Friday, August 31, 2012

A tip of the hat richly deserved

Eric Jackson
WGBH-FM may not fully appreciate the impact that longtime jazz broadcaster Eric Jackson* has on his listeners - and the Boston community in general - but the jazz community at large does.

This week, Jazz Week has awarded Eric its annual Duke DuBois Humanitarian Award. The award is given to recognize an individual's long-standing commitment to jazz, jazz radio, jazz education and generous service to the jazz community. Jackson certainly is qualified, given his three decades of playing jazz, interviewing countless musicians, hosting live performances and informing his listeners of what’s going on throughout the southern New England jazz scene.

Jazz Week created the award in the name of Duke DuBois, a respected jazz radio promotion representative who died tragically in a fall in May 1997. His career spanned five decades with labels such as CTI, Blue Note, Scepter ABC. His last gig was as Vice President of Jazz Promotion for GRP/Impulse Records. Duke encouraged the best out of musicians and those who programmed the music and firmly believed in jazz education.

Jazz Week held its annual convention this week in Detroit in advance of this weekend’s Detroit Jazz Festival, a free downtown Labor Day Weekend music extravaganza. In prior years, Jazz Week held its convention in Rochester NY in conjunction with the Rochester Jazz Festival.
* (As I have posted previously, Jackson in July was moved from full-time jazz broadcasting on weeknights to three three-hour shifts on weekends, and colleague Steve Schwartz’s program and his producing duties were axed altogether). The programming changes and exile of jazz to the weekends has created a well-deserved uproar within the Boston music community and beyond.)

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