Video awards for Owl Studios

Music videos featuring Owl Studios artists Cynthia Layne, Derrick Gardner and the Dixon-Rhyne Project have received awards from the Ad Club of Indianapolis. The video for Layne’s “We” picked up a Gold Ring for black and white cinematography. A Gold Ring for color cinematography was awarded to a video documenting the recording of trumpeter Gardner’s upcoming Owl Studios release “A Ride to the Other Side.”

The Grand Ring Award, the most coveted award given by the Ad Club, went to a video of the Dixon-Rhyne Project’s “Mind’s Eye” featuring tenor saxophonist Rob Dixon, B-3 organ legend Melvin Rhyne and guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque. The video will be released to accompany their upcoming album.

All three award-winning videos, produced by JGIC Pictures and edited by Scoeditoral, Inc. of Indianapolis, can be found in the media section at www.OwlStudios.com.

 

Last week in jazz

Kudos to University of Indianapolis director of jazz studies Harry Miedema for producing Jazzweek, a week of exceptional performances by top-flight local and regional small jazz groups and big bands. Even more significant was his part in the 11th UIndy Jazz Festival, which gave 12 local top public school jazz bands a chance to play and be mentored by jazz professionals. Last week was a golden opportunity for young musicians and students to absorb the work of some of the best working jazz musicians.

I caught two nights of concerts. Friday, the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra put on a well-balanced program that included originals displaying the flexibility of the BWJO’s brass and reed section, straight-ahead swingers and jazz classics. Flutists Tom Meyer and Mike Stricklin weaved solo lines around each other on one standout song, the colorful “Little Sunflower.” The BWJO was at its peak, executing difficult arrangements and offering solid solos by all. Brent Wallarab delivered erudite introductions to all the tunes and shared arrangement and composition duties with Mark Buselli.

It’s been 25 years since Indianapolis native drummer Jon Von Ohlen has played in his hometown; he’s been residing in Cincinnati in the interim. On Saturday night, in front of an audience peopled by quite a few jazz artists (especially drummers), Von Ohlen led his Blue Wisp Big Band through a dazzling performance. He relentlessly drove the BWBB, dropping bombs behind soloists, ringing away on ride cymbal and punching accents on snare. It was an emotional and special night for Von Ohlen, who acknowledged his former co-leader Steve Allee by performing Allee’s “Straight Talk,” a clever composition played in a lively manner. Von Ohlen’s return was triumphant; he left no doubt that he belongs in that special cadre of top-rated big-band drummers.

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