Charlie Jacobson was recently honoured with the City’s 2015 Emerging Artist Award for his works as a talented singer/songwriter.
The Red Deer Arts Council gave out their first award in 2014 to recognize exceptional emerging artists in the community. Jacobson won the title this year, and was also presented with a certificate and $1,000.
“I got the call as I was on the highway, I think I was headed through Radium. I got a personal call from Diana with the Arts Council and I was very pleased, and very honoured to be recognized by the Arts Council,” Jacobson said.
Jacobson is currently on tour and is set to release his first full, self-titled album in the fall of 2015, featuring Russell Jackson on bass, Donald Ray Johnson on drums and David Vest on piano.
Jacobson said that in the last few years he has averaged about 150 shows per year, and that he has begun to branch out of Alberta and into the rest of Western Canada.
He said, “I’ve been building a fan base that’s been growing steadily over the last few years. I’ve been getting a lot of support, especially from musicians and role models of mine. They’ve really helped me a long the way. In the last year, I’ve been experiencing bigger crowds and more of a familiarity with my music. There’s a little bit more positive energy that way.
“Generally, I just try to keep my nose to the ground and keep working hard and stay alive,” he added with a laugh.
Jacobson has been performing his whole life and started off in a family band with his parents. Since he was 17 he has participated in blues/rock bands. He grew from playing small church concerts, to outdoor events and now he tours bars and clubs across the western provinces.
“I always knew in the back of my mind that I was a musician. That’s where my strength and talent lay. I tried other things growing up as kids do, and I had odd jobs to make money along the way, but I always knew I was a musician. Being raised by musicians, it almost became my trade,” he said.
“I love making music and I love being my own boss. I try not to take that for granted. It means a lot to have the support of the community and to be able to pursue my music and keep on keeping on.”
The Red Deer Arts Council received funding for the award program after the City hosted the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Awards Gala in 2013. The event raised money that was to be allocated to a project in the mandate of promoting and encouraging artists in the local area.
The award can be given to anyone in the arts community, from performers in music, dance and theatre, to visual artists who practice photography, painting, sculpture and more. As well, filmmakers and short story writers are some of the many artist categories that can receive funding.
“I’d like to say thank you to the Arts Council and to the community for supporting me and for the award. I’ll be putting that money to good use and spreading the good word about the arts scene in Red Deer.”
Jacobson is currently on tour, but will return to Red Deer on Aug. 7th for a free concert on the Ross Street Patio.