I’ve never been one to pay too much attention to awards…mainly, I suppose because I’ve never won anything.

But I’m of course happy for any friends and colleagues who do manage to snag some “official recognition.”  For example, Muriel Anderson, whose Nightlight Daylight CD won 10 various awards last year, and John Doan, crowned in Malaysia the “World’s Leading Harp Guitarist.”  (A more recent highlight was seeing a nice harp guitar-featured article on our friend Claude Laflamme in the International Musician Journal)

I can think of only one thing more prestigious, and that would of course have to be “Best Jazz Performance on a 7-string Bass Zither Banjo.”

And I won it!


I Googled myself the other day (for who else would?), and found this: The 36th Annual Jazz Station Awards / The Best Jazz of 2014

Conducted by noted Los Angeles-based jazz journalist, jazz historian & jazz educator Arnaldo DeSouteiro, the winners read as a Who’s Who of jazz heavyweights in each category.  Naturally, I was rather verklempt to find myself as No. 8 under the Miscellaneous Instruments section!

This was from my appearance on Brad Hoyt’s CD Far Away From Everyday, which he promoted heavily to the jazz market to some very nice acclaim.  In fact, Brad made No. 6 in the same category for “lute, ukelele, wrenchenspiel and Sedgwick arpa viola caipira” (these instruments don’t appear to be from the same song, nor is there any lute on the album – just a virtual lute harpsichord).  I suspect the vote was for Brad’s tune “Impossible Liaison” with the amazing Trevor Gordon Hall on his Kalimbatar, among other great players.

The CD also got a nod for Brad’s wonderful cover artist Ryo Ishidoin in the Best Artwork category.   Cool!

Mr. DeSouteiro (or someone) must have liked my wacky slide bass banjo on Brad’s “Elnora” tune (also featuring the one and only Stephen Bennett), unless it was the  Knutsen harp mandolin that won them over (they listed these two instruments).  Chris Knutsen would be so proud!  Like parts of the album, I’m not sure I’d call this “jazz” – but it’s more than a Blues waltz ballad, I think.  Above is one of our promo photos with those specific instruments.

Hey, to show up in the same list as my idols Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn (banjos) – I’ll take it!

I’m just glad that none of the other 7-string bass zither banjoists had a release last year…

And you thought harp guitars were niche!