Syracuse Jazz Fest Founder to Receive JJA Jazz Hero Award

Frank Malfitano, founder of the Syracuse Jazz Fest, will be one of 26 recipients from 23 cities across the U.S. who will be honored with a Jazz Journalist Association Jazz Hero award for 2016.

Malfitano founded the free festival in 1983. Thirty-four years later, Malfitano will be awarded for helping bring communities together through jazz music.

JJA Jazz Hero awards are presented to people who are “advocates, altruist, activist, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had a significant impact in their community,” according to a statement distributed by festival organizers.

Jazz fans can see Malfitano receive his award from JJA’s Associate Awards Producer Susan Brink at the annual M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest Press Conference in the mezzanine lobby of the M&T Bank Syracuse at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 19. Also during the press conference, the jazz fest headliners, artists and details will be announced.

Other Hero award winners will receive their award at their public events in the communities they serve.

2016 Heros award recipients:

Tom Guralnick – Albuquerque, NM

Joe Gransden – Atlanta, GA

Todd Marcus – Baltimore, MD

Elena Serrano – Bay Area (SF-CA)

Yedidyah Syd Smart (l) & Leonard L. Brown (r) – Boston, MA

Leslie Callen Hyland – Capital Region (NY)

Marion T. Hayden – Detroit, MI

Bradley Parker-Sparrow & Joanie Pallatto – Chicago, IL

Robert Ginsberg – Fayetteville, AK

Edythe L. Bronston – Los Angeles, CA

Douglas Moody – Fort Bragg, CA

Maggie Pelleya – Miami, FL

Germaine P. Bazzle – New Orleans, LA

Rio Sakairi – New York City

Don Gardner – Philadelphia, PA

Geri Allen – Pittsburgh, PA

Herb & Lorene Ely – Phoenix, AZ

Bobby Torres – Portland, OR

Laurie de Koch – Seattle, WA

Dennis Owsley – St. Louis, MO

Frank Malfitano – Syracuse, NY

Clarence L Seay – Tallahassee, FL

Brian Hamilton (l) & Dick Smith (r) – Washington, DC