It was a cool winter day in SoCal, that's Southern California, as my muse Heather and I attended LA & OC Audio Society's very special 25th Anniversary Gala. Originally formed by a small group of audiophiles many years ago, today the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society was ready to celebrate their 25th Anniversary by inviting all previous Award winners including Bob Carver, Chad Kassem, Tim de Paravicini, EveAnna Manley, etc. This event brings out many important influencers and engineers that help support our love of music.
Lined up and ready for the festivities from left to right: Casey Gibson, Thai Plastic and Chemical; Chad Kassem, CEO Acoustic Sounds; Dorin Sauerbier, RTI; Rick Hashimoto, RTI; Steven R. Rochlin, Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com.
This year marks their very first Arya Award and here's Bob Levi holding this Award for Wayne Shorter Emanon on Blue Note Records. Hosted by Dr. David W. Robinson of Positive Feedback, who is Executive Vice President of the Society and Chairman of the Blue Ribbon panel of judges, this brought more importance to the 25th Annual Gala.
This year it was John Atkinson of Stereophile who presented one of the hardest working guys within the audiophile industry, Michael Fremer of Analog Planet (and many, many others), with this year's Founder Award. And yes, still have all my original issues of Michael's The Tracking Angle magazine. For me this event was not just about a single winner or award, it was more about friends, 'family' and celebrating the joys of music.
Michael Fremer received a special custom turntable from Charles Kirmuss of KirmussAudio. Happy hat-wearing David Robinson did a truly incredible job photographing the Gala events.
Audiophile Recording Of The Year went to Wayne Shorter's Emanon on Blue Note Records, which was humbly accepted by musician Don Was who is President of Blue Note Records and Joe Harley, Producer and Consultant to Blue Note Records.
There was also a special President's Award that all-around great guy and humanitarian Ray Kimber, President of Kimber Kable, graciously accepted. Personally having the honor to know Ray for decades, he is indeed one of the truly great guys within the high-end audio community. Congrats Ray!
Deputy of the Los Angeles City Council Mr. Albert Edmund Lord lll
To bring extra special attention to marking a quarter of a century of the LA & OC Audio Society, Deputy of the Los Angeles City Council Albert Edmund Lord lll awarded Council commendations to Society President Bob Levi, Michael Fremer, and Bob Attiyeh / Yarlung Records.
Both longtime industry familiar faces, Enjoy the Music.com readers, and music enthusiasts who I've never met truly brought a sense of family to the Gala. We are brought together by our love of music, as the LA & OC Audio Society has well over 2600 members! Some say it is the world's largest Society for audiophiles and would have to gladly agree. Having attended many audiophile society events over the past few decades, Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society's 25th Anniversary Gala was without a doubt the largest meet-up I've ever had the honor to be a part of.
Having never attended a SoCal Society event, my muse/wife Heather and I were honored by President Bob Levi to sit at the very front table (dias). While hundreds were in attendance at various tables, Heather and I found ourselves front and center atop a raised platform with all around great guy (and very talented photographer) David Robinson to my right. David was extremely busy with his Nikon rig taking photo after photo to document this Gala.
Live music, great food and friendly fun! What more could one ask for? Oh, before I forget there was some very limited vinyl LP releases for sale. Yes, very limited edition LPs so if you missed it, you might have also missed the ability to buy a copy now before they're all gone!
Bob Carver, Roger Skoff, and Bob Levi.
So many wonderful things happened during the LA & OC Audio Society 25th Anniversary Gala that even now it is hard to remember them all! Overall, am filled with very warm memories of the Gala, seeing both old and newfound friends, plus live music and great food! For me it really didn't matter who won which award, it was the gestalt of it all. If you live in Southern California and haven't joined the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society I highly recommend you do so.
Heather and I truly thank everyone involved within the Society and those extras in attendance. It was a marvelous and magical weekend we shall never forget. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...