The Jazz Journalists Association's 2018 Jazz Heroes
The Jazz Journalists Association's 2018 Jazz Heroes – 22 "activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz" in 20 U.S. cities – have been announced today, with their personal portraits and bios posted at JJAJazzAwards.org/Heroes. The Jazz Heroes campaign is a non-profit effort to give localities with a peg for jazz media coverage in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution's designated Jazz Appreciation Month, April.
Heroes include musicians who serve their communities with more than their own creative productions (such as New Orleans pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr., Baltimore vocalist Lea Gilmore, Atlanta reeds specialist Dr. Dwight Andrews, and Pittsburgh drummer Roger Humphries), educators, presenters, radio program hosts, photographers, philanthropist Robert D. Bielecki, Library of Congress researcher Larry Appelbaum and a New York City record store owner Bruce Lee Gallanter. Each Hero will receive an engraved statuette from the JJA at a public presentation in their own community. The list of all Jazz Heroes at JJAJazzAwards.org/Heroes includes details of those presentations, most of which are at free events.
The Jazz Journalists Association, a 501 (c) 3 professional organization of writers, photographers, broadcasters and new media content providers plus their supporters began celebrating Jazz Heroes in 2001 (they were then called members of the JJA's "A Team"). Sponsors of the JJA's Jazz Heroes campaign and 2018 JJA Jazz Awards include the Jazz Foundation of America, Berklee College of Music, the Joyce and George Wein Foundation, ASCAP, BMI, the Jazz Education Network; Tucson, Monterey and Montreal Jazz Festivals, Resonance Records, Concord Jazz, several other record labels, grass roots jazz organizations and publicists.
"These Jazz Heroes represent a large coterie of people who bring their devotion and indefatigable energies to the music that excites them, and that they love, " says JJA president Howard Mandel. "The JJA is proud to help shine the light on these people, and we hope regular citizens as well as journalists in all these widespread U.S. communities will join us in hailing their good works."