Jazz Heroes from Coast to Coast

There were a total of 20 individuals and groups from 13 states and the District of Columbia who were named 2017 Jazz Heroes for their contributions to the performance, promotion and perpetuation of jazz in their local communities by the Jazz Journalists Association, according to an announcement by JJA president Howard Mandel.

In addition to Syncopated Times staff writer-columnist Lew Shaw, the other 2017 Jazz Heroes are:

Sam Yi, who has run jazz clubs in Atlanta for over 20 years.

Melvin Miles, Baltimore, a faculty member at Morgan State University.

Viola Plummer, founder-operator of a coffee house in Brooklyn, NY.

Toneka Reid, Chicago, cellist, composer, conductor, educator.

W. Kim Heron, Detroit journalist, radio host and historian.

Fran Morris Rosman, Los Angeles, executive director, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.

Jack Kleinsinger, producer-artistic director of Highlights in Jazz, New York City’s longest-running jazz concert series.

Andrea Canter, Minneapolis-St. Paul, senior editor/photographer, JazzPolice website.

Jason Patterson, president, New Orleans Jazz Celebration; producer-talent coordinator, Snug Harbor Jazz Club.

J. Michael Harrison, Philadelphia, jazz DJ for the past 24 years.

Marty Ashby, Pittsburgh, musician-educator who has presented 2500 concerts and educational events over the past 30 years.

Darrell Grant, Portland, OR, pianist, educator, jazz club manager.

Gilbert Castellanos, San Diego, trumpet master, bandleader who runs programs for young musicians.

Wayne Horvitz, Seattle, pianist, composer, mentor.

Francis Wong/Jon Jang, San Francisco, musicians-co-founders of Asian Improv aRts, that for 30 years has promoted the Asian-American jazz movement.

Richard Henderson, St. Louis, co-founder of Crusaders for Jazz.


Adam Gaffney, Tallahasee, FL, advisor, B Sharp Jazz Society and leader of its jazz education program.

Redhouse Family Jazz Family, Tucson, AZ, six musicians who keep their Native American heritage alive.

Judith Korey, Washington, D.C., University of the District of Columbia music professor who oversees the JAZZAlive educational and outreach program.

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