Jazz Journalist Association after sitting next to Howard Mandel for much of the Chicago Jazz Festival last year. Mandel is President and Executive Director of the enterprise dedicated to “the creation and dissemination of accurate, balanced, ethical and informative journalism on all of jazz’s genres.”
I hope my affiliation with the JJA will boost the profile of my ongoing documentation of Kansas City’s jazz scene, and will in some small way contribute to an eventual reestablishment of Kansas City as a vital jazz hub. The first true benefit I redeemed after paying my dues fee derived from the satisfaction I felt in nominating Kansas City’s Peter Schlamb alongside Joel Ross and Stefan Harris as Mallet Player of the Year in the JJA Jazz Awards. Even though Schlamb didn’t make the final ballot, I was pleased to give him a little shine.
No musicians based in Kansas City were among the JJA winners, an omission that mirrors the discouraging results of almost every jazz poll of recent years. I intend to continue to do my part in bringing the work of worthy artists like Schlamb to prominence in the years to come.
(Original image of Joel Ross at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2019 by Plastic Sax.)