Jefferson Jay’s San Diego Music Hall of Fame chooses legacy over last


Jefferson Jay wants San Diego music to receive the same love as San Diego visual and fine arts.

“This is by no means an awards ceremony,” says Jefferson Jay, founder and president of the San Diego Music Hall Of Fame. On the contrary, the New Jersey transplant fell in love with this city and its art scene over two decades ago, but felt something was missing. “I felt the visual arts community and the fine arts community did a great job supporting and promoting each other. But while we have museums downtown and throughout the Spanish village, and it’s a really vibrant addition to our city, the musicians here are nothing like it. All the different little groups and people are separate, and people may or may not know each other just by the way. It’s meant to be more of a central place where people can seek to learn over time about the history of San Diego music and why it’s important and special, and how it’s a big part of our city. , although it has been somehow overlooked or overshadowed by all the other big things in San Diego.

The difference between the annual San Diego Music Awards and the San Diego Music Hall Of Fame is the difference between recognizing a group’s recent accomplishments and honoring their enduring legacy. “It’s more of a celebration of San Diego’s musical history. It’s not about who did what last year and what record was released. It’s not a room where people party, have a drink and get together. It’s a more serious type of event that really seeks to educate people who attend about the accomplishments of some of San Diego’s great musicians.

Thanks and initiations are not limited to musicians and groups. They also extend to journalists and even local businesses such as Taylor Guitars. “[Taylor] selling the business to their employees for a tenth of what they could have gotten from foreign investors – that’s pretty exceptional. This kind of vision and generosity and keeping them in the community is an example of a spectacular business. ”

Achievements like this are the kind of thing that deserve to be inducted into the institution, which will hold its third ceremony on November 5 at Ocean Beach. “There’s an extra factor I’m going to throw in there. I’m looking for people who have not only contributed mightily with their music, but also with their kindness and character, and people who have gone the extra mile to make other members of the community feel welcome and encouraged, no matter what. so be it. they may or may not have accomplished. Among the six inductees in 2021 is the late DJ Carlos Culture, who fell out of lust at the start of the pandemic. Culture was known for mentoring promising and established musicians. Inductees are not voted per se, but are chosen from what Jay describes as “a slam dunk,” after discussion with Hall of Fame staff.

Given that there are only 12 inductees at the time of publication, expect some overlap between Jay’s project and the career-wide San Diego Music Awards. The Beat Farmers are one example.

Looking to the future, Jay hopes to establish a permanent place where people can appreciate San Diego’s musical history. “At the end of the day, over time, maybe we get to an installation or something, and then it starts to become a legacy of what San Diego music has been like. We’re not there yet, but give us a few more years.

The San Diego Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place Friday, November 5 at Newbreak Church in Ocean Beach. Artists are expected to include the Lisa Sanders Band, Jerry Raney, Yale Strom, Walt Richards, Nathan Raney, Rob Deez, and Gato Papacitos.

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