to host free concerts at the Hatch Shell this year, it was important to us to continue to promote artists from throughout Greater Boston in this most unusual year. We worked closely with BAMS Fest and the nonprofit Loop Lab to create an engaging viewer experience across the five nights of the series and we’re proud to see the series honored in this way.”

Catherine Morris, founder and executive director of BAMS Fest, is also elated that GroundBeat has received this recognition.

“For the third year in a row, BAMS Fest, Inc., has served as a cultural producer for The Esplanade Association’s GroundBeat series,” Morris wrote in an email. “This year’s 2020 Boston Music Award ‘Live Music Stream of The Year’ nomination means that BAMS Fest platforms and partnerships are creating equity within the arts and culture ecosystem and beyond. This nomination confirms that the future of the GroundBeat series is on a constant path of growth and change.  We are excited to co-lead this new movement of programs that amplifies the voices, value and talent of local artists of color; and authentically welcomes all walks of life from across Greater Boston neighborhoods.”

Morris has also been personally nominated for a 2020 BAM award in the category of “Music Promoter of the Year.”

Since 1987, the Boston Music Awards has showcased musical talent in the Massachusetts area in a number of categories each year. To cast your ballots for “GroundBeat: A Virtual Series Featuring BAMS Fest” and Morris in the 2020 Boston Music Awards, visit

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