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

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

2022 Applications are Closed. Watch for 2023 Application Dates.
Herbie Hancock

JSJAO to Sponsor Herbie Hancock in a Special Events Gilmore Concert September 23

Posted September 5, 2022

The John Stites Jazz Artist Organization (JSJAO) is pleased to announce that the Herbie Hancock concert (originally scheduled to open the 2022 Gilmore Piano Festival) has been rescheduled for Friday, September 23, at 7:30 pm in Chenery Auditorium. In partnership with The Gilmore, the JSJAO is grateful to be able to fulfill John’s wishes and bring Herbie Hancock to Kalamazoo. John passed away in July 2019. The only memorial he wanted was to share his love for jazz with his friends and the musical community that he spent his life supporting.

Those who loved and admired John appreciate this opportunity to bring one of the greatest living jazz icons to Chenery, where John recorded so many great musicians. We hope you will join us to remember John and hear the incomparable Herbie Hancock, as well as band members Terence Blanchard (trumpet), James Genus (bass), Lionel Loueke (guitar), and Justin Tyson (drums).

Thank you for supporting the John Stites Jazz Awards and this Special Events Gilmore concert. Tickets are available at the Gilmore website, where you can also hear excerpts from recent recordings. The stars are aligning for one memorable night—Herbie Hancock, Chenery Auditorium, and all of John’s friends together for one extraordinary concert honoring an extraordinary man. John will be smiling.

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This world needs more of him, not less.

Ray Kamalay

The John Stites Jazz Awards (JSJA) are funded by the John Stites Jazz Artist Organization, honoring the memory of John Stites and his passion for jazz music.

The organization funds:

  • Advanced studies for emerging and established professional jazz musicians
  • Concerts, competitions and projects that expand jazz audiences and the appreciation of jazz in or near communities in the Midwest