Monday, April 03, 2017

Richard Henderson wins 2017 "Jazz Hero" award from Jazz Journalists Association

The Jazz Journalists Association has named Richard Henderson of St. Louis as one of its local "Jazz Heroes" for 2017.

In a press release announcing the award, the JJA defines Jazz Heroes as "the Jazz A Team: activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz. They are the people who, many times quietly and behind the scenes and other times in a very public way, keep jazz thriving in our local communities.” There are 26 individuals in this year's group of award winners, chosen from 20 cities across the USA.

Described as "a constant, recognized presence on the local jazz scene for more than five decades," Henderson (pictured) has served as a mentor to several generations of young St. Louis musicians, and in 1997 was a co-founder of the not-for-profit organization Crusaders for Jazz, which presented jazz performances and also raised money for college scholarships for local music students.

Among those students were drummer Kimberly Thompson and trumpet player Keyon Harrold, who both are now internationally known and, as fate would have it, will be performing on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Henderson is the third St. Louisan to win the "Jazz Hero" award. The late Don Wolff, a longtime jazz broadcaster, MC, and advocate for the music, won in 2015, and Dennis Owsley - author, photographer, and host of "Jazz Unlimited" on St. Louis Public Radio, was a winner in 2016.

Richard Henderson will be presented with his “Jazz Hero” award in a ceremony held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. this Saturday, April 8 in the first-floor lounge at Jazz St. Louis headquarters, 3536 Washington Ave. in Grand Center.

Hosted by Jazz St. Louis, the event is free and open to the public, and will feature live music from a group of JazzU students and complimentary Brother Thelonious Ale. A cash bar also will be available. The festivities will end at 6:00 p.m., with separate admission required for the 7:30 p.m. set at Jazz at the Bistro featuring Harrold, Thompson, pianist and St. Louis native Lawrence Fields, and saxophonist Adam Larsen.

Edited after publication to correct the total number of 2017 winners and remove an erroneous reference to the year the awards started.

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