Clef Club Awards

From left, Nelson Parrish, Clef Club board member; Carla Washington, event chair; Sherry Wilson Butler, vocal coach; and Robert Clark, Clef Club board member.


During a recent press conference, the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, Inc. announced the recipients of its Third Annual Clef Club Jazz Awards, taking place at the Clef Club, 736-38 S. Broad St., Saturday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. A VIP Reception will take place at 6 p.m. The theme for the 2014 Jazz Awards is “Preserving, Presenting and Educating.”

This year’s “Distinguished Jazz Honorees” awards, which recognize “continued contributions and support of the arts and education,” will be presented to state Rep. Dwight Evans and Rhoda Blount, vice president of Community Engagement & Education for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, according to the organization. The Living Legends Awards will be presented to Pat Martino and Larry McKenna.

Honorees in the Jazz Musicians and Performing Artists categories include: Alto Saxophone, Jalleel Shaw; Tenor Saxophone, Odean Pope; Trumpet, Tony Smith; Trombone, Don Collins; Piano, Alfie Politt; Guitar, Gerald “Twig” Smith; Bass, Richard Hill; Drums, Justin Faulkner; Female Vocalist, Shakera Jones; Male Artist, Terrell Guy; Emerging Artist, Immanuel Wilkins; and Miscellaneous Artist, Lucas Brown.

“I don’t want to miss the uniqueness of the Clef Club, because it’s known for three things,” said Clef Club board member Nelson Parrish. “We do music education, we recognize that it’s a local place for artists to be members and be a part of, and we bring in the artists that are known throughout the country and the world. Look at this venue! When our folks perform here, it is an intimate venue. You are not 500 feet away from the stage, you are right here, and many of the artists that come here not only perform, but they also do education programs for our kids.”

“We’re just so happy that a lot of our children want to come back to the Clef Club,” said Lovett Hines, director of music education. We had Joey DeFrancesco — he’s one of ours — we had Christian McBride, and if you look at the Downbeat polls and you look at what’s happening in music today, especially jazz, a lot of those young people are young people that were home-grown here in Philadelphia, and a lot of them right here at the Clef Club. So we’re just so happy [about] what we do with the Education Department, and how committed we are to education. A lot of the musicians that were performing [this morning] were either teachers or students at some time, here at the Clef Club. So the support that we get from you helps us in a lot of ways — not only helps us to keep the Clef Club going, but helps us to make the music flourish.”

A highlight of the awards ceremony will be an address presented by board of directors president Ken Scott, regarding the status and the new direction of the Clef Club. Also featured will be performances by the Clef Club Faculty Band and the Youth Jazz Ambassador Ensemble, directed by Hines.

The Clef Club Jazz Awards recognize Philadelphia musicians and performing artists through a nomination and selection process made available to the general public. Each year, the public is invited to nominate the musicians(s) it feels “best represent the ideal musicians who have made significant contributions to the legacy of jazz in the city of Philadelphia.” Tickets are $45 general admission and $100 including VIP Reception. To purchase, or for more information, call (215) 893-9912 or visit

Contact staff writer Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or

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