Two dozen "Jazz Heroes" -- 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 and supporters 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 Duke Ellington 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 Café, 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. 2015 Jazz Heroes and biographies