Member and Donor Responses Tremendous!

Voting ends at midnight July 30. Input and replies from members and donors has been truly wonderful and exciting. As of the 29th, we literally have no idea who the choice will be.

How cool is that? It’s an indication of the vast range of knowledge among our members, and a great appreciation for the jazz community all around them.

The winner will be announced live at the JAMM Scholarship Group’s
Lansing Jazz Festival performance on Saturday, Aug. 4th at 4:30.
See full schedule and details at link above.
One last time, these are the finalists:

Gary Allen-nominated for his contributions to jazz, his mastery of guitar and for the lives he’s influenced. Through the love of his art, and his affable, inclusive personality, Gary is generous with his music and his encouragement. He is a seasoned master jazz musician and a good friend to many. A Founding Member of JAMM, he has been a Stockbridge, MI resident for the past several years, Gary has played all over the country and in Europe in bands big and small, and has rubbed shoulders or played with such jazz masters as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Paul Gonsalves, Ira Sullivan, David Sanborn and more. For a series he created at the Stockbridge Public Library, where residents appreciate him very much, Gary has discussed episodes of his own life in music as well as selected aspects, eras and artists of jazz and blues. A portion of every session has been devoted to Gary playing a few tunes for an appreciative audience on his 1952 Gibson electric guitar.

Jeff Shoup-nominated for founding the series, “Jazz Tuesdays at Moriarty’s Pub” and his weekly stewardship of stellar jazz musicians featured each week. Besides being an MSU Jazz Studies graduate and a great jazz drummer, Jeff has spent countless hours supporting JAMM by working with the Board to host the JAMM Member Mixer on the Second Tuesday in January, organizing the 2013 JAMM Tribute Honoree Concert for his mentor and teacher Randy Gelispie, and, as artistic director of Lansing JazzFest, making sure that the JAMM Scholarship Band and the current JAMM Tribute Honoree get a gig each year.

Mike Stratton-nominated for his extraordinary support of the jazz community in Mid-Michigan and beyond. A Founding Member of JAMM, Mike has given of his time emceeing at jazz festivals for many years. He has been educating audiences on radio, a voluntary role, on LCC Radio for 21-plus years on a weekly basis on LCC Radio, with his Vinyl Side of Midnight program. Live on Sunday nights, the show has a vast listenership in mid-Michigan and beyond. Thanks to the Internet and the rebroadcast of his show on, Mike gives exposure to countless mid-Michigan musicians through interviews on his show and playing of their music. He’s a lifelong student of jazz, always aware of who has a new CD or is doing something groundbreaking. The love and knowledge of jazz history in Mike’s heart and mind are almost enviable!

Thank you very much to all of you who submitted nominations for the 2019 JAMM Tribute Honoree. As a result of a blind, weighted vote, the current JAMM Board and Past JAMM Tribute Honorees have whittled that list of names sent in down to these three deserving individuals:

Gary Allen, Jeff Shoup, and Mike Stratton
Congratulations to all three of you!


If you are a 2018 JAMM Member or Donor, you will be receiving an email shortly to vote for your top choice to be 2019’s JAMM Tribute Honoree. The celebration will be held in November. Details forthcoming.

If you are not sure you are a paid and up-to-date member, email to find out. To become a member or to renew a past membership, visit Simple, easy process.


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

“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

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,

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:

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