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!

Minutes from JAMM Member Meeting, February 28, 2018

This annual meeting is open to any currently paid JAMM member and was announced in the weekly newsletter and on Facebook for one month prior to the meeting. The agenda, listed below, was also emailed to members as part of the invitation to attend:

Election of officers

Budget review

Treasurer’s Report

Presentation of $5000 Gift (tax/CD)–$4000 General Fund/$1000 Website Update

Presentation on Website Update

2018 event planning:

International Jazz Day Happy Hour Dance Party

JAMM Volunteers @ SSJF and LJF

2019 JAMM Tribute Honoree

2018 JAMM Scholarship Recipient

Old Business

New Business

Election of officers:
Lois Mummaw, president, opened the meeting at 6:30 PM. The first order of business was to find a secretary to take notes and compile them to send to members and post online. Candice Wilmore volunteered, so she and is now officially secretary and in this position on the JAMM board, until the next elections.

At large board member, D.J.Carleton will remain as At Large Board Member during in that position for 2018. In addition, Al Cafagna and Carolyn Ojala were elected to serve as At Large Board Members for 2018 in that capacity as well. Paulette Hatchett will remain Vice President. Lois will remain President, with Candice Wilmore assisting as “co-president,” since Lois top priority, for now, is taking care of herself and handling health issues. Carolyn Ojala volunteered to be added to bank account, and to assist Gregg Hill (who will remain as Treasurer) if and when needed.

JAMM thanked outgoing Board Member, Dave Cheyne for his many years of service to JAMM. We will miss seeing him at Jazz and JAMM events in the Lansing area. We wish him luck and hope he will visit often. He’ll be living in the Grand Rapids area, so he won’t be lacking in jazz events!

Budget review and Treasurer’s Report:
Gregg Hill, treasurer, reported that JAMM’s current bank balance is $4,000 and that there is another $1500 in our Paypal account. The main reason we are in such a good position has to do with something many of you may be facing soon, as you reach a certain age and have the options Gregg explained to us, posted, in text, here. Please consider JAMM, if you do find yourself in a position to donate to a non-profit rather than pay have some of your savings in taxes:

Note from Gregg Hill:
“At age 70 and a half, there is a mandatory IRA withdrawal.You are allowed to deposit your withdrawal into a 501c3 (JAMM is a 501c3) with no Federal tax consequences. I have copies of the table available. I have taken advantage of this provision to fund $5,000 to JAMM. We have had a longstanding need to organize our archives, so I have earmarked $1,000 of that amount for that purpose. We have a wealth of material that needs to be organized and the results of this project should be fulfilling for anyone who has participated in JAMM over the years.”

All in attendance offered thanks, and a round of applause for this gesture from Gregg. It is certainly needed and will be used wisely!

Gregg went on to report that JAMM’s expenses for the Tribute in November 2017 were $1500. Since we charge a $25 General Admission, this is a break even on the balance sheet. The Annual Tribute is JAMM’s signature event and is not considered a Fundraiser.

JAMM’s highest expense every year is the Annual Tribute Concert. In 2017, the gross expenses from the Jeff Kressler Tribute exceeded ticket sales by $1430.00.

The JAMM mixer in January, 2018, at Moriarty’s was a success, and generated income from renewing members, new members and a small amount from the purchase of merchandise (like t-shirts and mugs). Total raised was $900.

There was a discussion about donating JAMM funds in memory of Mike Eyia, Jr., the son of Mike Eyia, a founding member of JAMM and dear friend. Mike Jr. passed away in Februrary. No details were finalized at that time.

Presentation on Website Update:
Candice handed out a short list of plans to update the JAMM website, www.jazzjamm.com.

A) Create “Galleries” for still photos from past events

B) Videos: Place in more easily accessible and visible places on our site.

C) Freshen headlines and current posts on website itself, more often.

D) Create more visible and attracting ways to generate ongoing donations and new memberships

2018 Event Planning:
International Jazz Day Happy Hour Dance Party: Updates are forthcoming, as no definite plans were made other than unanimous vote to have a “Dance Party” on April 27. Jazz Day is officially April 30. We are currently looking for a venue for this party, which would likely start at 5pm and end at 8pm. The JAMM Scholarship Band would be the core performers. Charlie Wilson, of band 496 West, was invited to play with this band, and also invited to bring a favorite vocalist he’s worked with. Lois extended this invitation via Laverne, Charlie’s wife. As of these minutes, no confirmation, other than members of Scholarship Band and Doug Fritch, who leads and organizes them.

JAMM Volunteers at Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in East Lansing and Lansing Jazzfest:
Lois proposed that instead of JAMM having an information table or a JAMM Van, as we did at SSJF last year, that we, instead, offer our JAMM volunteers as the bucket brigade at each festival. (Lois and Carolyn alone collected $2,000 at LJF last year!)

The hope is that organizers of each festival will accept this offer. If that happens, JAMM will purchase printed aprons for each “Bucket Brigade” volunteer (who do not have to be JAMM members, btw). The aprons will have text indicating that JAMM loves and supports the festival. There will be a pocket on apron for volunteer to carry JAMM business cards and hand out to the audience.

Also regarding SSJF and LJF, JAMM voted to increase our contribution to each festival by $250. This year, JAMM will be contributing $750 to SSJF and $750 to LJF

2019 JAMM Tribute Honoree:
This discussion will be moved to another time, starting with Board Members


2018 JAMM Scholarship Recipient:
Two recipients have been identified and announcements about this will be made soon. It was voted unanimously to offer two scholarships this year, @$500 each, so total of $1,000 from JAMM budget. The reasoning for this decision is that Doug Fritch, JAMM volunteer leader of this band, told us the band needs a drummer. The other recipient is a horn player, nominated as is traditional, by 2018 JAMM Tribute Honoree, Jeff Kressler. JAMM will go back to offering just one Scholarship in 2019.

Old Business:
None

New Business:
It was suggested that JAMM become more active in sending letters or emails to new members, donors and other reasons to thank an individual or organization. Since we do not have an official “correspondence” volunteer, details on how this will be done are an ongoing discussion and as always, JAMM members will be informed as this project unfolds. If you are interested in volunteering for this role, and have some experience, please email jammprez@gmail.com.

An Update from JAMM’s President

You may be wondering why JAMM is honoring Betty Baxter as the 2016 JAMM Tribute Honoree on November 8th of 2015. (read more) Beginning in 2010, the first six JAMM Tributes were held either in January or February.  All of these Tribute Concerts were very successful but there were always concerns about the weather and, in recent years, concerns about overlapping with other jazz events.

Last year, our JAMM Tribute to Betty Joplin overlapped with an LCC concert featuring Thornetta Davis and also, later that evening, a Wharton Center performance from a touring “Hot Club” jazz group. JAMM made the decision last spring to “shake up” our event schedule to make it possible for more people to attend our annual JAMM Tribute Concert AND allow JAMM to promote our Honoree the entire year!  To this end, JAMM flip-flopped our Annual Mixer/Membership Drive usually held in November with our Annual Tribute Concert. This will also give us a chance to draw our Annual Sandy Izenson Scholarship Recipient earlier as well.

JAMM will be accepting nominations at this year’s Tribute for a current high school freshman, sophomore, or junior who is active in playing or singing jazz.  The nominee’s names will be put in a hat and the winner will be drawn at the Annual JAMM Mixer/Membership Drive featuring Betty Baxter now being held on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at Moriarty’s Pub in Lansing. This will give the JAMM Scholarship Group more time to practice before their gigs at JAMM’s International Jazz Day Party on April 30th (also featuring Betty Baxter), East Lansing’s Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in June and Lansing JazzFest in August.

So, get your tickets ASAP for the 7th Annual JAMM Tribute Concert to Betty Baxter–our 2016 Honoree!