The annual Jazz Journalists Awards includes Jazz Heroes, nominated by their peers for being “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities.”
I absolutely love the thought of aiding and abetting jazz.
Seattle’s rich jazz history has been made richer by trombonist, composer, bandleader and educator Julian Priester, who was presented with his Jazz Hero award last night at Tula’s Restaurant and Jazz Club in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.
JJA member Jim Wilke presided, and brought with him a number of records (yes, vinyl) and CDs that Mr. Priester appeared on through the years: with Abbey Lincoln, Sam Rivers, Max Roach, Duke Ellington (the exquisite New Orleans Suite), and Herbie Hancock. Jim also displayed a few select photos.
Kent Devereaux, Music Department Chair at Cornish College of the Arts praised Julian for his work there, as did bassist and educator Chuck Deardorf. Mr. Priester’s former student, now band mate, pianist Dawn Clement expressed her love and admiration with gratitude.
Jazz French horn player Tom Varner had fond memories to share, and author and journalist Paul de Barros summed it up nicely:
“…this is a guy who keeps wanting to see what the future might look like. We think of him as a direct line to the tradition, and he is. He can tell us all about the tradition. But I think he’s like a living embodiment of how the tradition just keeps moving. He can look in both directions, bring us the past, but he’s still looking ahead.”
Keep looking ahead, all you Jazz Heroes. You truly make a difference.