JazzFest History

Max Dehn

Awarded: 2019
Born: Cleveland, Ohio

"The significance of the Tri-C JazzFest is its value to the community and to the art form."

- Max Dehn

Cleveland native Max Dehn joined the Tri-C JazzFest staff as artistic director and producer in 1989, bringing an abiding love for jazz and American music, and a commitment to the festival’s mission.

As a curator, Dehn engaged international artists to perform in creative settings and developed many events showcasing the work of Northeast Ohio artists.

Dehn understood the artistic and practical value of teaching music in the community. In 1991, he initiated the Excellence in Music Project (“EMP”), in collaboration with the Cleveland School of the Arts, Tri-C and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

He and JazzFest founder Dr. Thom Horning developed a college-level jazz studies and technology program at Tri-C Metro Campus.

The Gill and Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts is, in great part, a legacy of Dehn’s twelve years of leadership.

Max Dehn - Excellence in Music Program
Max Dehn - Why a Community College