Honoring the memory of John Stites and his passion for jazz music

Honoring the memory of John Stites and his passion for jazz music

See Awards Page for Details

JSJAO Presents Check to KNAC to Restore Piano

Posted November 18, 2023

KNAC to Restore Piano

JSJAO Board member Scott Cowan presented a John Stites Jazz Award to Dann Sytsma, KNAC (Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Council) in October for the purpose of restoring their recently acquired Baldwin L piano. The acquisition and restoration of the piano will allow KNAC to invite world-class jazz pianists to perform as part of their Jazz at the Crawlspace series. Jazz at the Crawlspace concerts regularly sell out, and patrons have voiced their fervent support for more jazz performances in this intimate venue. The JSJA award won by KNAC in 2021 allowed them to bring many world-class jazz musicians to Kalamazoo, but the lack of a high-quality piano limited their ability to book exceptional jazz pianists. The KNAC award is one of many awards that long-term Kalamazoo resident and highly regarded audio engineer John Stites made possible through an endowment to support young jazz musicians and expand the audience for jazz. More information on the John Stites Jazz Awards is available on the website.

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John loved music with all his heart and was the ideal recording engineer – a profession into which he poured all his considerable talents and artistry.

Dan Gustin

The John Stites Jazz Awards (JSJA) are funded by the John Stites Jazz Artist Organization.

The organization funds advanced studies for emerging and established professional jazz musicians, as well as personal development projects which enhance their career opportunities.