In recognition of his decades-long dedication to the art and craft of music and his tireless work committed to its elevation, the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) has named Morgan State University Director of Bands Melvin N. Miles Jr. as its 2017 Baltimore Jazz Hero. Miles was presented with the award during the Spring 2017 MSU Jazz Ensemble Concert, held at the Murphy Fine Arts Center.
The Jazz Journalists Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the best use of media of all kinds to tell the story of jazz and develop new jazz audiences. Local “Jazz Hero” awards are given annually to advocates, altruists, activists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have made a significant impact on their local communities. Jazz Heroes are named annually on the basis of nominations from community members, and awards are presented by their local fans and friends in conjunction with the JJA’s annual Jazz Awards, which honor significant achievements in jazz music and jazz journalism.
A Morgan alumnus who has served the University since 1973, Miles is stalwart in his duties and has expanded countless students’ knowledge of the wonders of instrumental music. In addition to his position as director of university bands, Miles is an instructor of music at MSU, conducts the MSU Symphonic Band, leads the MSU Jazz Band, directs the MSU Marching Band (“the Magnificent Marching Machine”) and the Bear Pep Band, and oversees the MSU Jazz Combo.
Miles most recently served as music director of the Department of Fine and Performing Art’s well-received production of “The Wiz.”
Congratulations to Melvin Miles for receiving this recognition and continuing to be Morgan’s jazz hero!