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Delvon Lamarr brings joy to JazzFest with old-school organ soul

Picture yourself in the mid-1960s. Cool suit, bright dress. The joint is packed. Drinks and dancing, soul and swagger. And, blasting through your bones, the combustible roar of the jazz organ that sounds like nothing else on earth.

That’s the vibe the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio brings to every show it plays. In fact, the players proudly reclaim the lost art of “feel good music.”

<who> Photo credit: Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio</who>

“It’s the whole idea, to help people feel good and forget their troubles,” Delvon Lamarr tells VictoriaNow before driving here. “That’s always really important to us.”

The Seattle-based trio — headlining Saturday night’s JazzFest in Bullen Park — perfectly captures that old-school organ sound of Booker T. & the M.G.’s and Jimmy Smith, with equal measures of Stax and Motown stylings, and a jaw-dropping guitar that summons Jimi Hendrix and the blues masters of yesteryear.

“We cross so many different genres of music,” says Lamarr. “We’re jazz, soul, funk, we’re rock and roll. We kind of do everything. And the intensity just happens when we’re in the moment.”

Rounding out the trio is guitar guru Jimmy James and groove-master Dan Weiss on drums. If jazz festivals were school grounds, the Delvon Lamarr gang would be the fun, cool kids you'd want to hang with.

“When we play, man, we play.”

The beginnings of the trio were less about compilation, and more about coaxing. In 2015, it was Lamarr’s wife, Amy, who encouraged the self-taught organist to create a band that would bring happy music to venues.

“This whole thing was her idea,” he says of Amy, who went on to be their all-round manager, promoter, and guardian angel.

“I’ve been in a lot of bands, and watched bandleaders flip out trying to keep people together. And I just wanted to play music and be left alone!”

“But she told me to get some guys together and write some music. So I called some dudes...and here we are.”

And they’re more than here — they're everywhere. Today, the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio tours the world, livestreams their jams to millions, and records Billboard-charting records.

This fall, the trio will begin recording another album, as well as a collaboration project with various people they’ve met on the road. But right now, they are deep in jazz fest season, and the Victoria festival is thrilled to host them.

“Our whole goal is to pull the audience into us on the stage. And to make our feel good music.”

The Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio plays Saturday evening in Bullen Park, along with New Orleans Mardi Gras funk band, Cha Wa. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online here.



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