1997 Living Legacy Award Recipient
Bassist Larry Ridley, one of the
pioneers of collegiate jazz education, was the recipient
of the 1997 Living Legacy Jazz Award.
Mr. Ridley has
performed internationally and recorded with some of
the greatest jazz musicians the world
has known. During his career, he has performed with
Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Clark
Terry and Horace Silver.
Mr. Ridley's broad experience
and sense of historical context serves as a firm foundation
for his teaching.
As professor and chair of the music department at Livingston
College of Rutgers University from 1972-1980, he created
the undergraduate program and, later, a graduate degree
jazz program. Mr. Ridley is Professor Emeritus at Rutgers and holds a Doctor of Performing Arts degree from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. He continues to conduct workshops and residencies
Mr. Ridley serves jazz education on both
the national and international level. He has served
as an advisor
to the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE)
since 1978 and has been the Executive Director of IAJE's African American Jazz Caucus from 2000 to present. From 1976 through 1978, he was the national
coordinator of the Jazz Artists in the Schools Program
for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Mr. Ridley continues
to serve jazz education with community based jazz programming
in the mid-Atlantic
region. In 1985, he founded the Jazz Legacy Ensemble,
and Jazz Legacy, Inc. The purpose of the organization
is to: 1) perform the diverse repertoire of jazz's
many periods and styles; 2) provide emerging artists
with the chance to perform with established artists;
and 3) offer workshops and educational materials on
jazz to teach children and adults about the art form.
this capacity, Mr. Ridley has worked with the Philadelphia
Housing Authority and currently serves as Jazz Artist
in Residence at the New York City Library's Schomberg
Center for Research in Black Culture. There, he and
the Jazz Legacy Ensemble present thematic performance
projects that showcase the work of jazz musicians such
as Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker,
Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Bud Powell, Clifford
Brown, Sonny Stitt and Dexter Gordon.
In addition to the 1997 Living Legacy Award, Mr. Ridley is the recipient of the Howard Univeristy "Benny Golson Award" (2001) and has been inducted into the Downbeat Magazine Jazz Education Hall of Fame (1999) and the IAJE Jazz Educators Hall of Fame (1998).