Living Legacy Jazz Award

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Image: 2022 Living Legacy Jazz Award Honoree Roger Humphries addresses the audience. Credit: East Hill Media.

About the Program

About the Living Legacy Jazz Award

Established in 1994, the Living Legacy Jazz Award honors living jazz master artists residing in the mid-Atlantic region who have kept the spirit and tradition of this evolving art form alive, maintaining the vitality of jazz for future generations through advocacy, mentorship, and the transmission of artistic skill and cultural knowledge.

Billy Hart - 2023 Living Legacy Jazz Award Presented by PECO Honoree

Born in Washington, DC, William “Billy” Hart is a jazz drummer and educator who has performed with some of the most important jazz musicians in history.


Black and white image of Billy Hart behind a drum kit.

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Image: Billy Hart. Credit: Desmond White.

Nominators and Panel

Each year a committee of invited nominators generates a list of master jazz artists to be considered for the award. Nominators representing a cross-section of artists and professionals in the field of jazz are asked to submit recommendations for up to three artists they wish to be considered for the award.


Close up color photo of a drummer playing a drum kit.

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Image: The Clef Club Jazz Ambassador Ensemble. Credit: East Hill Media.

2023 Celebration Event

On Thursday,  November 2, 2023, Mid Atlantic Arts celebrated percussionist and educator William “Billy” Hart at the 2023 Living Legacy Jazz Award Presented by PECO.

Mr. Hart was recognized at a reception in his honor in the Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Cultural Campus!

Color photo of the welcome signage at the 2022 Living Legacy Jazz Award event.

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Image: Welcome at the 2022 Legacy Event. Credit: East Hill Media.

Title Sponsor

PECO founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas delivery company. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to nearly 1.7 million electric customers and more than 548,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. The company’s 2,900 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), a Fortune 250 company and the nation’s largest energy delivery company, serving more than 10 million customers through six fully regulated transmission and distribution utilities. For more information visit, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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Previous Living Legacy Jazz Award Honorees

Since its inception, the Living Legacy Jazz Award has been given to twenty-eight distinguished artists.  Additionally, a special Millennium Award was conferred on Dr. Billy Taylor in 2000. Mid Atlantic Arts did not bestow an award in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Color photo of Magdalena and Larry Ridley.

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Image: 1997 Honoree Larry Ridley and his wife Magdalena at the 2019 Living Legacy event. Credit: Martin Regusters.

Title funding provided by:

  • PECO logo