JazzFest History

Larry Simpson

Awarded: 2018
Born: Cleveland, Ohio

"Education is the foundation of this festival and of the music as a whole. And it needs to continue."

- Larry Simpson, Ph.D.

Former Tri-C Eastern and Metropolitan Campuses president Dr. Larry Simpson now serves as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Berklee College of Music, the nation's largest Music, Dance and Theater college.

He fueled his passion for jazz working as a jazz photographer, journalist and host of several jazz radio programs. During his Tri-C tenure, Dr. Simpson was instrumental in the establishment of the nationally known Tri-C JazzFest.

Larry has had significant arts and culture board service over the years. He currently serves as the Board Chair of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), one of 6 regional arts organizations in the country. In addition, Larry has extensive arts panel experience including many Ohio Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) panels.

Dr. Simpson attended Tri-C, earned his Bachelor's degree from Kent State University and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.

Larry Simpson - Favorite JazzFest Memories
Larry Simpson - Early JazzFest Challenges