The Jazz Organ Fellowship is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to the preservation of Jazz Organ music through live and recorded presentations, educational seminars and community outreach programs
Jazz Organ music is an American phenomenon, pure and simple. An identifiable 'Jazz Organ sound' was standardized - thanks to Jimmy Smith - on an American-made, electro-mechanical device called the Hammond organ with the help of a sound modification device (also American-made) called the Leslie Tone cabinet.
Unlike most other instrumental music embraced by our society, Jazz Organ music has received much less attention through the years. This music has been met with more apathy than support from writers, record producers, music promoters, club owners and educators. Educational institutions have provided minimal opportunities for young jazz organists to learn and develop those skills necessary to excel. The interest in this music, however, remains strong in spite of the slow developing curriculum.
With public awareness of Jazz Organ seemingly on the increase, the need to address this form of music through outreach programs, educational coursework and community events becomes more important.
This year (2022) the Jazz Organ Fellowship will once again work with San Jose Jazz to produce our annual tribute. They have offered us the Montgomery Theater in downtown San Jose on Sunday afternoon, August 12, 2022. Tickets for this event will be handled by San Jose Jazz. Our Honoree for this 14th Annual Jazz Organ Fellowship Tribute will be TONY MONACO. Tony will headline this show with a familiar trio comprised guitarist, Bruce Forman and drummer, Darrell Green.
Our Jazz Organ Fellowship will also be producing a Celebration of Life and Music for the late Dr. Lonnie Smith. This show will also be in conjunction with San Jose Jazz and will take place on Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 7:30 in the Susan Hammer Theater in downtown San Jose. Organists to play include Akiko Tsuruga, Wil Blades and Ronnie Foster. Peter Bernstein will play guitar, Donald Harrison will play saxophone and drummers Darrell Green and Akira Tana will keep the heartbeat going. This promises to be a great event, so, plan on being there!
While the sound of Jazz Organ remains attractive to young musicians, the actual instrumentation has shifted from the old tone-wheel technology of the Hammond organ to the sampled, digital applications of today. Jazz Organ for this new millennium has been significantly reinforced by the release of numerous digital 'clones' of the original Hammond organ and its unique sound. The fact remains, however, that this original sound is viable and worthy of preservation. All this serves to strengthen the notion that Jazz Organ will not be ignored but rather will thrive for future generations of musicians - therefore the Jazz Organ Fellowship was created in 2004, and has been based in Oakland, CA, as a central location for fans of this art form.
Organaist Tony Monaco giving instruction
The Jazz Organ Fellowship aka JOF provides workshops within existing jazz camps and actually brings the organ combo into the music classes of junior high schools and high schools.
Working with festival directors and band leaders, JOF attempts to fill in the gap that has existed for so many years in music education that is relative to Jazz Organ studies.
The history of this music is broken down in curricular fashion so as to explain the lineage of Jazz Organ music; its main proponents; and the significance of this genre within the wider musical spectrum.
World class Jazz Organists are brought into the fold to contribute their experiential knowledge and demonstrate varied musical styles.
JOF strives to elevate the position of Jazz Organ in all aspects of the music world.