Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

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The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (AJHoF), founded in 1978, is an archive and museum dedicated to preserving and honoring the accomplishments of Alabamians in the history of jazz music. Its executive director is Leah Tucker and its board of trustees is chaired by Jim Lowe.

Since 1993 the Hall of Fame has maintained a 2,200 square foot exhibit in the Carver Theater on 4th Avenue North in Birmingham's Civil Rights District. The Hall of Fame also sponsors jazz performances for schools and for the public, and maintains a roster of active jazz musicians and ensembles. The mission of AJHoF is "...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."

In 2016 the Hall of Fame commissioned designs for updates and expansion of its exhibit area from Studio 2H. Funding for that project is being sought by the board.

Programs

Every Saturday morning, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame presents free jazz classes, available to any resident of the state of Alabama. A faculty of professionals teaches these classes, under the leadership of Ray Reach (Director of Student Jazz Programs) and Frank Adams (Director of Education Emeritus). The members of the AJHoF faculty collectively form a performing ensemble known as the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars. These classes are supported by grants from agencies such as the Greater Birmingham Cultural Alliance. Students learn to read and improvise jazz in these classes.

The "Fun With Jazz" Educational Program is an sponsored by AJHoF and presented in elementary, middle and high schools, and in colleges. Starting in 2006, founder Ray Reach and a faculty of jazz professionals have presented free one-hour lessons introducing jazz through live performance and interactive activities. The program, which was originated under through the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Alys Stephens Center, includes four basic but customizable presentations. For more information, see "Fun With Jazz" on this website.

Every spring, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame sponsors a "Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student Jazz Festival", open to middle school, high school and college jazz bands. During the fall of each year, the "Taste of 4th Avenue" outdoor jazz festival takes place, jointly sponsored by the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and Urban Impact of Birmingham.

The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame accepts contributions of used, repairable, instruments, donated by generous 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 good use by students of the AJHoF educational programs.

Inductees

References

  • Edgemon, Erin (February 9, 2017) "Carver Theatre, a Birmingham cultural icon, may finally be restored." The Birmingham News

External links