Dallas Observer Music Awards

Get To Know Your DOMAXXIII Nominees: Best Indie Act, Best Jazz Act, Best Latin/Tejano Act

Welcome to our 2011 Dallas Observer Music Awards breakdown, wherein we'll use the weeks leading up to the DOMA showcases on Saturday, October 15 (which is also when voting ends), to explain the nominees in each category Today, we look at the nominees in the Best Indie Act, Best Jazz Act, and Best Latin/Tejano Act categories and see how each of these nominees got to this point. Read up on them, follow the links to hear their music and, if you're impressed, shoot the band some support in the first of a text vote sent to 61721 (see codes for each band below their names).

Best Indie Act

Air Review
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Why They're Here: Air Review take a Brit-pop approach to their indie rock. Lots of layered instruments, harmonies and well thought-out arrangements create lush, layered pop songs.

Burning Hotels
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Why They're Here: The Burning Hotels used to be one of the fastest bands in town, but on their recent self-titled release, they've slowed down a bit and let everyone else catch up. Check out songs "Beard" and "Allison."

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Why They're Here: Longtime Fort Worth musician Tim Locke has settled into Calhoun's music quite comfortably. This year's Heavy Sugar trots along at a leisurely pace, with 13 easy-going pop songs.

Spooky Folk
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Why They're Here: Denton's Spooky Folk are known for their great live show -- and for their song "Bible Belt," a sing-a-long country jam about living, well, in the Bible Belt. 

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Why They're Here: Denton act Sundress have been around in some form or fashion for several years now. But they kind of hit the reset button this year with the release of their new, Matt Pence-produced, self-titled EP.

Telegraph Canyon
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Why They're Here: Over the last few years, Telegraph Canyon have proven that they can write great songs, and put on one of the best shows in town. Chris Johnson and company have a way of engaging the audience like few others can.

Best Jazz Act

Damon K. Clark
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Why They're Here: Loungey jazz vocalist Damon K. Clark blends a bit of neo-soul with his jazz, often employing a swinging backbeat, piano and electric bass to augment his smooth vocals.

Hentai Improvising Orchestra
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Why They're Here: The members of Fort Worth experimental act Hentai Improvising Orchestra don't practice together, and they play non-traditional instruments, including laptops and some they create themselves. Thus, the band makes a sound and a style of jazz all their own.

Tatiana Mayfield
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Why They're Here: Being in close proximity to Denton's University of North Texas means that crossing paths with well-trained jazz minds is pretty likely. Tatiana Mayfield is a good example of a former UNT student making a name for herself in the local jazz scene.

Paul Slavens
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Why They're Here: Ever since he was in the band Ten Hands, Paul Slavens has been a well-respected member of the local jazz community. His wide range of style and penchant for improvisation make him a strong contender in this category.

The Singapore Slingers
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Why They're Here: With the rise of prohibition-era cocktails in Dallas, it only makes sense that The Singapore Slingers would be so popular. The Fox Trot Orchestra, as they call themselves, specializes in ragtime jazz.

Yells At Eels
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Why They're Here: Yells At Eels, led by Dennis Gonzalez and his two sons Aaron and Stefan, play experimental jazz all over the city, often times accompanied by a visiting international jazz musician in town.

Best Latin/Tejano Act

Lauren Adelle
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Why They're Here: Lauren Adelle's had an interesting career path, starting with a duet project with singer-songwriter Colin Boyd. Adelle took a break to study immigration politics and, after graduating, has returned to music.

Havana NRG
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Why They're Here: Have you ever found yourself at Gloria's in Addison, unable to suppress the need to dance to a compelling Latin rhythm? You should blame Latin orchestra Havana NRG, who play all over town.

Nina Katrina
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Why They're Here: Texas-born, South America-raised Nina Katrina has Latin music in her blood. She performs her easy-going, jazzy Latin tunes in several bars in town. Check her out every Thursday at White Rock Sports Bar & Grill.

Mariachi Quetzal
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Why They're Here: Denton mariachi ensemble Mariachi Quetzel aren't the type of musicians you might have to shout over at a Mexican restaurant. Since 2008, they have been deeply entrenched in mariachi tradition, and often perform at Dan's Silverleaf.

Parranda Venezuela
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Why They're Here: Traditional Venezuelan act Parranda Venezuela is made up of about 20 musicians who each play native Venezuelan instruments. Heavy on vocals, the uptempo songs are great party music.

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Daniel Hopkins
Contact: Daniel Hopkins