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Call for "A Team" nominees, as Jazz Awards preparations begin.

JJA at 25: Full speed ahead (renew your dues now!)

Feb 17th, 2011 | By

More on the JJA’s 25th anniversary year: Our most pressing current issue is getting all JJA members whose dues are up for renewal to pay up quickly, and recruit new members to join our efforts. Anyone who’s a JJA member, new or renewed, by April 15 will be allowed to vote in the Jazz Awards. Votes by those whose memberships have lapsed will be discarded. So if your dues are overdue — please charge the payment by clicking the “join/update” tab on the JJANews home page. Dues from members cover basic JJA expenses, including Internet overhead and minimal payments to part-time staff (lawyer, accountant, bookkeeper, web and social media director included).

Also requested from members — your nominations, please, privately sent to president@jazzjournalists.org, of “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz” to be inducted at the 2011 Jazz Awards into our “A Team.” Think a moment: Who’s a local jazz hero of long standing, not eligible for nominations in the usual Jazz Awards categories, who the organization should consider for acknowledgment of their works? Jazz-related health care providers, educators, club owners, festival organizers, philanthropists, mentors, community outreach people, publicists, researchers, arts organization administrators, television producers and playwrights — all have been recognized in the past by our organization (see the “A Team” lists for every year, in the Jazz Awards drop down menu above).

A name, a paragraph or two about why your nominee is deserving and of course your identification is all that’s essential. “A Team” inductees are determined by a vigorous discussion involving JJA board members and core consultants.

Ok — beyond that: Feedback on the “New Media for New Jazz” conference in January has been excellent, response to calls for applications to the eyeJAZZ.tv initiative has been gratifying and the 15th annual Jazz Awards gala plus “satellite parties” are now being planned (date/place to be announced shortly). Due to time constraints, we’ve pushed the proposed Midwestern conference on jazz journalism back to autumn 2011.

Our mission remains the same: to promote the interests of journalists reporting on jazz — in all its forms, in new and traditional media. We are essential to the jazz ecology, since without jazz journalists in magazines, on blogs, on the radio and (occasionally) TV, posting to Facebook, tweeting, lecturing, writing program notes and books, teaching and researching, photographing and videotaping, much less about jazz in the now would be acknowledged, known, understood and appreciated. It’s a job that requires professional standards and committed energies, whether it’s paying a living wage today or not. Being a jazz journalist is to add something to the jazz community — information, analysis, a sense of coherence, perspective. It’s hard, requiring knowledge, perception and sensitivity. Don’t let anyone play you short. We should be proud of what we do, and consider that those who diss it don’t have (for one thing) much comprehension of  the breadth of activities contributing to the ongoing life and development of a robust, innovative global art form.

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About Howard Mandel

Howard Mandel is an author, media and events producer, editor, educator, lecturer and president of the Jazz Journalists Association.

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