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The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (AJHoF) was founded in 1978, and opened a museum on September 18, 1993, with a mission "to foster, encourage, educate, and cultivate a general appreciation of the medium of jazz music as a legitimate, original and distinctive art form indigenous to America. Its mission is also to preserve a continued and sustained program of illuminating the contribution of the State of Alabama through its citizens, environment, demographics and lore, and perpetuating the heritage of jazz music." It is located in Birminghammarker, Alabamamarker, USAmarker.

The AJHoF Museum

The museum is located in Birmingham's historic Carver Theatre, which is part of the Birmingham Civil Rights District, along with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institutemarker, 16th Street Baptist Churchmarker and Kelly Ingram Parkmarker. The museum contains more than of exhibits. The Jazz Hall of Fame also sponsors jazz performances around the city and brings jazz to many local students with school visits from musicians. Along with jazz memorabilia such as paintings, quilts, instruments, and personal effects of such artists as Ella Fitzgerald and W.C. Handy, the tour experience itself is guided by Dr. Frank Adams.

Free Saturday Jazz Classes

Every Saturday morning since 1999, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame has offered jazz classes, available free to any resident of the state of Alabama. These classes are taught by a faculty of professionals, organized by Director of Student Jazz Programs Ray Reach and by Director of Education Emeritus Dr. Frank Adams. Collectively, the members of the faculty form a performing ensemble known as the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars (the AJHoF All-Stars). These free classes are supported by grants from the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham and other sources. In these classes, students learn to read and improvise jazz.

The "Fun With Jazz" Educational Program

The Fun With Jazz Educational Program is sponsored by AJHoF and presented, free of charge, in schools. Beginning in 2006, founder Ray Reach and a faculty of jazz professionals (the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars) have presented free one-hour lessons introducing jazz through live performance and interactive activities. The program, which was originated under the auspices of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Alys Stephens Centermarker, includes four presentations.

AJHoF Annual Student Jazz Festival

Every year, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame sponsors a Student Jazz Festival, open to middle school, high school and college jazz bands. The festival is non-competitive, and bands are invited to play and be adjudicated by noted jazz authorities. Awards for "Band of Distinction" and "Outstanding Soloist" are made in each of the categories: Middle School, High School, Junior College and College.

Past Award Recipients at the AJHoF Student Jazz Festival

Annual "Taste of 4th Avenue" Jazz Festival

During the fall of each year, the "Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival" takes place, jointly sponsored by the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and Urban Impact of Birmingham.

Musical Instrument Recycling Program

Every year, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame accepts contributions of used, but repairable, instruments, donated by supporters of jazz in Alabama. Numerous instruments have been donated, many by famous musicians such as Lou Marini, Erskine Hawkins, Sammy Lowe and Haywood Henry. These recycled instruments are put to use by students of the AJHoF educational programs.

List of Inductees


  1. History, official site

External links

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