The Jazz Journalists Association has announced its third annual JazzApril campaign. This year, as part of the event, “Jazz Heroes”-described by the JJA as “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz”-will be honored in 20 U.S. cities and Toronto. JazzApril takes place concurrent with the Smithsonian’s Jazz Appreciation Month, which culminates in UNESCO’s International Jazz Day (April 30).
The JJA will announce the names of all 2014 Jazz Heroes and details of each city’s presentation parties on its JazzApril website on April 1.
The cities in which the “Jazz Heroes” will be honored are: are Baltimore; the Bay Area (Oakland); Bloomington; Boston; Chicago; Columbia, MO; Detroit; Durham, NC; Hartford, CT area; New Orleans; New York; Newark; Pittsburgh; Portland, OR; Santa Cruz; Seattle; Schenectady; Tallahassee; Toronto; Washington, DC; and Woodstock, NY. More may be added before April 1. Organizations and institutions including A Place for Jazz, The Art of Cool, Elastic Arts, JazzBoston, Jazz from Bloomington, Jazzstock, Kuumba Jazz Workshop, the Litchfield Jazz Festival, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, PDX Jazz Portland Jazz Festival, and Yoshi’s are participating in JazzApril and the Jazz Heroes program.
According to a press release, “Past years’ Heroes have been jazz club owners, health care providers, philanthropists, record company executives, arts administrators and musicians whose personal influences have gone beyond the sounds of their performances to improve quality of life even for people out of earshot. Jazz Heroes receive engraved statuettes from the JJA, presented at free public parties. In many locales, Jazz Heroes have been covered by local media and mentioned in mayoral proclamations endorsing local jazz.”
The JJA’s JazzApril campaign, conducted annually since 2012, the release continues, “has provided concepts, contacts, suggestions and support for publicizing the creative vitality and economic viability of America’s indigenous ‘classic’ yet contemporary music. Jazz fans, businesses, arts organizations, musicians, journalists, presenters, educators and government officials are invited to participate using any of the wide variety of low or no-cost ideas posted at JazzApril.com.”