Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (AJHoF) was founded in 1978, and opened a museum on September 18, 1993, with a mission "to foster, encourage, educate, and cultivate a general appreciation of the medium of jazz music as a legitimate, original and distinctive art form indigenous to America. Its mission is also to preserve a continued and sustained program of illuminating the contribution of the State of Alabama through its citizens, environment, demographics and lore, and perpetuating the heritage of jazz music." It is located in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
- 1 The AJHoF Museum
- 2 Free Saturday Jazz Classes
- 3 The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student All-Star Band
- 4 Notable Students
- 5 The "Fun With Jazz" Educational Program
- 6 AJHoF Annual Student Jazz Band Festival
- 7 Spin-Offs from the AJHoF Educational Programs
- 8 Annual "Taste of 4th Avenue" Jazz Festival
- 9 Free Jazz Workshops, Clinics and Masterclasses
- 10 Musical Instrument Recycling Program
- 11 List of Inductees
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The AJHoF Museum
The museum is located in Birmingham's historic Carver Theatre, which is part of the Birmingham Civil Rights District, along with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park. The museum contains more than 2,200 square feet (200 m2) of exhibits. The Jazz Hall of Fame also sponsors jazz performances around the city and brings jazz to many local students with school visits from musicians. Along with jazz memorabilia such as paintings, quilts, instruments, and personal effects of such artists as Ella Fitzgerald and W.C. Handy, the tour experience itself is guided by Dr. Frank Adams.
Free Saturday Jazz Classes
Every Saturday morning since 1999, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame has offered jazz classes, available free to any resident of the state of Alabama. These classes are taught by a faculty of professionals, organized by Director of Student Jazz Programs Ray Reach and by Director of Education Emeritus Dr. Frank Adams. Collectively, the members of the faculty form a performing ensemble known as the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars (the AJHoF All-Stars). These free classes are supported by grants from the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham and other sources. In these classes, students learn to read and improvise jazz. Graduates of the AJHoF Saturday Jazz Classes have received scholarships to prestigious Jazz Studies programs, such as the ones offered by the University of New Orleans and New School University in New York City.
The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student All-Star Band
Directed by Ray Reach, the AJHoF Student All-Star band is a select group chosen by auditioning students from all over the Birmingham Jefferson County / Shelby County area. The group performs concerts ans events all over the Birmingham metro area. On December 19, 2010, the group opened for grammy Award winning vocal group, Take 6 at Old Car Heaven in Birmingham. (See link, below, to the AJHoF Student All-Star Band Facebook page.)
A number of graduates of the AJHoF Jazz Educational Program have been awarded musical scholarships. Below is a partial listing of AJHoF students who have received scholarships:
- Jeronne Ansari - Jazz studies, University of New Orleans (The Ellis Marsalis Scholarship)
- Sam Albright - Jazz studies, University of New Orleans (The Ellis Marsalis Scholarship)
- Brad Fancher - Loyola University
- Matthew Watts - University of Mississippi
- Yirme Yisrael - Jazz studies, New School University
The "Fun With Jazz" Educational Program
The Fun With Jazz Educational Program is sponsored by AJHoF and presented, free of charge, in schools. Beginning in 2006, founder Ray Reach and a faculty of jazz professionals (the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars) have presented free one-hour lessons introducing jazz through live performance and interactive activities. The program, which was originated under the auspices of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Alys Stephens Center, includes four unique presentations.
AJHoF Annual Student Jazz Band Festival
Every year, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame sponsors a Student Jazz Festival, open to middle school, high school and college jazz bands. The festival is non-competitive, and bands are invited to play and be adjudicated by noted jazz authorities. Awards for "Band of Distinction" and "Outstanding Soloist" are made in each of the categories: Middle School, High School, Junior College and College.
Past Award Recipients at the AJHoF Student Jazz Festival
College & University Bands of Distinction
- 2004 - University of Alabama Jazz Ensemble A, "College Band of Distinction" - Tom Wolfe, Director
- 2005 - University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Jazz Ensemble, "College Band of Distinction" - Ray Reach, Director
- 2006 - Jacksonville State University Jazz Ensemble, "College Band of Distinction" - Chip Crotts, Director
- 2007 - Troy State University, "College Band of Distinction"
- 2008 - Jackson State University, Jackson Mississippi, "College Band of Distinction"
- 2009 - Troy State University, "College Band of Distinction"
- 2014 - University of Alabama at Birmingham,"College Band of Distinction" - Dr. Steven Roberts, Director
- 2015 - University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa,"College Band of Distinction" - Christopher Kozak, Director
College & University Outstanding Soloists
- 2004 - Omari Thomas, University of Alabama at Birmingham, "Outstanding College Soloist"
- 2005 - Omari Thomas, University of Alabama at Birmingham, "Outstanding College Soloist"
- 2014 - Kameron Dickerson, "Outstanding College Soloist"
- 2015 - Alex Garrett, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa "Outstanding College Soloist"
High School Bands of Distinction
High School Outstanding Soloists
- 2015 Matthew Belser, Alabama School of Fine Arts "Outstanding High School Soloist
Middle School Bands of Distinction
- 2015 Phillips Academy, Joseph Smith III, Director
Middle School Outstanding Soloists
- 2015 Jaeden Henderson, Phillips Academy "Outstanding Middle School Soloists
Spin-Offs from the AJHoF Educational Programs
There are a number of "spin-off" groups spawned by the educational programs at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Among these is a group called the "Neo Jazz Collective." A group of young students, enabled by the skills they learned at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, created this ensemble, with the intention of becoming a professional entity. The group is directed by Lud Yisrael. Recently, the group started their own school in Fairfield, Alabama, and is fast becoming a popular "Nu-Jazz" ensemble in the Birmingham area. (See the link below, under "External Links," to a video of the Neo Jazz Collective performing at the Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival.)
Annual "Taste of 4th Avenue" Jazz Festival
During the fall of each year, the "Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival" takes place, jointly sponsored by the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and Urban Impact of Birmingham.
Free Jazz Workshops, Clinics and Masterclasses
AJHoF offers free jazz workshops, clinics and masterclasses. Past guest clinicians include: Lou Marini (saxophonist), Eric Marienthal (saxophonist), Bill Goodwin (jazz drummer), T. S. Monk (drummer), Gregg Karukas (keyboardist) and many others.
Musical Instrument Recycling Program
Every year, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame accepts contributions of used, but repairable, instruments, donated by supporters of jazz in Alabama. Numerous instruments have been donated, many by famous musicians such as Lou Marini, Erskine Hawkins, Sammy Lowe and Haywood Henry. These recycled instruments are put to use by students of the AJHoF educational programs.
List of Inductees
- 1978: Frank Adams, Amos Gordon, Erskine Hawkins, Haywood Henry, Sammy Lowe, John Tuggle "Fess" Whatley
- 1979: Paul Bascomb, Dud Bascomb, John Bell, Jothan Callins, Charles H. Clarke, Cleveland Eaton, Johnny Grimes, Richard Harris, Jo Jones, James H. Mitchell, Avery Parrish, Sun Ra, John C. Reed, Laura Washington
- 1980: Walter Blythe, Babe Clarke, Peter F. Clarke, Jimmy Colvin, Charles Daniels, Wilson Driver, Jerry Grundhoefer, Calvin Ivory, Henry Kimbrell, Jesse Larkins, Shorty Long, Rushton Miller, Walter Miller, Fletcher Myatt, C. Julian Parrish, Hampton Reese, Alwilda Smith, John S. Springer, Sr., Newman C. Terrell, Iva B. Williams
- 1981: John Anderson, Henry Blankenship, Melvin H. Caswell, Richard Clarke, Victor Cunningham, Murray Harper, Jimmie Harris, Theodore Hill, George Hudson (Jazz musician), William Johnson, III, Warren Parham, Avery Richardson, Richard Sanford, E. W. Williams, Ivory Williams.
- 1982: Joe Alexander, Esau Coleman, Alton Davenport, Joseph Guy, Leon Hines, George Hudson, Lovell Litton, James Powell, Sam Ranelli, Tolton Rosser, Joseph Sanford, John Santoro, Roszetta Johnson, William Stewart, Robert Summers
- 1983: Hooper T. Abrams, Leroy Allen, Leatha Bell, Frank Carpenter, Paul B. Coman, LaVergne Comer, Dolly Brown Gibson, Marcellus Green, Frank Greer, Monroe Kennedy, Robert McCoy, Neil McLean, Bull Simpson, Jesse Taylor
- 1984: Doris Adams, Carl Atkins, Lucius Daniels, Ella Fitzgerald, Shelton Gary, James McDaniels, Robert Moore, H. T. Raleigh Randolph, Johnny Smith, Arthur Stringer, Sam Taylor
- 1985: Bo Berry, Edward A. Brown, Henry Caffey, Andrew Fair, Howard Funderburg, W. C. Handy, Jerome Hopkins, Everett Lawler, James Lowe, Willie Richardson, Lee Stanfield, Jonny Williams (Honorary inductees: Richard Arrington, Jr, Gloria Curry, J. Garrick Hardy, C. W. Hayes, David Vann, Lewis White)
- 1986: Lucky Davis, Henry Glover, Hortense Henderson, Thomas Lyle, Mary Alice Marable, Jack Marshall, Ellis McClure, Lucky Millinder, Jerry Reed, Dinah Washington, H. T. Ward, Zelpha Wells, Harry Young
- 1987: Guitar Allen, Donald Crawford, Jesse Dandy, Ted Galloway, Jerry Greene, Tommie Harris, Aldolphus Williams
- 1988: Horace Carney, Roosevelt Hatcher, James Henderson, Nathaniel Miller, Bobby Owens, Rose Marie Rushin, Bonna Mae Perine Samuels, Tommy Stewart
- 1989: Emerson Able, John Carlton, Eddie Castleberry, Samuel Fisher, John McAphee, Jr, Henry Pugh, J. B. Sims, Cornelius Aikens
- 1990: James Reese Europe, Joseph Giattina, William W. Handy, J. Earl Hensley, Nuncie LeBerte, William Lee, Irene Monroe, William Nappi, Jimmy Randolph, Evelyn Wallace
- 1991: Pat Cather, Andre Ford, Ann Graham, Eric Essix, Alex Gulas, Wilbur Harden, Cliff Nation, DeWitt Shaw, Pinetop Smith, James Swyne, Cootie Williams
- 1992: Earlie Billups, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Trenton Harris, Samuel Lay, Consuela Lee
- 1993: Nat King Cole, John Collins
- 1994: Cholly Atkins, Mary Ogletree, Willie Ruff
- 1995: Jim Bell, Countess Felder, Urbie Green, Henry Panion, Hassan Ralph Williams, Bobby Smith
- 1997: Victor Atkins, Jesse Champion, Foxxy Fatts, Thomas Lindsey, Johnny O'Neal
- 2001: Rickey Powell, Charles Ard
- 2008: Gene Conners (aka “The Mighty Flea”), Frank Davis Jr, Bart Grooms, Alvon A. “Sonny” Harris, Grover Mitchell, Steve Sample, Sr, Harry Noble Simms, Roy Yarbrough
- The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame official website
- Article about Jazz Education at Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in B-Metro Magazine
- The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame at Myspace.com
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars at Myspace.com
- The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars at All About Jazz
- 2007 Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival website
- Ray Reach - Official Website
- Listen to music by Ray Reach, Director of Student Jazz Programs
- Video: Neo Jazz Collective performs at the Taste Of 4th Avenue Festival
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student All-Star Band Facebook page
- AJHoF Student All-Star Band profile at AllAboutJazz.com