Jazz Journalist Association Celebrate 26 Heroes in April

April 5, 2017

Jazz Appreciation Month begins this April to recognize and celebrate more than 20 “Jazz heroes” – people who have had massively positive musical influence on their local community, regardless of whether or not they are musicians. All over the United States, from San Francisco to Brooklyn, individuals who were identified as “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders, and abettors of jazz” will receive engraved statuettes at public presentations to recognize their work in their local jazz communities.

Jazz Appreciation Month has been organized by the Jazz Journalists Association, a non-profit organization of media professionals in collaboration with jazz grassroots groups, institutions, and supporters.

Recipients of the award this year include trumpeter band-director mentor Gilbert Castellanos, Asian Improv aRts founders Jon Jang and Francis Wong, and jazz instructor Adam Gaffney, who teaches jazz appreciation from his unique perspective as a blind listener.  Jazz Appreciation Month will also recognize women who are changing the sound of jazz, including improvising cellist Tomeka Reid, jazz photographer and historian Andrea Canter, Felix Grant Jazz Archives employee Judith Korey, and Fran Morris Rosman of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.

Organizations from across the nation are coming together for this year’s Jazz Hero events, from the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, to the Mason Tavern in Atlanta and Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. Other organizers include Jazz in the Neighborhood in San Francisco, B Sharps Jazz Café in Tallahassee, the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar in St. Paul, the Portland PDX Jazz Festival, the Arizona Classic Jazz Society, the International Jazz Day AZ Foundation, and the Calvin Jones Big Band Festival at the University of District of Columbia. 

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