Thursday evening at Edmonds Center for the Arts was set to be an elegant awards ceremony for long-time contributors of DeMiero Jazz Fest — but turned out to be a bigger tribute to the man himself — Frank DeMiero.
After a brief health scare that sent DeMiero the hospital earlier this week, he is now recovering and expects to be back conducting full time soon.
Nearly 75 sponsors, donors, musicians, clinicians and music adjudicators gathered in the ballroom of the prestigious arts center to pay tribute to the 41st DeMiero Jazz Fest and its founder, and to congratulate this year’s winners of the Tenuto Awards which “recognizes accomplished careers, lifetime achievement, and pays tribute to those who drive forward vocal jazz forward,” according to Jazz Fest chief administrative officer Rob Hyatt.
Hyatt was joined on stage as emcee for the event by jazz vocalist Dee Daniels who, for many years, has served as chief artistic officer of DeMiero Jazz Fest.
Among the attendees of the kick-off event for the festival were Pete Barbas, long-time Seattle jazz icon and owner of 1960s gathering spot, Pete’s Poop Deck, where such greats as Woody Woodhouse played. Also in attendance were Mona and Dick Van Hollebeke, brothers Jason and Ryan Wilson (Barber Shop 666 and A Gamble in the Litter, respectively); and band members for the occasion: Josh Nelson, Bruce Forman, Paul Beaudry, and Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax. Performances by 18-year old Josh Tasman, first recipient of the “Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship”; members of the vocal ensemble True North; and John Prouix were enjoyed by attendees.
Tenuto Awards were presented to leaders in the jazz vocalist field: Michele Wier; Max Mendez; Ann MacDonald; Matt Falkner, and also Jazz Fest hospitality director, Yvonne DeMiero.
— Story and photos by Emily Hill