Name: Jeffrey James
Title: Chief Board of Directors Chairman
Organization: Long Island Music Hall of Fame
Long Island Pulse: Tell us a bit about Long Island Music Hall of Fame (LIMHoF) and what it hopes to achieve?
Jeffrey James: The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is dedicated to the idea that our musical heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. We are a 501(c)(3) organization that defines Long Island geographically as Brooklyn to Montauk. We work to support the Long Island music community through scholarships for young musicians and non-profit music organizations, workshops and seminars for working musicians, special awards to music educators, special music programs for our schools and induction to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame for music industry leaders at our biennial award galas. As our organization evolves, our long-range goal includes securing appropriate permanent space on Long Island to develop the LIMHoF Museum.
Long Island Pulse: Why was the organization created here on Long Island?
Jeffrey James: We were founded in 2004 by a group of Long Island music lovers, music educators and industry professionals who grew up here and have been part of the Long Island music scene for many years. They felt that they needed to change the sometimes negative perception that many had about Long Island and its musicians and artists and to let people know the breadth and depth of talent that’s called this place home. Long Island is our home. Of course we want to celebrate it!
Long Island Pulse: Tell us about your role as Chairman?
Jeffrey James: My role as Chairman is to facilitate full board involvement in all decisions and initiatives. I see myself as helping to focus the group collectively but also allowing more than enough room for individual ideas to flourish and benefit the organization. I also see myself as very, very fortunate to work with such a wonderful, talented, dedicated and great-to-be-with group of board members.
Tell us about your educational programs?
Jeffrey James: This year, we are awarding $10,000 in total scholarships to individual Long Island music students as well as to area non-profit music organizations. In the past, we’ve awarded scholarships to members of area youth orchestras. We’ve sponsored special music programs with a master class atmosphere for young string players. We are also developing more workshops and seminars for working musicians.
One of our strongest resources is our Music Advisory Board, which includes very prominent names in the public school, college, hip-hop, classical, classic rock, TV and children’s music worlds.
We are also very proud to present an annual Music Educator of Note Award.
Long Island Pulse: If someone were to ask you, “Why should I donate specifically to LIMHoF?” what would you tell him or her?
Jeffrey James: I would say that supporting us helps support music education, especially when public schools find it increasingly difficult to do so. We are offering the supplementary programs and support that help keep music alive for many people, now and in the future. Our ideas for a LIMHoF Museum will support and enhance these programs even more as we continue to celebrate and preserve the exceptional music heritage of Long Island.
Long Island Pulse: Tell us a little bit about what is in store for the organization in the next three to six months… any upcoming induction ceremonies?
Jeffrey James: For the next few months, we’ll be announcing the winners of our 2014 scholarships for young musicians and non-profit music organizations. And on October 23, we’ll be presenting our 5th Induction Award Gala at The Paramount in Huntington. Very, very special inductees and guests to be announced. Stay tuned!!
Long Island Pulse: Can you elaborate on “induction criteria”… what does it take/what do you look for?
Jeffrey James: Inductees are selected by the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors from an evolving and growing list of involved artists (and other music industry people), groups and entities that were born, raised, founded or have resided on Long Island for a significant portion of their career or existence. This list is based on recorded history and continuing research, and includes suggestions from the public at large. Entrance into the hall is based on historical importance and the significance of the person’s or group’s contribution to Long Island’s rich musical heritage.
Order of induction is not based on the board’s determination of artist or organization’s importance to music history, but is driven by a desire to represent a wide range of musical genres and to balance nationally/internationally known and local/regional inductees in each class.
Long Island Pulse: How does this organization differentiate itself from others? Can you tell us about some of the past events you have held?
Jeffrey James: We differentiate ourselves from other music halls of fame by having the broadest possible scope of potential inductees. We’ve inducted people from the rock, pop, oldies, jazz, classical, hip-hop, gospel, blues, Native American and folk music worlds.
As far as our galas, the first four have honored everyone from Billy Joel to Lou Reed to Salt-N-Pepa to LL Cool J to Jean Ritchie to Little Anthony and The Imperials to Twisted Sister to members of Aaron Copland’s family to The Thunderbird Sisters of The Shinnecock Indian Nation, to representatives of the Louis Armstrong Foundation. Presenters and special guests have included Paul Schaffer, Alec Baldwin, Peter Yarrow, Charlie Daniels, Felix Cavaliere, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, Peter Tork, Lesley Gore and many, many more.
Long Island Pulse: If you want some great stories from our galas, just ask us!
Jeffrey James: What do you think the future looks like for LIMHoF, short-term and long term?
Our short term future is looking great with the upcoming gala, which also serves as our most important fundraiser. You can also see us at a number area festivals and events leading up to this exciting evening.
We’re just about to launch an executive director search, which is a very, very important step forward for the future.
And, we are continuing to look at possibilities for our LIMHoF Museum, where we can truly be celebrate and preserve Long Island’s musical heritage
Long Island Pulse: How can one get involved with LIMHoF?
Jeffrey James: Four ways:
Visit our website at http://www.limusichalloffame.org/ and click on the Get Involved Link
Join our Facebook page.
Talk to us at Great South Bay or any of the other events we’ll be at this year.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how you’d like to help.