This past January was a busy month in New Orleans with the annual Jazz Educator’s Network (JEN) convention, the Danny Barker Festival, and the OffBeat Magazine Best of the Beat Awards.
Steve Masakowski was actively involved with all of these events, performing concerts, clinics, and receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award in education from OffBeat Magazine.
The JEN convention was heavily attended by students, performers, and educators from around the world. In addition to jazz guitarist/educator Steve Masakowski, the convention featured numerous performers including such renowned guitarists as Mark Whitfield and Dave Stryker. Steve performed with various groups including the University of New Orleans alumni performance with drummer Ricky Sebastian. Other notable performances were with saxophone great Rick
There were many ancillary gigs in and around town as part of the JEN conference at various venues such as Snug Harbor and the Sidebar NOLA. Steve Masakowski had an exciting gig with jazz saxophone icon Dave Liebman along with his Astral Project colleagues Johnny Vidacovich on drums and and James Singleton on bass.
The Danny Barker festival followed the week after celebrating the life and times of the New Orleans jazz guitarist and banjo player Danny Barker. The Danny Barker festival featured many local and international banjo and guitar players honoring the memory of Danny Barker, Steve Masakowski performed on the Gibson Super 400 bequeathed to him from Danny Barker on his passing in 1993. The activities were held at numerous venues around the city including the George Wein Center at the Jazz and Heritage Foundation and the Jazz Museum at the U.S. Mint.
On January 16th Steve Masakowski was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for teaching from OffBeat Magazine recognizing his over 40 years of teaching, 30 of which were at the University of New Orleans.