by Gus Marshall
Monday night, a who’s who of Seattle’s flourishing and multilayered jazz scene flooded the Royal Room in Columbia City for the Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards.
Squeezing themselves into South Seattle’s jazz mecca, jazz royalty witnessed a night of elegant celebration and historical importance. They were also treated to the soundtrack of the evening provided by the deep soul sounds of the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio.
Delvon Lamarr is a master jazz organist who passes hot-licks and crunchy-riffs back and forth like a game of funky hot-potato with his highly esteemed sideman, the 2017 Golden Ear Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year nominee and guitar virtuoso Jimmy James.
Lamarr and James have a deep musical relationship built on trust and communication, they really listen to each other, and you can hear it in their playing. They play a dangerous game of continuous melodic change supported by on-the-spot seamless transitions, running through amazing original compositions and simultaneously weaving their soulful interpretations of the likes of Prince, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan and Cream into the mix, while remaining completely in the moment.
2017 Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award Results
NW Recording of the Year– Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners. Syncopated Classics
NW Acoustic Jazz Ensemble of the Year– Pearl Django
Alternative Jazz Group of the Year- Rik Wrights Fundamental Forces
NW Concert of the Year- Industrial Revelation Plays Bjork. 12/20/17. Neptune Theater.
NW Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year- Dawn Clement
Emerging Artist of the Year- Marina Christopher
NW Jazz Vocalist of the Year- Lavon Hardison
2017 Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame Inductees
Quotes from presenters and award winners:
“I wasn’t expecting to win! Thank you for helping me emerge!” -Marina Christopher
“You all inspire us, shout-out to you all!”-D’Vonne Lewis
“If I could cut this up and pass it out to all the nominees I would.”- Dawn Clement
“This is a pleasant surprise, sometimes surprises aren’t so pleasant.”- Patty Padden
“Skerik wrote the book on what it means to be creative and masterful in this music, with integrity and passion. And all of that with a sly sense of humor that negates all pretension, but does not negate the seriousness with which he approaches everything he does. He represents what I love about the Seattle scene at its best- its willingness to eschew categories, and assumptions, about what – and what not – a jazz musician should do, or any musician for that matter.” – Wayne Horvitz