BESIDE the winning artists and their speeches, and the music festival executives searching for new talent, the 25th NCEIA Dolphin Awards' most interesting feature was the amazing young local talent that featured on stage.
Clunes sister duo Maple stopped the show with a vocal and instrumental arrangement that won them a standing ovation.
The teenagers, Bridget and Monica, are siblings of local musicians Cecilia and Gabriel Brandolini.
World champion surfer Layne Beachley, who announced the winner of the Female Vocal award, asked on stage if Maple has released any music "because I would buy anything they release".
Soul/funk troupe The Jake Whittaker Band put on a show at the Dolphins that was so good it got people dancing and lit up the first half of the ceremony.
Lismore electronic pop rock The Dominiques rocked the stage with their ironic update of trashy 1960s pop, finding influence in Nick Cave, Blondie, and The Cure.
Check out their singles Love Me and Push Up online.
Other band that performed at the Dolphin Awards ceremony last Tuesday were Loonallop, Seavera, Hottentots, Jo Kelly & Alexa, The Heart Collectors, Monkey & The Fish plus a very special performance by Dolphin Awards founder, Mookx.
But let's see who won the different categories at this year's awards:
- Leigh Carriage - Album of the Year and Jazz awards (Lismore / Byron Bay)
SCU Music Program lecturer Leigh Carriage won the jazz award for her song Backstepping and the biggest award of the night, Album of the Year, for her release Weaves.
In the introduction to the new album, Carriage explained the release's name.
"My parents were weavers; my father the repairer of broken toys, car engines and skinned knees, my mother of wools, fabrics, soil and healing words. I follow in their footsteps weaving melody and word," she said.
Carriage has been a lecturer at SCU since 1998.
In 2009 she was awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.
For the past decade, Leigh Carriage has been the coordinator of a Visiting Artists mentoring program for Women in Contemporary Music and developed a website featuring the contribution female musicians have made to Australian music.
A Byron Bay resident for almost two decades, the musician's latest release follows up on her highly acclaimed previous album, Mandarin Skyline, which drew a nomination for the 2014 Australian Bell Awards.
Listen to Weave live tomorrow Thursday at the Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson St, from 8pm. $25.
For detail visit leighcarriage.com.
- Angus Graham - Best Production, Rock, Protest and Devotional/Gospel (Lismore)
Four 2016 NCEIA Dolphin Awards went to young Lismore musician Angus Graham.
Born in Kyogle and raised in Graham is an accomplished electric bassist, pianist and composer.
He won Best Devotional/Gospel and Best production for the same song: Unclouded Eyes, plus Best Protest for Misguided Existence and Best Rock for Smile.
Angus Graham's compositions blend elements of Soul, 'n'B, Jazz, Blues and rock music, creating a particular listening experience for his audiences whilst paying homage to the masters of yesteryear.
Transition is Graham's latest album.
It delves into contemporary issues and imaginative stories through a blend of R'n'B, Soul, Blues and Rock influences.
The album features Rick Fenn, Tweedie, Greg Lyon, Sarah Grant, Vanessa Baker, Chang Po Ching, Kristy Turner and Shandell Crozier as vocalists.
For details visit angusgrahammusic.com.
- Luke Vasella - Songwriter of the Year, Music Video, Adult Contemporary and Country (Lismore)
Vasella won the Songwriter of the Year award for his song Mountain Blue, the Music Video award for Shine a Light, the Country award for his song Casino and the Adult Contemporary category for In a North Coast Town.
In A North Coast Town is also the name of Luke Vassella's ninth album which includes the winning songs.
The album includes 12 tracks recorded live in halls surrounding Lismore during February and March this year.
For details visit lukevasella.com.
- Marshall Okell - Best Blues (Ballina)
Marshall Okell received the best blues award for his song Carry On Carry On.
Aptly named after two of music's greatest rock-bluesmen (Jimi Marshall Hendrix and Johnny Dawson Winter), Marshall Dawson Okell was born into a rock 'n' roll arena, with a guitar case for a crib.
His father Glenn was a Melbourne-based rock 'n' roll guitarist and Marshall's greatest lifetime influence, nourishing his son's musical appetite with the sounds of Hendrix, Winter, Muddy Waters, Little Feat and AC/DC.
Alongside his musical pursuits, Marshall completed a BA in Social Science, as well as a Dip Ed in High School Teaching at Southern Cross University in 2006, where he spent time tutoring special needs and indigenous children.
Okell has previously won NCEIA Dolphin Awards in the album of the year, song of the year, best male vocal, best protest and best blues categories.
Earlier this year, Okell participated in the Back in Blue is a tribute album, a complete re-recording of AC/DC's classic Back in Black, Lloyd Spiegel, Geoff Achison, Gail Page, Lachy Doley, Shaun Kirk, Chase The Sun and 8 Ball Aitken. Okell recorded Giving the Dog a Bone from the 1980 album.
Catch Marshall Okell at The Northern's front bar, in Byron Bay, on December 13 from 9.30pm. For details visit marshallokell.com.
- Tupenny Opera - Best Alternative / Indie (Murwillumbah)
TUPENNY Opera are wife and husband Maya Sapir and Dave Weir, creators and performers of original songs and music. From Burlesque opera to quirky pop, from the romantic to the political.
They draw from many influences to write songs, including life, love, death and drama. For more visit soundcloud.com/tupennyopera.
- Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace - Best Music for Children (Camira Creek)
HIT duo Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace, the team behind Dirtgirl, are celebrating a Dolphin Award for their song So Not a Princess in the Music for Children's category, penned by Hewey Eustace and sung by Cate McQuillen.
The winning song and a second nomination, the tune What a Load of Rubbish, were both taken from their Get Grubby musical.
Dirtgirlworld has been an international hit and music is at the heart of the sustainable story world.
With a catalogue of 40 feature songs, the music is heard in 128 countries around the world and here at home on ABC2 TV.
Last January, Dirtgirl's Get Grubby musical played to a sell-out summer season at the Sydney Opera House.
Focusing on the plight of bees, the musical is viewed as both an artistic success and a love letter to the planet.
- Hannah Parrington - Best Pop (Bangalow)
Byron Shire teenager Hannah Parrington, made her Bluesfest debut this year just after launching a new EP titled Lost.
The release is available on iTunes and Spotify, and contains five songs written by Ms Parrington and mixed by Paul Pilsneniks at Pilsonic Productions.
The local teenager earned her right to be at the Bluesfest Busking Stage last Easter after winning the Youth Prize at the 2015 NCEIA Dolphin Awards for her song Bones.
In 2014, the then 12-year-old took out the number one spot for Lismore's Fast Track Talent Showcase, with a voice to rival the pros and the guitar skills to match.
- Dave Moss - Best Folk (Byron Bay)
Dave Moss grew up in Sydney, and smashed his first guitar at 13 (accidentally stepped on it if the truth be known).
He went on to be a founding member of some of the most influential Australian psychedelic/pop bands of the nineties (The Welcome Mat, The Woodies, The NDP).
In 2005, he ended up working as a doctor in emergency rooms, but he recently threw it all in, and moved to Byron Bay.
For details visit davemoss.com.au.
- Dirk Terrill - Best Instrumental, Best Urban / Hip Hop / Funk (Lennox Head )
LENNOX Head's Dirk Terrill performs as part of soul, funk, jazz & r'n'b outfit Neo-Groove.
His first Dolphin win this year was in the urban/hip hop, rap section for his song Sunset Love.
The second one was in the instrumental category for Break and Enter.
The band produce contemporary music with old school values. Inspired by the raw sounds of the late 1960s and early 1970s, this seven-piece collaboration is led by Terrill.
- We Play Machines - Best Electronic (Ballina)
Live electronic music We Play machines is formed by local musicians Jo Dreyer, Tyler Solleder, Melania Jack and Patty Bom.
The band is a collaboration between the electro pop troupe Shiny Shiny and the moodier minimal techno sounds of Elemental Dark Underground (Bassic Records).
The resulting sound from this combination is layered, textured and explorative, with traces of 1990s trip hop.
Lyrically, this project "delves into all the tiny worlds that teeter between fact, fiction and the imminent future".
For details visit soundcloud.com/we-play-machines.
- Grace Hickey - Best Female Vocal and Youth (Maclean)
THIS Maclean teen graduated from Maclean High in 2014, and took a gap year last year before taking up study at the Queensland College of Art on scholarship.
And while many people may be familiar with Grace's award-winning voice through either her jazz singing, or her work with NSW North Coast group Solstice, she is also a talented artist with work in drawing and mixed media.
She studied with Anne Gallagher at the Maclean Music Academy and prefers to sing R'n'B and Soul.
- Matty Rogers - Best Male Vocal and Song of the Year (Burringbar)
Fresh from winning a spot at Falls Festival 2016 via the Foster a Band competition, Burringbar independent singer songwriter Matty Rogers has also achieved two big wins at the Dolphin Awards 2016.
He won Song of the Year for Walk to the Water, a song he said was about "taking the beast of people and the not-so-good and learning to live with that instead of making relationships a disposable thing."
For details about the NCEIA Dolphin Awards visit nceia.org.au.
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