Derrick Gardner Wins Independent Music Award for Jazz Album "Echoes of Ethnicity"


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Derrick Gardner
INDIANAPOLIS, January 26, 2010 - Echoes of Ethnicity, the most recent album by Derrick Gardner and The Jazz Prophets for Owl Studios, today was named by Music Resource Group (MRG) as a Winner in The 9th annual Independent Music Awards, the influential awards program for independent bands and fans, for Best Jazz Album. This prestigious award adds to the long list of accolades Echoes of Ethnicity has received in 2009.

When informed, the nearly speechless trumpeter Derrick Gardner said, “That's GREAT! I feel great!" After catching his breath and joking around about now having to learn the rest of his scales, he went on to say, “I'm just beyond words. This means a lot to me, more than other awards because it's not industry insiders voting; its artists, peers and fans who are voting for the music." “This just goes to show that hard work pays off," says Owl Studios owner and CEO J. Allan Hall. Mr. Hall concluded, “It's not about being big, it's about being talented and working your craft...and there's many more from where that came!" Martin Folkman, Executive Director of The Independent Music Awards said, “The IMAs celebrate artists who follow their own muse and the true music fans who support them."

The album of each IMA category winner will be featured at The Independent Music Awards page on the iTunes Store, starting January 26th. Additionally, the releases of the Album category Winners will be featured on the iTunes Indie Spotlight page.

The Winners in more than 50 album, song, music video and design categories culled from thousands of submissions from around the globe, were determined by a panel of 80 influential artists and industry pros including Tom Waits, Zooey Deschanel, DJ Spooky, Suzanne Vega, James “Blood" Ulmer, Lee Ritenour and Vijay Iyer.

Derrick quickly made his mark on the New York City jazz scene after arriving in the Big Apple in 1991, and it has enabled him to travel the world playing top-flight jazz - including five years in the Count Basie Orchestra (1991 to 1996 plus occasional guest appearances that have continued into 2010), Frank Foster's Loud Minority Band, Harry Connick Jr.'s Big Band and The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He is a highly sought after educator and clinician for all levels of music education.

In November 2009, Derrick spent three weeks as an Artist in Residence at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria. While in Austria, he taught a myriad of jazz classes and performed music around the country from his album Echoes of Ethnicity. Derrick's group, The Jazz Prophets, have been performing, recording and touring for over 20 years.

In the beginning of February, Derrick travels with the legendary Count Basie Band on a Tour of Japan. When he returns he participates as a clinician and performer at Disney's Celebration of Jazz February 18th through the 20th in Orlando, Florida.

About Owl Studios

Indianapolis-based Owl Studios is an independent record label dedicated to a financial and artistic partnership with highly creative, talented musicians. In the short time since its inception, Owl Studios has become a well-respected, artist- friendly, independent record label in the genres of Jazz, R&B/Soul, and Fusion/Jam Band. The label includes established artists that have made names for themselves performing throughout the world. In addition to their reputations as composers, performers and arrangers, many of our artists are also educators at top music institutions. Owl Studios artists also boast award winners, including a Grammy nomination; jazz historian/ arranger/ conductor for the Smithsonian Institute; winner of the Independent Music Awards; winner of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Performer Award; winner of the Grand Prize for the American Pianists' Association Jazz Piano competition; and the music director for the award- winning, nationally syndicated Bob & Tom morning radio program.

This story appears courtesy of Michael Bloom Media Relations.
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