Saturday, July 22, 2017
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2010 Ottawa Jazz Festival Countdown: Jim Fogo receives Community Recognition Award

Jim Fogo (l) with his son, musician Adam Fogo (r). Photo courtesy the Ottawa Jazz Festival

The Ottawa Jazz Festival board has given Jim Fogo its 2010 Community Recognition Award, for his "long-time contribution to the scene locally, nationally, and internationally."

"Jim's contribution to the local scene is enormous – he is one of jazz music's great ambassadors and he is one of our dearest friends."

Fogo helped organize the International Duke Ellington Conference when it came to Ottawa in May, 1990: its first appearance in Canada. The conference attracted hundreds of delegates from North America and abroad, including scholars and Ellington enthusiasts.

He is also a former Festival board member (1996 to 2000). He encouraged the Festival to schedule well-known artists as Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Festival executive producer Catherine O'Grady said Fogo recruited her to run the festival back in the mid-1990s when the festival was in severe financial straits, and he was extremely important to the organization behind the scenes.

She said she enjoyed working with him: "he was a gentle, smart, sweet man, patient and kind."

Fogo attended Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa, and received an engineering degree from Queen's University and a law degree from Dalhousie University. Since returning to Ottawa more than 45 years ago, the festival said, "he has been a tireless promoter of all things jazz. ... To this day, Jim loves anything with the big band sound! His knowledge is encyclopedic and his enthusiasm is dauntless."

– Alayne McGregor