Welcome to airmw.org, the website for Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW), the Midwest's leading presenter of the Asian American cultural arts.

Asian Improv aRts Midwest is the resident at Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago and is supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, CDH P.C., JCCC Foundation, CityArts by City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Cultural Grants Program and The Joyce Foundation.

Tsukasa Taiko, acknowledgments

Join the Celebration!
JJA's Chicago Jazz Hero 2015-Tatsu Aoki

Sunday, April 19, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CDT)
FREE / General Admission - Register here

Elastic Arts
3429 W Diversey Ave, #208
Chicago, IL 60647

Join us as we hold another ceremony awarding the Jazz Journalists Association's Chicago Jazz Hero!

This years Chicago Hero is Tatsu Aoki!

Tatsu Aoki is the founder and Executive Director of Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW), the region's leading presenter of the Asian American cultural arts and the critically acclaimed annual Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival and the Tsukasa Taiko Legacy arts residency project. Aoki is an award winning artist, composer, musician, educator and a consummate bassist and Shamisen Lute player. Based in Chicago, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, ranging from traditional Japanese music, jazz, experimental and creative music.

North Coast Brewing is a Sponsor of the JJA Awards. They will offer their award winning Brother Thelonious Ale for this FREE event, so be sure to come out and help us celebrate greatness in Chicago Jazz!

The Jazz Journalists Association
2015 Jazz Heroes

2015 Jazz Heros

The Jazz Journalists Association is pleased to announce the 2015 Jazz Heroes: advocates, altruists, activists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities. The 'Jazz Hero' awards, made annually on the basis of nominations from community members, are presented in conjunction with the JJA's annual Jazz Awards honoring significant achievements in jazz music and journalism and with the month-long celebration of JazzApril.

For release April 1, 2015

24 Jazz Heroes in 22 cities Announced by Jazz Journalists Association: Educators, Presenters, Philanthropists, Fans, Players, Poet and Dentist Hailed as 'Activists, Advocates, Altruists, Aiders and Abettors of Jazz'

April 1, New York City - Two dozen "JazzHeroes" -- activists of positive influence on their musical communities -- have been announced today by the Jazz Journalists Association, a non-profit organization of media professionals, in collaborations with grassroots organizations and supporters in 22 U.S. cities, launching JazzApril, the annual campaign celebrating local music people and scenes during Jazz Appreciation Month, culminating in International Jazz Day.

The Jazz Heroes are what the JJA used to call its "A Team: Activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz." This year's heroes include music educators, providers of financial, logistical, media and moral support, artists who put extra effort into community engagement, presenters and producers of Washington D.C.'s Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, Philadelphia's Ars Nova Workshop, New York City's Lady Got Chops festival, Tula's Restaurant and Jazz Club in Seattle and New Jersey's New Brunswick Jazz Project, plus a dentist who recorded a late 1960s pop-rock hit and now offers health care to his jazz patients at steeply discounted rates. Organizations collaborating on Jazz Hero events include A Place for Jazz (Albany), B'town Jazz, JazzBoston, Elastic Arts (Chicago), B Sharp's Jazz Cafe, B'town Jazz, JazzStock, Kuumbwa Jazz, the Portland PDX Jazz Festival, the New Brunswick Jazz Project, WEMU, the Mid-South Jazz Foundation and MCG Jazz.

Detailed biographies and photos of the Jazz Heroes are posted at http://www.jjajazzawards.org/p/blog-page.html

Local communities that nominate their heroes for JJA authorization obtain official proclamations from regional officials acknowledging their efforts, buzz about the Heroes and their April jazz activities to traditional and digital online media outlets, and hold public free events at which engraved Jazz Hero Awards are presented to the honorees. Information about these festivities will be forthcoming.

Announcement of the Jazz Heroes is the first stage of the JJA's three-part 2015 Jazz Awards. Nominees for awards for excellence in jazz music and journalism will be announced April 15, and winners of the Awards for musical achievement will be announced April 30 - International Jazz Day. Those Awards will be presented at musicians' performances nationwide. Winners of categories for excellence in music journalism will be announced at the JJA's New York City Jazz Awards party, to be held Tuesday, June 16 at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Manhattan. Ticket information will be posted at www.JJAJazzAwards.com.

North Coast Brewing Company is the beverage sponsor of the JJA's Jazz Heroes, Jazz April and Jazz Awards include North Coast Brewing Company. Other sponsors will be announced.

For further information contact Howard Mandel President@JazzJournalists.org 212 533 4952 or Jim EigoJim@jazzpromoservices.com

1. Ann Arbor MI: Don Chisholm, 2. Baltimore: Charles Funn, 3. (SF)Bay Area: Avotcja Jiltonilro, 4. Bloomington IN:Monika Herzig, 5. Boston: Mark Sumner Harvey, 6. Chicago: Tatsu Aoki, 7. Madison: Howard Landsman, 8. Memphis: David C. Bradford, Sr., 9. Memphis: Jack N. Schaffer, 10. New Brunswick NJ: Virginia DeBerry, 11. New Orleans Dr. Michael White, 12. NY Capital Region Lee Shaw, 13. New York City: Kim A. Clarke, 14. Philadelphia Mark Christman, 15. Pittsburgh: Dr. Nelson Harrison, 16. Portland OR: Mel Brown, 17. Santa Cruz CA: Tim Jackson, 18. Seattle: Mack Waldron, 19. South Florida: Nicole Yarling, 20. St. Louis: Don Wolff, 21. Tallahassee FL: Carole & Stan Fiore, 22. Washington D.C.: Charles Fishman, 23. Woodstock NY: Dr. Bruce Milner,

Our Mission and Programs

Asian Improv aRts Midwest's mission is to build a vital, self-empowered Asian American community in the Chicago area by advancing the understanding and profile of Asian and Asian American cultures through the traditional and contemporary cultural arts. AIRMW is dedicated to creating productive relationships with artists, community and institutions in order to produce high quality arts programs that accurately reflect the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic reality of Chicago and the nation.

Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW) programs and activities include:

Use the button below to make a secure, tax-deductible donation via PayPal Donate. Thank you for your generous support!

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Support from our community makes up an important part of our efforts to produce high-quality arts presentations, continue our educational efforts and raising the awareness of the Asian American experience on an international level. Your contributions are very meaningful and help us to continue our work!

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Asian Improv aRts Midwest. Contributions can be made on-line on this website or checks can be mailed to AIRMW/JASC Tsukasa Taiko, 4427 N Clark St, Chicago 60640. Checks should be made payable to AIRMW, a 501(c)3 organization.

Special thanks to our Media providers:
Ken Carl Photography, LLC. kencarl.com
Mayumi Lake mayumilake.com
Kazu Yamamoto
Larry Philipee
Adebukola Bodunrin