Dedicated to the Continuation and Preservation of America's Indigenous Art Form
We are a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation located on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Our Mission Statement
Dedicated to the continuation and preservation of jazz, America’s indigenous art form, Jazz Alive was created to bring this great music to audiences and students who have little to no opportunity to hear and learn from the genre’s great practitioners. Jazz Alive is committed to presenting concerts, school assemblies, master classes, and school residencies in underserved communities that may be off jazz touring routes, lack jazz presenters, or have little funding for jazz events.
Board of Directors
Donna is the Band Director of the Easton Middle School Band in Easton, Maryland. She leads a highly successful program which continually earns top ratings at festivals. The Easton Middle School Marching Band is a crowd favorite at local parades and ceremonies with upwards of 100 students marching down the street. She is a member of the Mid-Shore Community Band where she performs on clarinet and saxophone.
Musician, Music Educator, Clinician, Consultant, Curriculum Developer, Mentor, and Administrator, are all words that have been used to describe Mr. James Edwards. A native of Southern California, Mr. Edwards is graduate of the acclaimed Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California where he earned both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Music Education. He later attended Southeast Missouri State University where he earned an Ed.S. in School Administration. A Rubenstein Award recipient, with a reputation for building programs, Mr. Edwards has had a long and distinguished career as a Music Educator. Beginning in inner city Los Angeles, CA, followed by several years in rural Missouri and culminating with his recent retirement from the District of Columbia Public Schools, he has Directed Instrumental Music programs at all levels. That experience combined with years as a school administrator provide him with a unique perspective on the challenges faced by schools and Music Educators today. As a musician, Edwards has performed and recorded on Trumpet, Piano, and Voice including performances at The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Carnegie Hall and The White House.
Les Lentz - Treasurer
Les Lentz has been a professional recording engineer and producer for over 30 years. He is the president of LSP Recording Studios of Annapolis, Maryland, and the owner of Lentz Audio/Video in Easton, Maryland. His hundreds of clients include Maryland Music Educators Association, Eastern Shore Band Directors Association, Eastern Shore Choral Directors Association, American Guild of Organists, Harmony Foundation International, as well as the music departments of numerous public and private schools and colleges in Maryland and Delaware. He and his three children have been full-time residents of the eastern shore for twenty years.
Fred Hughes - Founder and President
Seeing a need for greater access to Jazz for students and families of the Eastern Shore, Fred founded Jazz Alive in 2019. An internationally acclaimed jazz pianist with over four decades of performing and teaching experience, Fred has created highly successful master classes and school residencies including revamping Capital Jazz, a middle school residency program administered by Washington Performing Arts. In his role as lead teaching artist, Fred crafted a program that not only presented Jazz to District of Columbia Middle School Students, but created a course for teaching them the art of playing and improvising on popular jazz repertoire. Fred is excited to bring this uniquely American artform to the stages and classrooms of the Shore.
Daniel LeDuc spent three decades as a journalist for The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer and other newspapers. He's now an editor and podcaster for an international public policy organization in Washington. More importantly, he is a life-long jazz fan who cares deeply about the future of one of America's greatest art forms.
To present educational programs to students in underserved communities; giving them the opportunity to hear and learn from some of the best practitioners of this great American music.
Along with these educational programs, it is the goal of Jazz Alive to present Jazz concerts in the same communities and in conjunction with the educational programs.
Jazz Alive is located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and in many of the rural locations, which is most of the DelMarVa peninsula, many students have not had the opportunity to hear Jazz live.
By concentrating on these communities, Jazz Alive hopes to expose students and their families to the current creators of this uniquely American genre; introducing and thereby preserving one of our great national treasures.
Louis Russo - Vice President
Louis “Lou” Russo has a strong background in leading and supporting 501(c)(3) charitable foundations over the past 28 years. He has served as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors for the Society for Professional Logisticians which is a 501(c)(3) foundation. He also established and served as President and Treasurer for a scholarship foundation that awarded scholarships to High School Seniors in memory of a former coworker. Lou has an appreciation for the art of Jazz and has a passion to continue the art form through the Jazz Alive Foundations educational programs and other activities that will continued to be developed over time.
John Zimmerman - Secretary
John Zimmerman is a native of New Holland, Lancaster County, PA. John grew up in the music world since his Father was the Director of The New Holland Band from 1958 to 2000. While still in High School, John auditioned for and was accepted by “The Presidents’ Own” The United States Marine Band, Washington, DC, when he was 15 years old. He joined the band in June of 1965 after graduating from Garden Spot HS and immediately became a euphonium soloist with the band. Several years later, John applied his New Holland Band training and became the Operations Officer for the Marine Band and retired in 1987 with the rank of Captain. His regular duties were to coordinate events at the White House. He performed in two Presidential Inaugurations and was a member of the Joint Armed Forces Inaugural Committee for three additional Inaugural ceremonies. At present, John is the president of The New Holland Band and continues to perform with the Concert and Swing Bands. John and his wife Shari live in Mechanicsburg, PA.
Sue brings experience in administration and fundraising efforts for education-oriented, non-profit organizations to the board. She worked as assistant to the head of school for a non-profit, private school through challenging development and building programs for ten years, followed by a position facilitating operations for the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees, before retiring and moving out of the Northern Virginia area. Sue benefited from robust high school and community music programs, has a passion for arts education and is excited to be involved in the future endeavors of Jazz Alive.