Each year, in conjunction with the Jazz Awards, the JJA also honors "Jazz Heroes,"activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities." Jazz Heroes are nominated by their communities and usually presented with their Award during a party or other celebration organized by local jazz organizations and open to the public.
Voting for the Jazz Awards for achievements starts with the JJA's professional members being asked to submit up to three nominees in each category. Nominees accumulating the most votes are finalists; ties in some categories result in fewer or more than five nominated finalists. Finalists are voted upon by JJA professional members in a second round to determine Awards winners.
top: Jazz Awards 2006 attendees, ©GENE MARTIN
bottom: 2009 Photo of the year, ©KRIS KING: Hank Jones, Montreal Jazz Festival 2008