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San Diego flute master Lori Bell recently received a 2011 Award Of Excellence from the GMA, (Global Music Awards).

"I found out about it, (the award), from the faculty at SDSU, who encouraged me to apply, then from I got a letter from GMA saying I won! I've been getting phone calls ever since," says Bell.

The award is for composing and arranging, and Bell used her 2002 release on Beezwax Records, Lori Bell for the application, because "it featured four original tunes, and I did all of the arranging."

Lori Bell features veteran LA pianist Dave Mackay, Kevin Hennessy on bass, Ron Satterfield on guitar/keyboards and Duncan Moore on drums.

According to the GMA, Lori Bell, "...features music of depth and outstanding arrangements of original compositions. The Grammy panel recognized the album's comprehensive excellence with selections in five categories, among them Best Instrumental Arrangement; Best Composition; and Best Instrumental Solo."

Bell has been a touchstone in the SD jazz community for many years, making her presence known initially with her contribution to the Peter Sprague/Dance of the Universe record The Space Between Two Thoughts back in the '80s. Her first national exposure came on a Dave Mackay release, Love Will Win, on Discovery Records with Mackay on piano and Andy Simpkins on bass, which earned a four and a half star (out of five) rating from the iconic LA Times jazz critic Leonard Feather, and made the Grammy list for Best New Artist.

In 2008, Bell signed a multi-album deal with Resonance Records, featured in this month's Downbeat magazine. Her 2009 Resonance release, Lori Bell, The Music Of Djavan was nominated for Best Jazz Album at the San Diego Music Awards.

Bell is an unusually versatile musician. She can navigate the intricate harmonies of bebop, explore the sensual rhythms of Brazilian music or flirt with the edges of the "extended-techniques" of more modern jazz. In addition she is well versed in classical music, having played eight classical recitals in the last year. " I love playing classical music, because it keeps my on my toes, and gives me inspiration for improvising," she says.

Indeed, Ms. Bell is planning on releasing her first classical music CD next year featuring an all 20th Century program of composers Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, and Paul Hindemith in duet with longtime musical associate Diane Snodgrass.

In the meantime she keeps busy with performing, locally with guitarist Joey Carano, and bassist Bob Magnusson. In LA, she gigs with three very different pianists: ex-David Bowie sideman Mike Garson, Mackay, (who's about to turn 80), and Israeli born virtuoso Tamir Hendelman. Her band with Hendelman recently played at the LA Philharmonic Music Library, and she appeared with the Garson sextet at SOKA University in Orange County.

Bell has an upcoming gig at Dizzy's on Feb. 12, with Mike Garson and Bob Magnusson. Click this link to catch her on YouTube: youtu.be/5IM-362TivA

Photo by Michael Oletta

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SharonDuBois Dec. 23, 2011 @ 11:15 a.m.

Congratulations Lori Bell! Such excellent News!!!


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