Meet 2018 JAMM Scholarship Recipient Justin Mason.

Julienne and Keith Mason, enjoying son Justin’s first performance with the JAMM Scholarship Band at Gregory’s Soul Food on Jazz Day.

Meet Justin Mason.

He is a junior at Okemos High School and one of two recipients of JAMM’s Sandy Izerson Scholarship Award, given in 2018. The Sandy Izerson Scholarship is given annually.

Justin has been playing trombone for seven years, since 5th grade, adding jazz to his interests in 7th grade, when eligible to join the school’s jazz band.

Justin states “The first experience that I can recall that really got me into
playing jazz was when I heard “Brooklyn” by the Youngblood Brass
Band.” The Youngblood Brass is a New Orleans-inspired brass group from
Wisconsin. “Brooklyn” written by Nat Macintosh, the sousaphone
player in the group, features multiple written trombone solos played by Matt
Hanzelka.

“It wasn’t long before I was absolutely obsessed, and recruited a
group of my friends to try and play the tune for our school’s 8th
grade talent show, though this didn’t exactly pan out.”

Justin said he didn’t actually start improvising until the next year, when he
joined the high school Jazz Ensemble, and began to discover more of
the jazz greats.

He states, “I slowly moved away from the harsher, older style of New Orleans
playing, and moved into the more “refined” styles exemplified in swing
and bebop. I started listening to Tommy Dorsey’s transcendent ballad
playing, echoed in the contemporary playing of Bill Watrous, and Carl
Fonanta, whose legacy is continued by Bob McChesney today. Other
favorites include Andy Martin, Wycliffe Gordon, and of course, JJ
Johnson.”

Cleary, Justin has a deep connection, not only to jazz, but to the trombone.
He made his first appearance with the JAMM Scholarship Band April 27 at
this year’s annual JAMM International Jazz Day event, The International Jazz
Day Dance Party, held at Gregory’s Soul Food in Lansing.

The audience was comprised of JAMM supporters and others
attending one of our events for the first time. It was great to present Justin as
the newest member of our musical family. His parents came as well, and
brought friends, so it was a very special event for the Masons, and for JAMM!

James McFarland Family Donates Sale of Art to JAMM

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James daughter Michelle Humes, left, gives check to JAMM Secretary Candice Wilmore

On March 24, 2018 a tribute to the Founder of Hotwater Works, Inc., James McFarland, was held on what would have been his 70th birthday and 40 years in business! He died suddenly last year, and it has been a very difficult time for so many, most of all his children.
 
His daughters, Michelle and Jessica, and their spouses, who have taken over the business, organized and presented this wonderful event. There was live music and a great hot tub sale.
 
James was a brilliant artist, in many mediums, but especially as a painter. He studied art at Michigan State University. When he died, so many JAMM members lost not only a great supporter, but more importantly, an irreplaceable, dear friend.
 
On the day of this tribute, his family decided to hold a Silent Art Auction of some of his works. During that sale, they raised $525, all designated as a donation to JAMM.
 
Since there were a few pieces not sold that day, the family will keep them at the store for a few weeks so that anyone interested can come in, look around and if desired, purchase a painting, with the proceeds also going to JAMM. Shown below here are the pieces still available.
 
The store is located at 2116 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI. Phone is 517-364-8827. You are most welcome to stop in during business hours or call first to make an appointment or ask about details on pieces shown below.
 

JAMM’s Board of Directors and other members who knew James are deeply touched and grateful for this donation. James’ presence is so sorely missed, but his family is keeping his dreams and work alive in wonderful ways.

We all miss him greatly, and we thank Michelle, Jessica and their families for this fantastic support of JAMM.

(Pieces still available as of 4/14/18)