Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
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."
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.
- 1978: Frank Adams, Amos Gordon, Erskine Hawkins, Haywood Henry, Sammy Lowe, 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 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, 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 Coman, LaVergne Comer, Dolly Brown Gibson, Marcellus Green, Frank Greer, Monroe Kennedy, Robert McCoy, Neal 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 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, Carol Hayes, David Vann, Lewis White)
- 1986: Lucky Davis, Henry Glover, Hortense Henderson, Thomas Lyle, Mary Alice Marable, Jack Marhsall, 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
- 2002 - 2007: No inductions
- 2008: Frank Davis Jr, Gene Conners, Roy Yarbrough, Harry Simms, Sonny Harris, Grover Mitchell, Steve Sample, Bart Grooms
- 2015: Mart Avant, Rick Bell, Daniel Jose Carr, Marion Evans, Jean Kittrell, Gary Motley, George E. Washington, Fred Wesley Jr, John Hayden, Robert Horton, Don Jones, Hal Kemp, Al Killian, Jack Marshall, Phelton Simmons, Eb Swingle, Ward Swingle
- Edgemon, Erin (February 9, 2017) "Carver Theatre, a Birmingham cultural icon, may finally be restored." The Birmingham News
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame website
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame at Wikipedia.com
- Article about Jazz Education at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in B-Metro Magazine