Best of the Beat Business Awards: The Winners

Last night in an invitation-only event at the Joy Theater, OffBeat roasted George Porter, Jr. and saluted Rounder Records’ Scott Billington at its Best of the Beat Business Awards.

George Porter, Jr. at OffBeat Magazine's Best of the Beat Business Awards. Photo by Kim Welsh.

George Porter, Jr. at the Best of the Beat Business Awards. Photo by Kim Welsh.

Porter is this year’s Lifetime Achievement in Music honoree, and he was roasted by Cyril Neville, John Gros, Papa Mali, Billy Iuso and the Howlin’ Wolf owner Howie Kaplan, and saluted by his daughter, Katrina Porter-Dean and her daughter Ciera. In one of the night’s funniest moments, Porter’s bandmate in the Meters, Leo Nocentelli, admitted by videotape that when he gave a teenaged Porter guitar advice by phone in the ’60s he “was making it up.”

Billington was recognized for three decades of recording Louisiana’s R&B, funk, Cajun and zydeco music for Rounder Records. He has recorded albums with Irma Thomas, Johnny Adams, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas, Beau Jocque and James Booker to name a few, and he remains involved with New Orleans music today, having recently recorded new albums with the Soul Rebels and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Leaders in New Orleans’ music industry gathered to recognize achievement in business last year, and David Freedman, station manager of WWOZ, called for members of the community to pull together for the betterment of the musicians when he accepted the award for Best Radio Station. It was a thought OffBeat Publisher Jan Ramsey echoed throughout the night as she hosted the event, and numerous winners joined the sentiment as well, including Barry Smith when he won Best Music Store for the Louisiana Music Factory.

Here are photos from the Business Awards.

Here’s the complete list of this year’s Best of the Beat Business Award winners:


Best Club: Tipitina’s

Best Neighborhood Bar featuring Music: Mimi’s in the Marigny

Best Club Owner/Manager: Miss Sophie Lee from Three Muses

Best Radio Station: WWOZ

Best Recording Studio: Piety Street Studios

Best Record Label: Basin Street Records

Best Producer: Anders Osborne

Best Studio Sound Engineer: Chris George from the Living Room

Best Record Store: Louisiana Music Factory

Best Instruments Store: New Orleans Music Exchange

Bourbon Street Award: The Royal Sonesta

Best Booking Agency: White Oak Productions

Best Manager: Howie Kaplan

Best Music Attorney: Ashlye Keaton

Best Music Photographer: Kim Welsh

Best Concert Promoter: Winter Circle Productions

Best Large Festival: The Voodoo Experience

Best Festival Outside New Orleans: Voice of the Wetlands Festival

Best Neighborhood Festival: Chaz Fest

Best Musicians’ Resource: New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic

Best Use of Music or Musicians in Advertising: The Law Offices of W.A. “Chip” Forstall, Jr.

Community Music Award: Young Leadership Council

Music Business of the Year: Mayfield Productions

Lifetime Achievement in Music: George Porter, Jr.

Lifetime Achievement in Music Business: Scott Billington


Best of the Beat Business Awards: Photos

Best of the Beat Music Awards: Winners

Best of the Beat Music Awards: Photos