NYC Readers Jazz Awards, T.K. Blue’

Ron Scott | 11/21/2019, 11 a.m.
The votes are in: 87,000 were counted for the upcoming 6th New York City Readers Jazz Awards to be held ...
Cobi Narita Contributed

The votes are in: 87,000 were counted for the upcoming 6th New York City Readers Jazz Awards to be held on Nov. 24 at one of Manhattan’s busiest jazz hubs Birdland (315 West 44th Street), at 4 p.m. Some of these awardees/winners will perform.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Nobuko “Cobi” Narita. Narita is a producer, director and philanthropist whose tireless devotion to the jazz community has spanned over four decades. Among her many achievements, she produced The New York Women’s Jazz Festival and created the Jazz Center of New York (a performance space for jazz concerts, workshops and jam sessions), and Cobi’s Place, which is a gathering place for jazz tap dancers.

She is a sincere caring person, who would often visit jazz musicians in their homes or at the hospital, and is known to set-up collections for musicians in need. She is one of those dear persons, who has contributed so much to all of us. She is a glowing inspiration for life. 

Mark Ruffin, program director of Real Jazz on SiriusXM, will be this year’s honoree. He has been at the helm of SiriusXM’s Real Jazz since 2007. Previously, Ruffin played jazz on the Chicago airwaves for over 25 years. He has produced eleven albums including the 2015 Grammy-nominated “I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt)” by René Marie, and “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson” by Charenée Wade.

The NYC Readers Jazz Awards enters a new era this year with a new name (originally founded as the Annual Fans Decision Jazz Awards) and a new partner. For the first time Hot House magazine has formed a partnership with the non-profit organization Jazzmobile whose overall jazz programs and free jazz concerts have become an institution in New York City.

“I have known Robin Bell-Stevens [director of Jazzmobile] since I bought Hot House in 2002 and have long respected the way she runs one of the most important jazz organizations in New York,” said Hot House publisher Gwen Kelley. “When founding partner Metropolitan Room closed last year and put the award ceremony at risk, Robin and Jazzmobile stepped in to save the event.”

Together Jazzmobile will be celebrating its 55th year in the community as Hot House celebrates its 37th year providing monthly featured jazz stories along with explicit jazz listings covering the tri-state area. It’s still difficult to believe that a jazz magazine with such substance is FREE.

Emcees will be vocalists Antoinette Montague and Ty Stephens.

“Thanks to Gwen Kelley, the NYC Readers Jazz Award program is becoming an important Jazz tradition, and we are honored to have been asked to join her,” said Bell-Stevens. “This partnership helps Jazzmobile celebrate the music and its musicians in a different way from what we have been doing for the last 55 years.”

Tickets for the event begin at $30, and a portion of the net proceeds will be donated to Jazzmobile to support its on-going mission. For ticket information visit the website www.eventbrite.com search Jazzmobile Hot House. https/tinyurl.com/nycreadersjazz.