JazzFest History

Greg Reese

Awarded: 2020
Born: Cleveland, Ohio

“I had a transistor radio tuned to a jazz station. And I heard the music – something I’d never heard before.”

- Greg Reese

An avid jazz lover since youth, Greg Reese always wanted to share his musical passion with others.  The Executive Director of the East Cleveland Public Library began hosting library programs where local jazz artists would perform for the public, free of charge. Community response to these concerts was overwhelming and the events outgrew the space.

The visionary Reese spearheaded a privately funded capital campaign to create an innovative performing arts center within the library to accommodate the crowds - a state of the art venue that would host a variety of national and local musicians. In the 1990s Reese formed a relationship with Tri-C, exposing jazz studies students to these performers and performances.

Reese also published a salute to local jazz musicians titled “Jazzkeepers: A Pictorial Tribute and Memoir” that recognizes Cleveland’s musicians who share his passion for jazz.

Greg Reese - Sounds Incorporated
Greg Reese - Jazzkeepers