by Tom Simpson for OLY ARTS
Olympia’s own Lavon Hardison was voted the 2017 Northwest Vocalist of the Year on Monday night by Earshot Jazz, a nationally known jazz non-profit organization in Seattle, Washington.
“Thanks to Earshot Jazz and all of you who voted! I’m humbled by this honor,” said Hardison on her Facebook page.
The Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards have been presented by 1990, in recognition of achievements during the previous year by regional jazz artists. Nominations are by local jazz luminaries, but members of the public are able to vote for the final recipient of the award.
Hardison’s jazz talents have been recognized by many organizations in recent years. In 2016, LaVon won the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Jazz Vocalist Audition at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, claiming the prize of a jazz-soaked journey to Japan, performing in Kobe, Osaka, and Tokyo.
Hardison is well known to Olympia audiences. Her vocal arrangements and jazz stylings are regularly featured at local events and in regional music venues, while her acting gifts have been featured on stage at Harlequin Productions. Trained classically, Hardison performed with the Boston Lyric Opera before moving to the Pacific Northwest and launching a jazz-focused career. For some time, LaVon also hosted a weekly radio show, “The Jazz Experience” on KAOS-FM out of the Evergreen State College broadcasting studios. She has appeared in dramatic and musical theater, video work, TV, film, and voice-overs. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and performs up and down the West Coast.
The Earshot Jazz winner maintains a rigorous performance schedule. Next performances include appearances at the Camano Island Center, Sorento Hotel in Seattle, Tula’s Restaurant and Jazz Club in Seattle, McMenimin’s Grand Lodge near Portland Oregon and a special appearance this coming Sunday at a house concert in Olympia.
Details below the video:
WHAT: Lavon Hardison “Swingin Sounds” House Concert:
with Eric Verlinde, piano
Jeff Busch, drums
Osama Afifi, bass
WHERE: 5434 South Bay Terrace, Olympia, WA 98516
WHEN: 2 p.m.
MORE INFO: 360-459-2357 | Swingin Sounds website