Since coming of age in the nurturing environment of a musical family with a distinguished bloodline of drummers, New Orleans native Herlin Riley has enlivened the ensembles of such influential and demanding improvisers as pianist Ahmad Jamal and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis through his commanding yet elegant rhythmic presence. Riley’s authoritative style of melodic percussion is deeply imbued in the fertile creative soil of the Crescent City. As he tells it: “So many great musicians and drummers have come out of New Orleans, and that really defines my personal legacy; I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.” Herlin Riley returns to SMF for the fourth time, after appearances in 2012, 2013 and 2017.
With a deep soul backbone augmented by jazz, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll, the Seattle-based Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio—made up of Lamarr on B-3 organ, Jimmy James on guitar and Doug Port on drums—evokes a classic instrumental sound with a fresh, virtuosic sensibility all its own. In March of 2018, the trio’s album, Close But No Cigar, made it to the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart, and also took the #3 spot on the Jazz Albums chart. In their SMF debut, this unique ‘60s and ‘70s vintage soul trio will fill the Morris Center with the sounds of the Hammond B-3, guitar lines and old school pocket drumming.
This performance is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and Georgia Council for the Arts.