Rep. Conyers to Receive ASCAP’S Inaugural Jazz Advocate Award at Jazz Concert

Contact: Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez,

Geri Allen and Friends to Perform

WASHINGTON— Rep. John Conyers, Jr., (MI), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, will again serve as the honorary host of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) 44th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Jazz Issue Forum and Concert. The events will take place Sept. 25 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (WEWCC) in Washington, D.C.

“The influence of American jazz music can be seen and heard all over the world,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the CBCF. “Rooted in African-American culture, it is imperative that we preserve its rich history. Through the forum and concert, the CBCF ensures that jazz music perseveres for future generations and showcases talented artists who share the jazz tradition with new audiences.”

During the Jazz Concert, 8 – 10:30 p.m., Sept. 25 in Ballroom A of the WEWCC, Rep. Conyers will be honored by The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers with the first ever ASCAP Jazz Advocate Award in recognition of his extraordinary history of public and legislative initiatives for jazz music, including House Concurrent Resolution 57, also known as HR 57, and his latest bill, HR 4280: The National Jazz Preservation and Education Act of 2014.
Rep. Conyers will also present the 2014 CBCF Jazz Legacy Award at the concert to Geri Allen, Howard University educated pianist and composer. Allen is a touring and recording artist, as well as a respected academician and educator. Allen taught piano, jazz and contemporary improvisation at both Howard University and the University of Michigan. She is currently Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a Masters in Ethno-Musicology. On May 10 of this year, Allen was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Music degree by the Berklee College of Music.

Ms. Allen first performed for the ALC in 1990, in “A Salute to Women in Jazz.” Allen returned in 2010 as a special guest soloist with Maestro Gerald Wilson and the Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra. For this occasion Allen has specially assembled a group of artists reflecting her Detroit roots and Howard University connections: trumpeter Marcus Belgrave; saxophonist J.D. Allen; vibraphonist Warren Wolf; bassist Robert Hurst; drummer Gerald Cleaver; and 10-member vocal ensemble, Afro Blue.

Concert doors open at 7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., pianist Janelle Gill will conduct a Meet the Artist Conversation with Ms. Allen.

The 2014 CBCF ALC Jazz Issue Forum, entitled “A New Bill for Jazz: The National Jazz Preservation, Education and Promulgation Act,” will be held from 2 – 4 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 25 in Room 143-A of the WEWCC. Jazz stakeholders from the national, regional and local levels will discuss the potential impact of HR 4280 on their initiatives and programs.

The panelists will include Paul Carr, president and chairman of The Jazz Academy of Music; Professor Judith Korey, curator of UDC’s Felix E. Grant Jazz Archive; Linda Morgan, activist and founder of the Living Legends Foundation; Dr. Wesley L. Watkins, founder of The Jazz & Democracy Project; and Randy Weston, NEA Jazz Master. Concert Executive Producer Cedric Hendricks will moderate the panel.


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