[Harp-L] SPAH 2016 Award recipients

Winslow Yerxa winslowyerxa@xxxxx
Tue Aug 16 13:04:35 EDT 2016

Every year SPAH makes three awards from nominations made by SPAH members and voted on by the SPAH board. Here are the 2016 recipients of these three awards and of the President's Awards.

Stan Harper Award of Special Merit recipient:

Paul Davies, who has previously been nominated for the Pete Pedersen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and for the Stan Harper Award in 2015.

Paul's contribution to SPAH and the harmonica community is immeasurable. For the past 15+ years Paul has served as secretary, president, and entertainment director of SPAH, and has consistently raised the level of the convention and SPAH by his efforts. Nominator notes that “His mastery of the instrument - harmonica guy - is among the best!”

Pete Pedersen Lifetime Achievement Award recipient:

Winslow Yerxa
For his tireless work in harmonica education over several decades, including publishing the magazine HIP–The Harmonica Information Publication, authoring Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies, creating the harmonica education event the Harmonica Collective with Jason Ricci, working with both John Popper and Howard Levy to publish transcriptions of their solos, working in many capacities to help run SPAH, and in creating a worldwide reputation not only for his deep knowledge of all things harmonica, but also for excellence and versatility in playing the harmonica.

Bernie Bray Harmonica Player of the Year Award recipient:

Stevie Wonder has been wowing the world with his singing, keyboard playing, and harmonica playing with a string of hit songs going back nearly 50 years. But when he guests on other people’s recordings and concerts, it’s most often as a harmonica player. He brings to the chromatic harmonica a unique and personal voice that is instantly recognizable and is known and loved worldwide.

President's Awards

The President's award is made at the sole discretion of the SPAH president. President Michael D'Eath made the following two awards for 2016:

Paul Oscher

Paul Oscher was the first Caucasian member of the Muddy Waters Blues Band while Jim Crow laws were still in effect, and since then has built a fine reputation in his ongoing and reinvigorated career as a triple threat on guitar, piano, and harmonica – even bass harmonica and melodica in a blues context!

Vern Smith, whose previous nominations include the Stan Harper Award in 2010, 2013, and 2014.

For his innovative work in developing the Hands-Free Chromatic and his scientific and rational questioning of many beliefs cherished by harmonica players – including his standing offer of $1000 to anyone who can identify harmonica comb materials by their sound in a controlled experiment.

Winslow Yerxa
Producer, the Harmonica Collective
Author, Harmonica For Dummies, Second Edition: ISBN 978-1-118-88076-0
            Harmonica Basics For Dummies, ASIN B005KIYPFS
            Blues Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-1-1182-5269-7
Resident Expert, bluesharmonica.com
Instructor, Jazzschool Community Music School
President emeritus, SPAH, the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica

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