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2012 JJA Jazz Awards in Full June Swing – Parties from New York to New Zealand & In-Between

May 28th, 2012 | By

The 16th annual JJA Jazz Awards are being celebrated June 18 to 24 with a dozen parties in cities internationally

— Auckland New Zealand, Ottawa and in the U.S. from Boston to Tucson,  Gainesville and Tallahassee to San Francisco and L.A., besides Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Schenectady and New York, New York (to which reservations should be made now). The JJA’s efforts to decentralize, extend interest and participation in an annual celebration of excellence in jazz and jazz journalism continues for the third year of the “satellite parties,” where local jazz devotees re-emphasis the strengths of their scenes by reinforcing their personal connections and networks.

In Manhattan, at the Blue Note Jazz Club from 4 to 6 pm on June 20, attendees at the public cocktail reception — including Awards nominees, jazz journalists, Awards sponsors, jazz community and industry activists and ticket buying fans — will  meet JJA Jazz Heroes Robin Bell-Stevens (of Jazzmobile) and Adrian Ellis (arts consultant, ex-executive director of Jazz at Lincoln Center), applaud  author Albert Murray (recipient of the “Words and Music” Award co-presented by the

Robin Bell-Stevens

JJA and the Jazz Foundation of America), listen to three breakthrough jazz acts and learn who’s won Jazz Awards in 40 categories of excellence voted for by professional members of the JJA. Brother Thelonious Belgian Abbey Style Ale will be served as well as wine, waters and hors d’ouevres.

The parties elsewhere also hail Jazz Heroes, an estimable coterie of renown jazz educators, entrepreneurs, presenter-producers, grass roots organizers and longtime music community nurturers,at venues including the Blue Whale, B. Sharp’s, Bert’s, Leonardo’s, Wally’s , Mr. Head’s, Churchill Downs, Cafe Paridiso, the Van Dyke, the Top Shelf, and the Hall of Culture at the African-

Adrian Ellis

American Cultural Complex in San Francisco. The Jazz Heroes will be on hand, many of the parties are featuring live music, and they’re all open to all comers, free admission (though donations to the JJA and local hosts to cover expenses are welcome).

The entertainment in New York City — a ticketed event — is stellar and diverse. Greg Lewis’ quartet Organ Monk, featuring guitarist Ron Jackson, tenor sxophonist Reginald Woods, drummer Jeremy Clemons, is just releasing its second cd of gothic, grooving interpretations of the repertoire of Thelonious Sphere Monk. Singer Paulette McWilliams, an r&b veteran stepping out of supporting roles has received glowing reviews for her debut album Telling Stories (Reviver Records) and will accompanied by pianist Nat Adderley, Jr. Double-neck guitar wiz-kid Gabriel Marin and electric bassist John Ferrara are 2/3rds of the “sci-fi Middle East”  jazz power trio Consider the Source, and Gabe is a lead voice of the neo-fusion sextet Less Magnetic. He’s a virtuoso in an unusual microtonal, progrock, progressive jazz mode.

Albert Murray

The 2012 JJA Jazz Awards are the most highlighted initiative of the 250-some member non-profit professional organization, which works with a

mostly volunteer staff to advance the interests of journalists covering all kinds of jazz in all media. JJA initiatives have included the year-long online training and communications eyeJAZZ video project, panel discussions and enrichment programs at jazz ed meetings and institutions, workshops at presenter-producer-performer conferences, webinars and blogathons, talks at festivals including Newport and consultations with infrastructure groups like the Jazz Foundation of America as well as with individual members regarding best practices in the complicated current evolution of the journalistic landscape, digital and/or traditional.

The JJA’s programming is funded by members’ dues, net proceeds from the Jazz Awards, and in the case of the eyeJAZZ video project a Jazz.NEXT grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, with generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Ticket costs to the Jazz Awards, as well as donations and dues to the JJA (student, professional and industry supporter levels of membership are available), are usually tax deductible (consult your accountant).


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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