Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jazz students to compete for scholarships in Ft. Lauderdale April 9, 2011

#JazzBluesFlorida #jazz #blues #Florida #Concerts #Festivals #Clubs #JazzClubs #BluesClubs

On April 9, 2011 the Gold Coast Jazz Society will present the annual "Jeanette M. Russell Jazz Scholarship Competition" for awards from the Jeanette M. Russell Jazz Scholarship Fund. The competition will be held at the Dillard Center for the Arts, Dillard High School, 2501 N.W. 11th St., Fort Lauderdale. Competitors will include more than 30 finalists from Florida high schools, colleges and universities who have met the financial criteria, other scholarship qualifications and are studying jazz. The students will participate in a live musical audition for scholarship awards to attend 2011 summer music camps or for tuition assistance to attend colleges or universities in the fall of 2011. The competition will begin at 9 a.m. and is free and open to the public to attend.

Thanks to a generous bequest from the estate of Jeanette Russell, the Gold Coast Jazz Society has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships in recent years to students from middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities pursuing studies in jazz.

"The dedication and talent of student musicians right here in our community has continued to amaze all of us since our scholarship program began nine years ago," said Tim Ingham, president of the Gold Coast Jazz Society. "We're so grateful to Jeanette Russell and our other donors and volunteers for helping us assist these terrific kids achieve their dreams."

"We've followed the musical progress of many of the students who have attended summer jazz camps, thanks to our assistance," said Pam Dearden, executive director of Gold Coast Jazz. "For most of these kids, attendance to summer music camp would not be possible without a scholarship. For those students attending college to study jazz, the scholarships have helped with the rising tuition costs."

Jeanette Russell, known as "Lady Jazz," was an avid jazz fan and frequently assisted jazz musicians in need. Originally from New York City, Russell was a fashion designer and consultant to prominent clients, one of whom was John Hammond, a jazz promoter and producer, who introduced Russell to the legendary Benny Goodman. At Hammond's urging Russell became involved in the jazz scene in New York and became intimate friends with many jazz musicians, record producers and writers. Mona Hinton, wife of famed bassist Milt Hinton, dubbed Jeanette "Lady Jazz." When she retired to South Florida, Russell and her long-time companion, St. Louis Ray, became an active participant in the Gold Coast Jazz Society's concerts and events. Her love of jazz lives on through her scholarship program.

The Gold Coast Jazz Society is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to perpetuate and advance jazz through performances, education and outreach activities. For more information call 954-524-0805 or visit http://www.goldcoastjazz.org.

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