This is Jazz News, a look at what’s news in jazz, music, and the arts.

We often note major musical accomplishments of Colorado-based musicians, but this feat hits a little differently. Bluesman Otis Taylor has finally received his high school diploma from Manual High School. Taylor is 74.

Back in 1966, the 17-year-old Taylor was expelled because he wouldn’t cut his hair, which he told CBS Colorado News he was wearing in the James Brown high conk style.

Now, laws prohibit racial hair discrimination, and Denver Public Schools wanted to right a wrong. After 57 years, Taylor received his honorary diploma at the Manual High School graduation last week.

I don’t think he’s looking for gift cards or a journal. Perhaps the better gift is to pick up his latest album – his 15th, recorded in Boulder and recently released. It’s called Banjo (dot – dot – dot). And Otis Taylor plays City Park Jazz on July 23.

IMAGE: Otis Taylor performing at E-Town Hall during his 10th Trance Blues Festival on Nov. 16, 2018/

Another award for guitarist Bill Frisell. He was named “Guitarist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association. Rudy Royston was nominated in the “Drummer of the Year” category. Brian Blade won the award.

And KUVO alumni Allen Scott’s “All That’s Jazz” was nominated for “Podcast of the Year.” The winner was the Jazz Journalists’ own podcast, “The Buzz.”

SOURCE: JJA Jazz Awards

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