Jazz Journalists Association

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The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) is an international organization of all types of media professionals who document, promulgate, or appreciate jazz. As of 2016, it has approximately 250 members, including professional journalists, students, industry associates and supporting institutions, primarily in North America but also on other continents. The mission of the association is "to promote high standards and respect for our works, to create a professional network, and to increase general interest in jazz." It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The president of the association (as of 2016) is jazz writer Howard Mandel.[1][2]

The organization was founded after writers and broadcasters involved in jazz convened in 1987 in Chicago. Since then the JJA has held meetings and panel discussions, frequently coinciding with major jazz festivals around North America, and online activities including its eyeJAZZ video training webinars.[3] It established a website, www.Jazzhouse.org, in 1996, and in 2007 transferred activities to JJANews.org and Members.jazzjournalists.org; the JJA also maintains Facebook pages for specific activities. The JJA's quarterly journal, Jazz Notes, is archived at JJANews.org along with new content. JJANews focuses on business-to-business information, for journalists and others professionally involved in jazz.[4]

Jazz Awards[edit]

In 1997, the Association in association with producer Michael Dorf, then of the Knitting Factory, founded its Jazz Awards, which are presented in 41 categories (as of 2016) for excellence in both music and music journalism. Originally the awards were presented at a party in New York each June; as of 2014 the awards for music are announced April 15 and presented by JJA members to musicians at their performances throughout the US. The awards for journalism and media are announced and presented at a party in June in New York.

In 2010 the JJA established a media campaign called "Jazz April" to help celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month (as declared by the Smithsonian Institution) culminating in International Jazz Day (established by UNESCO with support from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz). The JJA's JazzApril "satellite parties" honor local "Jazz Heroes" to help demonstrate the decentralized and varied nature of jazz activities; the heroes and parties also serve as tentpolls upon which to hang local media jazz coverage. At these events, intended to be free public parties, honorees who the JJA formerly called members of an "A Team" --  "activists, advocates, altruists, aideers and abettors of jazz" -- are presented with engraved statuettes. Their bios, portraits and a collage of each year's honorees are also featured on the JJA's international media channels. Jazz Hero parties have taken place in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Bloomington IN, Chicago, Detroit, Gainesville, Los Angeles, Madison, Nashville, Oakland, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Portland OR, San Francisco, Seattle, Scottsdale, St. Louis, Tallahassee, Tucson, Vancouver, Woodstock, and Auckland, New Zealand.[5][6] The JJA Jazz Awards were streamed as live video in 2010 and 2011; those programs are archived in their entirety at UStream.com.


  1. ^ "About the Jazz Journalists Association", JJ News.
  2. ^ Howard Mandel website.
  3. ^ "About the Jazz Journalists Association". JJA. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ Szwed, John F. (2000). Jazz 101: a complete guide to learning and loving jazz. Hyperion. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-7868-8496-4. 
  5. ^ Mergner, Lee (June 15, 2010). "Jazz Journalists Association announced winners of annual awards". JazzTimes. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ "The 13th annual JJA Jazz Awards" (pdf). Jazz Notes. Jazz Journalists Association. 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 

External links[edit]