Jazz Journalists Association names Marty Ashby 2017 Pittsburgh Jazz Hero
PITTSBURGH – The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) has named Marty Ashby, Executive Producer of MCG Jazz, their 2017 Pittsburgh Jazz Hero. The association presents the award to people nationwide who have had a positive influence on their musical communities; “jazz heroes” according to the JJA are activists, advocates, altruists, aiders, and abettors of jazz. Ashby will be honored at MCG Jazz’s Bob James and Howard Paul concert on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild.
Ashby founded MCG Jazz at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in 1987. Over the past 30 years, he has presented over 2,500 concerts, hosted hundreds of educational events, and produced 50 commercially released CDs. Ashby has worked tirelessly to promote and preserve jazz by empowering MCG Jazz’s resident Pittsburgh musicians. He has provided production expertise on local musicians’ studio albums, obtained the technology and personnel to capture Pittsburgh jazz legends’ oral histories, and arranged for musicians to attain up-to-date professional photographs for promotional purposes. Preserving Pittsburgh’s jazz history, as it is made, is Ashby’s paramount goal and living legacy.
“Marty Ashby was blessed with two gifts: the gift of music and the gift to promote the music and the musicians,” said Joe Negri, American jazz guitarist, and an MCG Jazz Pittsburgh Jazz Legend. “I treasure my time spent with him, especially the making of our [Grammy] award winning album ‘Guitars for Christmas’.”
In addition, Ashby has served as an advisor for jazz service organizations and conferences, a panelist on several state art councils, and as a member of regional arts organizations, private foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has given consultations free of charge to countless regional organizations and presently provides private guitar lessons to up-and-coming performers.
A full list of all 2017 JJA Jazz Heroes can be found at http://www.jjajazzawards.org/p/2017-jazz-heroes.html.
About MCG Jazz
MCG Jazz is a social enterprise supporting the education programs of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a nonprofit in Pittsburgh, PA, whose mission is to preserve, present and promote jazz. In addition to presenting one of the nation’s longest running jazz subscription series, the MCG Jazz label has won five GRAMMY® Awards and is an anchor of Pittsburgh Cultural and community life.
Since 1987, MCG Jazz has brought audiences together with jazz artists at its 350-seat music hall in Pittsburgh for innovative performances and recordings. MCG Jazz Archive assets derived from concerts, workshops, interviews, recording sessions, off-site productions and other events includes nearly 32,000 hours of raw footage and is home to the personal collections of Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Mann, John “Doc” Wilson and Lee Tanner. For more information about Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, please visit their website at www.mcgjazz.org.
About The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA)
The Jazz Journalists Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the best use of media of all kinds --new and old, online and off-- to tell the story of jazz and develop new jazz audiences. The JJA conducts online training programs for new and veteran journalists and has also produced mini-conferences, panel discussions, "critics clinics," book signings and social events at jazz festivals, educational institutions and performance venues. The JJA sustains a mentorship program for emerging jazz journalists as well as networking and individual consulting services for all members.
The JJA Jazz Awards, given annually since 1997, are awards for excellence in journalism as well as musicianship. Local "Jazz Hero" awards are also given to community jazz activists and local parties and meet-ups are held in many communities as part of the yearly Awards celebration.
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