24 Jazz Heroes in 22 cities Announced by Jazz Journalists Association


Sign in to view read count
Educators, Presenters, Philanthropists, Fans, Players, Poet and Dentist Hailed as Activists, Advocates, Altruists, Aiders and Abettors of Jazz Honored

New York, NY: Two dozen “JazzHeroes"—activists of positive influence on their musical communities—have been announced today by the Jazz Journalists Association, a non-profit organization of media professionals, in collaborations with grassroots organizations andsupporters in 22 U.S. cities, launching JazzApril, the annual campaign celebrating local music people and scenes during Jazz Appreciation Month, culminating in International Jazz Day.

The Jazz Heroes are what the JJA used to call its “A Team: Activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz." This year's heroes include music educators, providers of financial, logistical, media and moral support, artists who put extra effort into community engagement, presenters and producers of Washington D.C.'s DC Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, Philadelphia's Ars Nova Workshop, New York City's Lady Got Chops festival, Tula's Restaurant and Jazz Club in Seattle and New Jersey's New Brunswick Jazz Project, plus a dentist who recorded a late 1960s pop-rock hit and now offers health care to his jazz patients at steeply discounted rates. Organizations collaborating on Jazz Hero events include A Place for Jazz (Albany), B'town Jazz, JazzBoston, Elastic Arts (Chicago), B Sharp's Jazz Cafe, B'town Jazz, JazzStock, Kuumbwa Jazz, the Portland PDX Jazz Festival, the New Brunswick Jazz Project, WEMU, the Mid-South Jazz Foundation and MCG Jazz.

Alphabetically, the heroes are:

  • Tatsu Aoki (Chicago), bridging jazz, blues, Asian improv and more
  • David C. Bradford, Sr. (Memphis), founder of Mid-South Jazz Foundation
  • Mel Brown (Portland, OR), soulful drummer spurs his hometown's scene
  • Don Chisholm (Ann Arbor, MI); supporting music students and jazz venues
  • Mark Christman (Philadelphia), solving presentations challenges
  • Kim A. Clarke (New York City), producing Lady Got Chops on a shoestring
  • Virginia DeBerry (New Brunswick NJ), turning a jazz desert fertile
  • Carole and Stan Fiore (Tallahassee), “regulars"—backbone of a club's success
  • Charles Fishman (Washington D.C), founded the Duke Ellington jazz festival
  • Charles Funn (Baltimore), trombonist's 20 years in a Baltimore high school
  • Dr. Nelson Harrison (Pittsburgh), connecting Pittsburgh and the Trombetto
  • Mark Sumner Harvey (Boston), minister-trumpeter-catalyst of Boston jazz
  • Monika Herzig (Bloomington, IN), rural communities and Girls Create Music
  • Tim Jackson (Santa Cruz), Kuumbwa Jazz from scratch, charge up Monterey
  • Avotcja Jiltonilro (San Francisco), one-woman multi-culti whirlwind
  • Howard Landsman (Madison, WI), the Snowy Egret of Madison Jazz
  • Dr. Bruce Milner (Woodstock, NY), a dentist's sliding scale for jazz greats
  • Jack N. Schaffer (Memphis), Mid-South Jazz Foundation'a right hand man
  • Lee Shaw (NY Capital Region), a pianist's jazz, even for her fellow patients
  • Mack Waldron (Seattle), a players bandleader is a players' club owner
  • Dr. Michael White (New Orleans), insuring the future of early jazz traditions
  • Don Wolff (St. Louis), an “I love Jazz!" broadcaster of vision and grit
  • Nicole Yarling (South Florida), the violinist-vocalist runs a boot camp
View the detailed biographies and photos of the 2015 Jazz Heroes

Local communities that nominate their heroes for JJA authorization obtain official proclamations from regional officials acknowledging their efforts, buzz about the Heroes and their April jazz activities to traditional and digital online media outlets, and hold public free events at which engraved Jazz Hero Awards are presented to the honorees. Information about these festivities willbe forthcoming.

Announcement of the Jazz Heroes is the first stage of the JJA's three-part 2015 Jazz Awards. Nominees for awards for excellence in jazz music and journalism will be announced April 15, and winners of the Awards for musical achievement will be announced April 30—International Jazz Day. Those Awards will be presented at musicians' performances nationwide. Winners of categories for excellence in music journalism will be announced at the JJA's New York City Jazz Awards party, to be held Tuesday, June 16 at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Manhattan.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

Visit Website

For interview requests or more information contact .

Post a comment


View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Jazz News


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.