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Originally published Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 9:30 AM

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Winners of the Golden Ear Awards

The jazz scene in Seattle can be described as young, cerebral and edgy, a characterization reinforced this year by many of the winners of the Earshot Jazz organization's Golden Ear Awards.

Special to The Seattle Times

The jazz scene in Seattle can be described as young, cerebral and edgy, a characterization reinforced this year by many of the winners announced Monday at the 2009 Golden Ear Awards, presented by the Earshot Jazz organization.

Among the winners:

Trombonist and Roosevelt High School senior Andy Clausen and his electronic quintet Sjenka, named the emerging artist of 2009.

Bassist Evan-Flory Barnes was the winner of concert of the year, for the debut of his epic composition for a large group, "Acknowledgment of a Celebration" at November's Earshot Jazz Festival. The trio of Barnes, pianist Josh Rawlings and drummer Jeremy Jones was also recognized as the best acoustic jazz ensemble of the year.

The duo of Neil Welch (sax) and Chris Icasiano (drums) was named the outstanding alternative jazz group.

Welch, Icasiano and Barnes are among several musicians who studied music at the University of Washington, whose jazz studies program is gaining in influence and reputation as the engine for the local avant garde jazz movement.

Saxophonist Mark Taylor, who earned a music degree from the UW in 1994, won recording of the year for his album "Spectre," which he recorded with friend and fellow UW grad, pianist Gary Fukushima.

Pianist Marc Seales and trombonist Stuart Dempster were inducted into Earshot's Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame. Seales is a professor at the UW; Dempster is a professor emeritus. Eric Barber, a Los Angeles transplant, was named the instrumentalist of the year.

The vocal trio Cocoa Martini (Karen Shivers, Kimberly Reason, and Kay Bailey) was named vocalist of the year.

Although presented in 2010, the awards recognize accomplishments and performances in 2009. Nominees are chosen by a committee of musicians, journalists and industry insiders, and voted on by fans. A full list of nominees can be found at

A community-service award was presented to Steve Peters, co-founder of the Nonsequitur Foundation, which runs the Chapel Performance Space, and to the University District jazz club Lucid, owned by David Pierre-Louis.

Hugo Kugiya:

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