Ernie Andrews (Bob Barry)

Jazz fans know that Los Angeles has a stellar place in the history of the music, nurturing great players and composers whose work spread across the jazz universe. The famous places where these musicians and fans hung out are names forever etched into our memories – from Dolphin’s of Hollywood, founded by my father, to The Parisian Room, Marty’s On the Hill, Club Alabam, The Last Word and so many more.

These clubs existed (and some continue to exist) because of the great jazz musicians who create the music that strengthens and supports our souls in good times and bad. The California Jazz Foundation (CJF) gets to return the gift by aiding many of these creative musicians when they themselves face challenging times and circumstances.

On Saturday, April 8, at 5:30 p.m., the California Jazz Foundation will present its 11th annual “Give the Band a Hand” gala fundraiser at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel. The event honors the best of the jazz community while raising money to provide support to California’s jazz musicians in financial or medical need. The evening will feature live and silent auctions, a gourmet dinner, video tributes, award presentations and lots of great live jazz.

Barbara Morrison (Bob Barry)

“The California Jazz Foundation fills a critical void by assisting California’s jazz musicians in need,” says Edythe L. Bronston, CJF founder and president.

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“Many older musicians have neither Social Security nor any or inadequate health insurance, and some see no residuals from their important work. They rely on us, and we rely on the community to keep the Foundation financially sound and swinging.”

This year, the music and memory of the late jazz singers Ernie Andrews and Barbara Morrison will be saluted. These legendary artists, who passed away in 2022, will receive our Heritage Award.

Ernie Andrews began his lengthy career in the 1940s. He performed and recorded with Benny Carter, the Harry James Orchestra and others through the 1950s.

In the 1980s, he was rediscovered and recorded and performed with the Capp/Pierce Juggernaut, Gene Harris’ Superband, Jay McShann, and the Harper Brothers. He was also the subject of the documentary, “Blues for Central Avenue,” which chronicled the Los Angeles jazz scene in which he came up.

During a 60-year career, Los Angeles-based jazz and blues vocalist and record producer Barbara Morrison worked with Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Ray Charles, Etta James, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Johnny Otis, Terence Blanchard, Nancy Wilson, Mel Tormé, Keb’ Mo and more. She mentored many younger artists and founded the Barbara Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, a keystone of the Leimert Park jazz and art scene.

Jose Rizo (Courtesy photo)

The contributions of one-man jazz juggernaut Jose Rizo will be acknowledged with the Nica award for his support of jazz musicians and his creative addition to the music itself. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and raised in Oxnard, California, Rizo became passionate about jazz as a student at UC Santa Barbara and began his radio career as a DJ there.

In 1990, Rizo began hosting “Jazz on the Latin Side,” on KLON (now KKJZ). He has been the artistic director of the Luckman Fine Arts Latin Jazz Concert Series and received a national award from the Jazz Journalists Association in 2007 for his work as artistic director of the famous Central Avenue Jazz Festival.

Rizo is also the founder and bandleader of the Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars and Mongorama, two powerhouse Latin jazz ensembles. They have performed at the Playboy Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s, the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, the Greek Theatre and at all the top local jazz venues. As composer and producer, Rizo has contributed over 25 original compositions over six albums for both bands.

The gala will include performances by the Clayton Cameron Heritage Ensemble with vocalists Mary Stallings and Elijah Rock, Jose Rizo’s nine-piece Mongorama jazz orchestra, and student musicians from UCLA. LeRoy Downs, nationally known jazz deejay, will serve as emcee.

Michael Dolphin is vice-president of the California Jazz Foundation. For more information on the Gala, call 818-261-0057 or visit