Lana Rogachevskaya, Excellence in Jazz Leadership Award Recipient
For years of countless contributions to the jazz community, Lana Rogachevskaya, Executive Director of the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University (GSU), has been recognized with Prairie State College’s (PSC) annual Howard Luckey Excellence in Jazz Leadership Award.
The award goes to a community member who has provided extensive and consistent support of jazz through teaching, performing, or organizing in a spirit of humility and community.
When asked about her contributions to the jazz community, Rogachevskaya remarked she’s been fortunate in her 10-year run at GSU, from which she will take her final bow this year.
Among many notable highlights has been tapping into Chicago’s elite jazz community through a partnership with an Emmy Award-winning trumpeter, composer, and educator Orbert Davis also the co-founder and artist director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP).
“I have served as a connector and matchmaker, bringing artists and audiences together, giving creatives the resources to bring their talents and vision to life. Making the sounds of jazz storytelling vibrant and accessible for Chicago southland audiences has been a collaborative and improvisatory journey. We’ve welcomed jazz soloists, small groups, and orchestras, hosted Chicago and world premieres, and helped conceive and birth the region Let them Eat JAZZ Festival, a partnership with Southland Arts,” Rogachevskaya said.
For these and other efforts to bring projects to life, Rogachevskaya was honored with the Howard Luckey Excellence in Jazz Leadership Award and invited on stage at the closing concert of PSC’s 34th Annual Jazz Festival.
“This award is a joyful reminder that the work of our team at the Center for Performing Arts is seen and appreciated by our community partners. I have deep respect for the Prairie State Jazz Festival’s mission as well as the passionate labor of love Valerie Nicholson has contributed to educating the next generation of jazz musicians,” said Rogachevskaya.
This year’s PSC Jazz Festival featured guest artists Ernie Adams, Drums; Rubén P. Alvarez, Percussionist; Orbert Davis, Trumpet; Larry Gray, Bass; Valerie Nicholson, Piano; and Edward Petersen, Saxophone. Throughout the duration of the festival, there were performances by many local high schools and middle schools, who received feedback from professional guest artists and clinicians.