Music legend receives award for dedication to jazz

April 11, 2014 | Arts, News, UToday, — Communication and the Arts
By Khyara Harris

Jon Hendricks, Distinguished Professor of Jazz at The University of Toledo, has been honored with the Satchmo Award for his lifetime commitment to jazz.

UT music students have the chance to learn jazz history from a man who helped shape it: Jon Hendricks.

UT music students have the chance to learn jazz history from a man who helped shape it: Jon Hendricks.

The Satchmo Award was created by the Louis Armstrong Education Foundation and represents the life and legacy of the trumpeter and singer. Awardees are selected for their lasting contributions in the world of music, jazz education, and how well they reflect the spirit of Armstrong.

“Receiving this award means everything. Louis single-handedly molded a national structural art form, and I was able to know him since I was 10 years old. To be honored in his name, that is everything,” Hendricks said.

He accepted the honor for making jazz more enjoyable and educating others about the American art form last fall in New York City.

Hendricks, who started teaching at UT in 2000, began his musical career in Toledo by learning every song in the jukebox at Stanley Cowell’s hamburger joint on Indiana Avenue and singing to the customers.

He went on to become known as the father of vocalese — the art of setting lyrics to established jazz standards. In 1957, he made a splash in the music world as part of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross; the influential trio used their voices to sing the parts of instruments.

To date, Hendricks has won Emmy, Peabody and Grammy awards. His name was added to the Jazz Wall of Fame of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. And he earned a National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters Fellowship and France’s highest civilian commendation: the Legion of Honor in the class of knight or chevalier.

In 2012, the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine presented him its What a Wonderful World Award.

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