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(Published: December 18, 2015)

The Meade Legacy Society in conjunction with the African-American Jazz Caucus will confer the 5th Annual Donald Meade Legacy Jazz Griot Award to Larry Reni Thomas, January 8, 2016, at the Seventh Annual Jazz Education Network Conference, Louisville, Kentucky, for his numerous and invaluable contributions to jazz for almost forty years-as a radio announcer, producer, writer/author, and staunch supporter and advocate of jazz music, jazz studies and jazz artists. In every sense of the word, Thomas is a griot (West African term for storyteller, historian) whose past and current service sustains, elevates, preserves, and advances jazz now and for generations to come. In North Carolina and throughout the Southeast, in particular, Thomas has distinguished himself as a unique, passionate voice for jazz and African-American culture.

Thomas, a Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based, Wilmington, North Carolina native, has worked at seven radio stations, including WXYC-FM (Chapel Hill, NC), WHQR-FM (Wilmington, NC), WNCU-FM (Durham, NC), WCOM-FM (Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC), and has published three books. His latest one is called The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan (KHA Books) (www.khabooks.com). He is also a contributor to Jazzcormer.com, allaboutjazz.com, ejazz news.com, and jazztimes.com. In addition, Larry has been a Downbeat Magazine jazz critic poll member since 2012, a lecturer on the history of the North Carolina jazz connection since 2007, and has produced, along with producer Jon Paul McClellan, a four part audio documentary called "North Carolina Jazz Intellectuals," which features profiles of North Carolina natives John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach and Nina Simone.

Thomas, along with McClellan, has also produced a critically-acclaimed audio profile called "The Helen Morgan Project," about Helen Morgan, the lady who shot Lee Morgan. Some of his journalistic work has appeared in downbeat magazine and The New York Times Magazine. In 2014, he was named a "Jazz Hero" by The Jazz Journalists Association. Larry is presently writing a book titled: Carolina Shout!: That Wonderful Soulful North Carolina Jazz Connection!

For more information go to http://www.jazzgriot.com/home.html or http://www.jazzednet.org/

More Information: http://www.jazzgriot.com/home.html

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