The Herlin Riley Quartet is returning for their fourth performance at Savannah Music Festival (SMF) alongside the Delvón Lamarr Organ Trio, who will be performing at SMF for their first time.

Riley is a percussionist from New Orleans. His style derives from the vibrant and traditional jazz of his hometown. He is best known for his time spent playing alongside the acclaimed pianist Ahmad Jamal and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

“I embrace all aspects of Jazz, for me as a drummer all music starts with rhythm,” Riley said. “The rhythm of a particular groove determines the style of it and I like playing all kinds of styles.”

His experience encompasses multiple forms of jazz and rhythm, feeding a diverse, pocket drumming style.


Riley was born into a world of music. His mother played piano and sang gospel music, but he primarily lived with his grandparents growing up. There he he spent a lot of time with his grandfather who had been a drummer for Louis Armstrong in 1913.

Riley started playing the drums at the age of three. He spent four years in high school and college studying trumpet, until he completely gave it up to concentrate on his drumming.

The Delvón Lamarr Organ Trio is a American soul jazz group that was founded by Amy Novo—Lamarr’s wife and band manager. The group originally formed in 2015 and is native to Seattle, Washington.

The trio is best known for their soul and jazz sounds. Lamarr provides a soulful organ tone, with Jimmy James on guitar and Doug Octa Port on drums. The group carries rhythmic patterns of traditional jazz.

Lamarr originally started as a drummer and trumpet player. He then switched to organ at age 22. He currently plays a Hammond B-3 organ, which played a huge role in shaping the technology for keyboards and synthesizers in the 50’s and 60’s.

The trio’s debut album “Close But No Cigar,” which was released by Colemine Records in both 2018 and reached No. 1 on the U.S. Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and No. 3 on the U.S. Jazz Albums chart