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Fall 1998
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The WAMMIES 1998
Washington (DC) Area Music Awards

The 13th annual Washington Area Music Awards (The Wammies) will be held Tuesday, November 17, 1998 at Lisner Auditorium, on the George Washington University Campus. Artists scheduled to perform are: Tuscadero; Tom Prasada-Rao; Randy Barrett; a 50th Anniversay set from the Legendary Orioles; Toshi Reagon; Pam Bricker with a tribute to Eva Cassidy; and a special 25th anniversary appearance by Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Nominations and voting come from the WAMA membership. The Wammies nomination ballot was mailed to WAMA members in August. The WAMA membership encompasses music industry professionals including: musicians, songwriters, agents, managers, recording studios, lawyers, promoters, club owners, record companies, and etc.

The Wammies were created to recognize career achievements of our region's musical talent. Awards are presented in a broad range of categories including: Blues, Pop/Rock, Classical, Folk, Jazz, Children's, Urban, Latino, World, and etc.

Tickets are $15 for WAMA members and $20 for the general public and will go on sale Tuesday, October 12, at all ProTix outlets including, all Waxie Maxie stores in the Washington and Baltimore areas, at all Record & Tape Traders stores in the Baltimore metropolitan area or by calling 703-218-6500.

Nominees are entitled to up to six tickets at $2 each and up to 10 additional tickets at $10 each. Gold Corporate Sponsors tickets are $550 and include 10 reserved seats, a full page ad in the Wammies Program, invitations to a special reception, and recognition in the program. Silver Corporate Sponsors are $300 and include 4 reserved seats, a half page ad in the Wammies Program, invitations to a special reception and recognition in the program.

Twins Celebrate by Honoring the Kings of the Ivories

When twin Ethiopian sisters moved to DC 24 years ago, their formal education included more than the three Rs. These sisters have emersed themselves in the history and presentation of Jazz. Together Kelly and Maze Tesfaye started Twins Lounge and have played host to the young lions and living legends of Jazz for the past 11 years.

In celebration of their accomplishments, The First Piano Summit was held at the University of the District of Columbia. In my interview with Kelly, her love for Jazz came through in every response. "It's important for the music to be heard. It's our music. We have to respect it and pass it along to our children." Her knowledge of the music was apparent in her choice of musicians. Keyboard giants and one-time members of the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis and Shirley Horne, the participants are Jazz royalty in their own rights. And they have been very supportive of Twins and the DC Jazz scene.

Jazz lovers of all ages were treated to the world class piano styles of Randy Weston, John Hicks, Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Kirkland. Talib Kibwe (sax and flute), a regular with Weston's orchestra, accompanied Weston in his set. Curtis Lundy (bass), along with the home grown rhythms of DC area's Steve Williams (drums), known to many as the incomparable drummer for Shirley Horn, and Sam Turner (percussion) served to round out the trios for each set. Jazz Standards and original compositions were intertwined to create an atmosphere of the past and the present. Poet Gaston Neal was on hand with odes to the creators and innovators of America's original art form. Social activist and jazz connoisseur Dick Gregory was on hand to honor the music and to share his comedic wisdom.

Nap Turner of WPFW-FM served as the evening's Master of Ceremonies. Randy Weston opened the summit with a tune entitled `The Healers.' He doesn't refer to his music as Jazz but as African rhythm because he draws his inspiration from Africa and the spirit of it's ancestors. "Kids need to know all types of Black music and culture in order to understand their origin. We should teach our kids to honor the musicians. They (musicians) are able to take classical-European musical instruments, tap into the of the souls and rhythm of their African ancestors and create something new and ever-changing. Jazz is the classical music of this country. Every form of music evolved from the drum beats of Africa."

John Hicks, Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Kirkland have played with a Who's Who of musical giants. Hicks first came to prominence recording with Jackie McLean, and has performed with an impressive range of saxophonists, including David Murray, Oliver Lake, and Gary Barz. Miller brought a new vigor to Art Blakey's group in the early 80's and to Donald Byrd's "Harlem Blues" comeback recording session of 1987. Kenny Kirkland is an accompanist in high demand. Most people are familiar with his work with Wynton and Brandford Marsalis, The Tonight Show Band, Sting and Kenny Garrett. In addition, he has appeared on recordings for Carla Bey, Miroslav Vitous, Stanley Jordan, and the GRP All-Star Big Band. The summit closed with all pianists performing a medley of standards in unison with their unique variations on each theme. Three Hundred, fifty-two keys never sounded so good!

The sisters hope to make the summit and annual event and to add education and discussion panels in the future. Twins Lounge is located at 5516 Colorado Avenue, NW. For more information call 202-882-2534/24.

Local Notes

  • David Bach's song, Window on the West, was included on a World Beat compilation CD. The David Bach Consort was also featured in the June issue of Cubase Magazine.
  • Bill Parsons appeared at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Artist Showcase in July in Hillsdale, NY. Additionally, he recently finalized artist endorsement deals with Taylor Guitars and D'Addario Strings.
  • Also gracing the stage at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Artist Showcase was Charlottesville's own Terri Allard.
  • Oasis Duplication's own Micah Solomon recently had his song, Put Down That Phone and Drive, featured on NPR's Cartalk program. The song is part of the Special Automotive Set on OasisAcoustic Volume 9. For more information, contact Oasis at 1-888-296-2747 or e-mail
  • The Fairfax Symphony recently appointed a new Executive Director, Mr. Philip A. (Pat) Tukey. Tukey, formerly Executive Director of The Music Foundation of Spartanburg, SC.
  • Swing Speak was picked up by the Virginia Commission for the Arts for their 1998-99 touring catalogue.
  • After seven years, Eddie From Ohio is ending their weekly Tuesday night show at Bad Habits. The band's current touring schedule has made it difficult to continue the show, and they will have their final Tuesday night performance on December 15th.
  • Dead Girls and Other Stories, fresh from their Lilith Fair appearance at Merriweather Post Pavilion, performed at the H.O.R.D.E. Festival at Nissan Pavilion.
  • The band Yuma House announced that their debut, self-titled CD received airplay on over 200 college radio stations.
  • The Huge recently completed What is Christmas which will appear on the Children's Hospital Christmas Benefit CD, due out this October. Area bands were approached to record remakes of traditional Xmas songs, or write original Xmas numbers for the project. What is Christmas is an original number written by Huge lead singer Joel Langley.
  • The Huge is in the middle of recording and producing it's third CD Infiltrating the Masses due out this Xmas. It is being recorded and mixed at Cue Recording in Falls Church. The album will appear on Green Goose Records, the Band's independent label.
  • Bruce James from Denver Colorado is currently rehearsing with Jeff Cowles and Greg Berger from The Huge for his debut album which will appear on Green Goose Records. Greg Berger will be producing this project as a result of James hearing Willem Dicke's debut album, which also appeared on Green Goose. This will be Berger's second project producing for Green Goose.
  • Manager Michael Oberman reports that Strawman has received interest from six major record companies after listening to the group's first album and demo cuts for their next.
  • Doug Derryberry will be playing guitar on tour with Bruce Hornsby. Doug also has an endorsement deal with VHT Guitars. The company is making a custom Pitbull CLX for him.
  • Jaared Arosemena is no longer the saxophonist for Maysa or Grainger. Jaared landed a recording/management deal with Pegasus Music in Alna, Maine. He is currently working on material with co-producer and keyboardist, George Hazelrigg. Jaared will be recording the album at Walton Recording Studios in Fairfax, VA
  • .
  • Glassoline was invited to perform at Lilith Fair in Hardee's Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh, NC. In other news from Glassoline, their song Promise will appear on the Women In Rock compilation CD benefiting the American Heart Association.
  • Hot rocker and new mom Esmirelda was recently notified that she won First Place in the Rock category in the Billboard Songwriting Contest for her song Teenage Romance Makes Me Sick. The prizes include a publishing deal and a Gibson Les Paul Standard Guitar. She also won two Honorable Mentions for other entries.

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