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Hear that? It's the sound of the home-town music scene. Brash. Vibrant. Determined. Electric. Ever-changing. But the scene's success nurtures more than just musicians. It also creates a discerning audience. So we decided it was time to listen -- at last -- to you.

Previous winners of the Orlando Music Awards -- which benefits the scholarship fund of the Central Florida Jazz Society -- were first nominated by readers, then picked by a panel of writers, promoters, professionals and others working inside the local music industry. This time we turned things around.

For the third annual Orlando Music Awards, those insiders proposed nominees in 22 categories, ranging from bars to blues to live band of the year. But we asked the readers of Orlando Weekly and to pick the winners. You're the ones who pack the clubs, buy the CDs, wear the T-shirts -- who sustain the energy that keeps the music playing and the musicians pushing themselves toward ever more creative release.

The profiles of the nominees glimpse at Orlando's best bands of the past year -- some already broken up, others already remade. There you'll find audio clips, band contacts and current bios. But to experience the scene first-hand, turn out for the awards show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at The Club at Firestone. It's an effort that requires a small army to stage. But it's also your best chance to hear the sounds of a city that is like no other.

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October 20, 2021

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