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In the news: Ran Blake

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In the news: Ran Blake
Ran Blake COURTESY PHOTO

Iconic pianist and composer Ran Blake is the 2020 recipient of the Boston Jazz Hero award from the Jazz Journalists Association.  Blake is one of 27 jazz heroes in 23 cities across the country chosen as “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz.”

The Jazz Journalists Association, in partnership with New England Conservatory where Blake has taught for 52 years, will present the award to Blake during a virtual event at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2020.  The event will include a solo piano performance by Blake and a short interview by veteran jazz writer and JJA board member Bob Blumenthal.

“In this troubling time, as the world fights a pandemic, the JJA is proud to celebrate the hearts, souls and efforts of these Heroes who all are of the opinion that creative, improvised music offers substantial personal and societal benefits,” says Howard Mandel, president of the JJA. “And they do everything they can to spread that message.”

“As founding chair of the Third Stream/Contemporary Improvisation program, Ran’s impact on the curriculum and culture of NEC has been transformative,” says NEC President Andrea Kalyn. “But his full influence reaches far beyond, reflected in the work of generations of musicians who — under Ran’s guidance — were given both the tools and the freedom to develop their own individual artistry.  He is a true musical hero, and we extend our warmest congratulations on this most fitting honor.”

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