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With Nellie Furtado trailing an unknown lounge singer in nominations, it seems the West Coast Music Awards are staying true to their roots. Here's who to watch

T he fourth West Coast Music Awards will be held at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver on Sunday night.

Twenty of the awards are graded and judged by five-member panels. Single of the year is based on sales. And the remaining seven, including best live performer and best independent release, are voted on by the Pacific Music Industry Association, a non-profit association comprised of 600 members representing all sectors of the industry from manufacturers to publicists.

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Here are The Globe and Mail's completely arbitrary picks of the ones to watch. VEAL Album: Tilt O'Whirl. Nominations: Best Rock Release. Style: Motorcycle art rockabilly. Influences: Tom Waits, J. J. Cale, Emmylou Harris. Pedigree: Luke Doucet (vocals and guitar), Howard Redekopp (bass & vocals), and Chang (drums). Frontman Doucet has toured and recorded with Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Oh Susanna, Lily Frost and Delerium. He has collaborated on his new solo album, Aloha, Manitoba, with engineer Paul James (Lenny Kravitz), Bazil Donovan (Blue Rodeo) and Barry Mirochnick (Veda Hill). Honours: Tilt O'Whirl was nominated for four Georgia Straight Music Awards and selected for CBC RadioSonic's best of 1998 broadcast. Their take: "There's a certain pressure that goes along with being a buzz band or the most likely to succeed for five years in a row," says Doucet. ZUBOT & DAWSON Album: Tractor Parts. Nominations: Best Indie Release, Best Roots/Traditional Release, Best Instrumental Release, Producer of the Year, Engineer of the Year. Style: Strang -- a term the duo invented to avoid the long string of adjectives commonly used to describe their acoustic-blues-jazz-bluegrass-ethnic-swing-experimental-groove pop. Influences: King Bennie Nawahi, Bill Frisell and all kinds of underground electronica. Pedigree: Jesse Zubot (fiddle and mandolin) studied jazz at Capilano College. Steve Dawson (slide, Hawaiian, acoustic and Weissenborn guitars) studied music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The duo has toured with Chris Whitley, John Lee Hooker, Gil Scott-Herron and Gregg Allman. Honours: 2001 Juno Award Nominations for Best Roots/Traditional Album. Their take: "There's a stigma attached to acoustic instrumental music," says Dawson. "We're trying to make a sonically interesting sound that you can listen to again and again." KIM KUZMA Album: Contradictions. Nominations: Best Indie Release, Pop/Dance Release, Female Artist, Songwriter and Live Performer. Style: Straight-ahead pop with R&B undercurrents. Influences: Annie Lennox, Paula Cole, Patti LaBelle. Pedigree: Blew her throat out at 19 while singing with a rock band called Menace in her hometown of Dawson Creek. Has performed for Pride Day celebrations in Vancouver and the Gay Men's Chorus in San Francisco. Honours: Contradictions charted for 7½ months as the No. 1 independent CD at HMV in Vancouver. Enjoys medium radio rotation in France and Germany. Her take: "I have incredible support from the gay community," says Kuzma. "I think it's because of my stage presence. I tend to kick a lot and I'm not afraid to make fun of myself. And, hey, Bette Midler hasn't done too bad by them." THE PUENTES BROTHERS Album: Morumba Cubana. Nominations: Best Global Album. Style: Contemporary Cuban Son with a splash of jazz and samba. Influences: Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Alain Caron. Pedigree: Born in Artemisa, Alexis and Adonis toured Cuba as children in large guitar ensembles or in a quintet with their musician father and were fed a steady diet of Alvita Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, Selina Gonzales and Ibrahim Ferrer. Honours: Best World Album at the 2001 Canadian Independent Music Awards; nominated for Best Global Album at the 2001 Juno Awards; the No. 1 Canadian World Music Album for 2000 on the Mundial World Music Charts. Their take: "A lot of people think that because you're Cuban, you must play salsa," says Alexis. "If you want to call this salsa, that's your problem." MICHAEL KAESHAMMER Album: No Strings Attached. Nominations: Best Jazz Release. Style: Known as The Boogie Woogie Wizard. Influences: James Booker, Fats Waller, Vince Weber. Pedigree: The 23-year-old piano prodigy and bandleader studied classical piano in Offenburg, Germany, for seven years. At 13, he discovered boogie-woogie. Three years later, he was playing in clubs and festivals all over Germany. Honours: 2001 Juno nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album -- Instrumental. His take: "After I moved here from Europe, I never planned to make a living playing music," he says. "I don't know if it would've happened somewhere else."

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