The African American Jazz Caucus, Inc. is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and perpetuating the rich cultural heritage and legacy of jazz, which is one of our indigenous musical art forms—accentuating Its Roots from Mother Africa, which has evolved and developed Global Fruits.
Dr. Larry Ridley
Mr. Anderson White
1933 - 2000
The Black Jazz Music Caucus (BJMC) of the National Association of Jazz Educators (NAJE) was founded in 1977 primarily by Larry Ridley and Anderson White at the NAJE Conference in Daytona Beach, Florida. The initial purpose in forming the Caucus was to increase the representation of African American Jazz artists and educators within the larger body of the Jazz Educators Association which originated as a spinoff of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Both jazz organizations have since expanded their concepts, outreach and parameters. As a result, they each have renamed themselves, the African American Jazz Caucus (AAJC) in the year 2000 and the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) in 2001. The early aims of the Caucus were also to provide support to African American Jazz artists and educators at elementary, secondary and higher educational institutions. Since the Caucus inception, it has produced clinics, workshops and performances annually at the NAJE/IAJE Conferences. These activities have featured highly acclaimed African American jazz artists including the Harlem Renaissance Jazz Orchestra, Barry Harris, Stanley Turrentine, Hank Marr, Everett Greene, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, Phil Ranelin, Billy Higgins and many others.
The activities of the Caucus in the late 1970s to the present continue to have a profound impact on Jazz education. They help to ensure that all Jazz educators recognize and acknowledge accurately the African American progenitors and their contributions made to the Jazz art form, i.e., its African, African American historic cultural, spiritual aesthetic and musical roots, stylistic individuality, diversity, improvisation, theory, composition and arranging concepts. As more and more educational institutions continue to establish courses and degree programs in Jazz performance, compostion, arranging, history, pedagogy and the music industry, the AAJC is actively working to develop the resources to provide much needed support to Jazz artists and educators. The AAJC has become a proactive entity in addressing the challenges that its members face in teaching Jazz at the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels. These challenges include the creation of employment opportunities, the sustenance and protection of employment and programming, the allocation of adequate resources, and, the creation and monitoring of curricula that rightfully acknowledge and position the history and contributions of African Americans as the progenitors of the Jazz art form.
AAJC President Badi Murphy appointed Larry Ridley, internationally renowned jazz artist and member of the IAJE Hall of Fame, as the Executive Director of the AAJC in the Fall of the year 2000. Ridley's first goal and accomplishment came to fruition in 2001 with the acquisition of the organization's I.R.S. 501, (C) 3, tax exempt status. This was an important step in the expansion of the fiscal and programming capabilities of the AAJC. Through his creative vision and ongoing efforts, the African American Jazz Caucus also began to establish a stronger cooperation of networking, interaction and interfacing as an affiliate of the former International Association for Jazz Education.
The National Association of Schools of Music, NASM, is an organization of schools, colleges, and universities that offer music studies. The organization was founded in 1924 and is recognized by the United States Department of Education. It has 589 institutional members and has established threshold standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials. Institutional membership is obtained and continued through the peer-review process of accreditation. NASM provides statistical information, professional development, and policy analysis services. It also makes available for purchase many helpful publications, including a listing of accredited institutions. An important liaison in 2001 was instigated by Executive Director Ridley and established in an AAJC SubCommittee (Ridley, Dr. Jesse McCarroll, Ben Dixon) spending a full day meeting with the NASM Executive Director, Dr. Samuel Hope. The agenda was the reviewing of the guidelines and criteria used by NASM in the accreditation of jazz degree programs at colleges, universities and conservatories of music in the United States. The meeting was very substantive and thorough in it's review and analysis. All of the meeting's suggested recommendations for revision were unanimously accepted and approved by the NASM Board of Directors.
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A specialist in the pedagogy and performance of
African American folk-based music styles, Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin serves on the faculty at Princeton University and Yale University, Institute of Sacred Music.
In addition to her academic appointment,
Dr. Robinson-Martin is an internationally recognized clinician and performer, the creator of Soul Ingredients® Methodology and Voice Studio, serves on the national faculty of the Gospel Music Workshop of America and LoVetri Institute of Somatic Voicework™, is the executive director of the African American Jazz Caucus, is a board director for the Jazz Education Network, on the editorial
board of Journal of Singing, and is a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing. Her latest album, All or Nothing, was released Aug 2021 and is available on all digital platforms.
Visit www.DrTrineice.com for more information.
An educator and professional Jazz musician, Dr. Reginald Lewis is the current Director of Jazz at Illinois Wesleyan University and teaches applied lessons and Jazz Improvisation at Chicago State University.
Dr. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Music from Jackson State University, a Master of Music from the University of Manitoba in Canada, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from
the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is the current president of The African American Jazz Caucus, helping guide the volunteer-driven organization to fulfill the mission to protect, preserve, and perpetuate the rich cultural heritage of jazz. In addition to his numerous past performances on stage and screen, including a featured member of Little Richard’s band in “Get on Up,” a Universal Studios biopic of James Brown, and various International Jazz Festivals and performances and Masterclasses with “Simply This,” Reginald recently performed at the Further Jazz Festival in Normal, IL., and guest conducted the HBCU All-Star Jazz Band at the Midwest Band Clinic in December 2022.
An Assistant Professor of Music Education at Queens College, CUNY, Iantheia Calhoun is Chair of this year's AAJC Mentor Initiatives at the 15th annual Jazz Educations Jazz Conference. Her appointment at CUNY marks a historic milestone as the first
woman of color to hold this role at the prestigious Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM). Calhoun is a renowned guest conductor and clinician, acclaimed for her contributions to
middle and high school ensembles like the Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester. Her extensive performance history includes prestigious events like the HBCU Coca-Cola Bowl and Orange Bowl in Tokyo, Japan, with the Grambling State University Marching Tigers, as well as performances at the Santa Fe and Monterey Jazz Festivals and with the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Resurgence.
Big Band. These experiences have significantly
influenced her teaching methods and pedagogical approach. Dr. Calhoun holds a Ph.D. in music education from Indiana University, focusing on "Jazz and African American soul studies." She also has a master's degree in jazz studies and degrees in
School Building Administration, Music Technology, and Music Education. Her research focuses
on jazz education and innovative approaches to teaching music from the African Diaspora. She
has published in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, Contributions to Music Education, and
Psychomusicology and she's currently working on a Resource Guide for the latest edition of "Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz."
As a retired educator, music education advocate, and arts event manager for many years, Mary Rous actively pursues opportunities to assist freelancing in public relations and logistic planning for nonprofit arts organizations. Mary holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Music Education from Millikin University. She serves on the Executive Committee and as Membership Director for The African American Jazz Caucus and The Jazz Education Network Development and Scholarship & Awards Committees.
Mary worked as Project Director for the Gerald M Brookhart Arts in Education Spring Celebration, a Nonprofit Fine and Applied Arts program produced through the Peoria Illinois Regional Office of Education that served over 10,000 students from throughout Central Illinois and continues to advise and collaborate with Arts Partners of Central Illinois and Big Picture Initiative in Peoria, IL, and evaluate for several Scholarship and Grant selection committees, including the PNC First Grants. Since retiring from teaching and working with public schools in Peoria, Peoria Height,s and Peoria Regional Office of Education for 30+ years, Mary now splits her time between Madison, WI, and Virginia Beach, VA, and looks forward to participating actively in these communities.
Saxophonist, composer, and arranger Paul Combs holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Philadelphia Musical Academy and a Master of Music in performance from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His eclectic career has included performing, studio work, composing for theater, film radio, and television, and producing and announcing at radio stations in Philadelphia and Boston. From 1986 to 1999, in addition to performing regularly in various New England venues, he worked full-time in music education. Until retiring from teaching entirely in 2015, Mr. Combs taught wind instruments privately and was on the Lowell Jazz Day Camp faculty. He has also served on the
Board of Directors for several music education organizations. Now based in San Diego, Paul leads his own groups and works as a sideman with others. His early recordings were available on CD from CD Baby and Sea Breeze Jazz. They are now available on his website. “Dameronia,” his biography of Tadd Dameron, is available from the University of Michigan Press, and “Unknown Dameron,” his latest CD of little-known and previously unrecorded tunes by Dameron, is available from Summit Records label.
Mr. Stephen Foster is the 2020 Donald Meade Legacy Jazz Griot Award recipient. He is a musician, Music educator, musician, and arranger. He is a product of St. Augustine High School, University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff, Loyola University, and Band Director's Academy Jazz at Lincoln Center. Stephen's inspiration hails from studying Conducting/Orchestration under the tutelage of Dr. Ernest G. Chachere. He founded the Children's Academy of Music in 1975 in Los Angeles, CA. He also founded the Mid-City Full Arts Workshop and Foster Family programs and developed the Jazz education curriculum for Stax Music Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. He is a board member of AAJC and a member of the original planning committee for the Quincy Jones Muzik Consortium. Using a holistic approach, he has inspired thousands of students over 49 years to become viable, contributing professionals in our society. Read more about his latest project, providing virtual music lessons to St. Augustine's Marching Band 100 at https://pumpupthepurple300.org/home.
A passionate musician with 30+ years of experience performing, teaching, and organizing events, Terry Koger, a native of Trenton, New Jersey, began his musical training on piano and later on alto saxophone at an early age. His first jazz instructor, Thomas Grice, was instrumental in his early training, teaching Terry about improvisation and the art of teaching music. Terry holds a B.S. in Music Education from Morgan State University. In addition to his love of music, especially jazz, he developed an interest in black music research, studying the history of black music and the contributions of black Americans to the vast field of music, mentored in the field by significant scholars, including Dr. Samuel A. Floyd, Dr. Eileen Southern, and Dr. Dominique-Rene' de Lerma. He has published works in the Black Music Research Journal and the Black Perspective in Music. Terry has performed musical therapy in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area for the "Young at Heart". He has played for thousands of elders for the past 15 years, performing room visits and theme music programs at nursing homes and hospitals. In addition to leading his group, "TKQ" (Terry Koger Quartet, Quintet), he has been featured as a sideman with many area musicians. He has worked with Vattel Cherry's Soulstation, The Eubie Blake Big Band, The Deep Water Jazz Ensemble, and the Benny Russell Big Band. He continues to hone his craft in jazz on piano, vocals, and improvisation by attending the Vince Evans Jazz Workshop following the dynamic teachings of jazz pianist Barry Harris.
A sought-after clinician and respected educator, Roxanne Stevenson is a Professor of Music Education and Director of Bands, Music Education and Gospel Music Coordinator, and Woodwind Instructor at Chicago State University. She earned a B.S. from Bethune-Cookman University and an M.S. degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, both in music education. Professor Stevenson is the Jazz Coordinator of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities-National Band Director’s Consortium and Interim Vice-President of the African American Jazz Caucus. She serves as a panelist for the Illinois Arts Council director and master class teacher for the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Fine Arts Camp. She serves as an adjudicator, panelist, and guest director for numerous marching, concert, and jazz festivals and competitions. She has worked as band/choral director and classroom/music teacher in Illinois and Indiana elementary and high schools.
MUSIC NEWS: North Carolina Central University
Larry Ridley was interviewed by The Historymakers on November 30, 2016.
MUSIC NEWS: North Carolina Central University
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