The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts, Inc. and its board of directors recently announced the inaugural "Philadelphia Clef Club Jazz Awards," taking place at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Clef Club, 736-38 S. Broad St.
Adopting the theme "Preserving, Presenting and Educating," the Clef Club Jazz Awards will "recognize Philadelphia musicians and performing artists through a nomination and selection process made available to the general public."
"We're going to honor, recognize and salute artists who have demonstrated a commitment to jazz music and the legacy it has in Philadelphia," said Sid Lucas, Chairman of the Clef Club Jazz Awards Committee.
"What inspired us is that we wanted to do something for the Clef Club, and we wanted to do something for the artists who come through here all the time — the musicians who are housed here. Initially we were attempting to have a cultivational reception so that we could attract some supporters of the Clef Club, but then we said, 'Well what about the other end of it?' And the other end of it was the musicians who really make jazz come alive here in Philadelphia. You know that Philadelphia has a rich tradition and legacy in terms of jazz music, and what better place to do it than the Clef Club?" So we said, 'Let's honor them. Let's do our first Clef Club Jazz Awards,' and we hope that this will be our signature annual event."
The general public is encouraged to nominate jazz artists in numerous categories by using the ballot posted at www.clefclubofjazz.org.
"We're looking to honor performing artists who are either from Philadelphia or affiliated with Philadelphia," Lucas explained. "So they can actually live in New York and be working in New York, but as long as they're from Philadelphia, they'll be fine. Or they can live in New Jersey, but if they're playing consistently with a band in Philadelphia, then we would consider that." Lucas says that the deadline for nominations is October 10.
In addition, Dr. Bernard Watson and entrepreneur John Dawkins will receive "Distinguished Jazz Honorees" awards for their "continued contribution and support of the arts and education," while saxophonist Bootsie Barnes will receive the Living Legend award for his contribution as a performing artist.
A highlight of the evening will an appearance by Board President Dr. Constance E. Clayton, who will address the audience regarding the status and new direction of the Clef Club. Also in the spotlight will be a performance by the talented Student Ensemble under the direction of Lovett Hines, as well as an impromptu jam session featuring the evening's winners. Light refreshments will be served.
General admission tickets for the Clef Club Awards are $45 for non-members and $35.00 for members. VIP tickets, which include an exclusive reception at 6 p.m., are available for $100.00. For tickets and information call (215) 893-9912 or visit www.clefclubofjazz.org and click on the event link.