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Thu, 09.30.2004

The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame is Dedicated

Mercedes Ellington speaking (middle Image)

On this date in 2004, Jazz at Lincoln Center celebrated the dedication of the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame.  Jazz at Lincoln Center (JLC) is a constituent of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.  The hall is named for the late Nesuhi Ertegun, one of the founders of Atlantic Records, which released records by many important jazz figures.

A 60-person international voting panel, which includes musicians, scholars, and educators from 17 countries, is charged with nominating and selecting "the most definitive artists in the history of jazz for induction into the Hall of Fame.” Jazz at Lincoln Center (JLC) is a constituent of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.,

Housed in the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame interactively immerses visitors in the lives and artistry of jazz greats. Ahmet Ertegun, the brother of Nesuhi, and his wife, Mica, inaugurated the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame in Nesuhi’s memory in 2004.

In 1954, Nesuhi joined Atlantic Records and built up the label's impressive jazz roster, which included John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Charles Mingus among its luminaries. musicians inducted into the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame on this day in 2004 also included Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, and Lester Young.

Inductees’ family members, friends, and fellow artists were on hand to receive the honors on their behalf. Awards were presented by Wess "Warmdaddy" Anderson, James Carter, Benny Golson, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Wynton Marsalis, James Moody, Nicholas Payton, Randy Sandke, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Randy Weston, Dr. Michael White, and Bob Wilber.

The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, which was designed by the Rockwell Group and opened to the public on October 21, 2004, is a multi-media installation featuring a 14-foot video wall, interactive kiosks, touch-activated virtual plaques, and the great sounds of jazz. The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame’s physical design celebrates jazz by emphasizing flexibility and improvisation and utilizes materials, such as cork, wood, and brass, found in jazz instruments.

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