Ross captivates sold-out audience at Holland

Few artists can match the raw talent and versatility of Jamison Ross.

He is mainly known as a drummer – even winning the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competion for drums – but in the following years, Ross has shown to be an accomplished singer, composer and charismatic band leader.

Ross performed on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Holland Performing Arts Center’s Scott Recital Hall in Omaha.

Omaha was Ross’ second stop on his 13-date tour in support of his Grammy nominated debut album, “Jamison.” From the time he and his band walked out on stage until the final applause, Ross captivated the sold-out audience with a mix of emotional songs and personal stories.

Ross’ set that night included a mix of music off his debut album and some new tunes.

More than just a jazz artist, his compositions featured a wide range of influences.

“Sack Full of Dreams” showed his gospel roots with a universal message of a world full of love, ending with a standing ovation from the crowd. “Deep Down in Florida” was a slice of blues-jazz fusion that had rock solid groove and some of the best solos of the night.

A new song, “Mellow Good Time,” lived up to its title with a southern-tinged R&B rhythm that let the good vibes flow and had the whole crowd echoing the lyrics “live long, party strong.”

The show also featured a number of heartfelt songs and ballads. Ross would usually begin or punctuate these songs with a short story about how it was written or what it meant to him, such as “Epiphany” being about the moment in his life he decided to dedicate himself to his musical craft.

He also spoke about his relationship with his wife and daughter and how sometimes it’s tough being a performing musician, but there will always be unspoken love and dedication between them. These songs, like the more upbeat in his repertoire, brought applause and dancing from the enamored crowd.

Ross even came back out for an encore, a beautiful rendition of The Beatles classic, “Yesterday,” which was a perfect ending for that particular evening.

Jamison Ross was pure magic. He oozed with personality, and his music reflected that fully.

I am very grateful I could experience his show in such a beautiful and intimate venue, because I could almost guarantee he’ll be selling out the main auditorium next time he rolls through.

David S Hargrett