Celebrating the people and music of Cincinnati jazz

Ed Moss is a Cincinnati jazz legend, known for his piano playing, composing, and arranging, as well as for his entrepreneurship. Over the years, he opened several venues that were reliable places for jazz musicians to play and for their audiences to listen and enjoy – Golden Triangle, Emanon, and Schwartz’s Point among them. Earlier this month, Moss, who passed away in 2016, was inducted into the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame, joining other local legends who have been awarded the honor, including Rosemary Clooney, Oscar Treadwell, and Cal Collins.

The Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame was launched in 2015 to help celebrate Greater Cincinnati’s contributors to the art form and to further jazz education through scholarships and mentoring.

This year, along with Moss, four other musicians were honored in an afternoon ceremony at Mount St. Joseph Auditorium:
  • Bob Bodley was the house bassist at the legendary Blue Wisp Jazz club for 15 years. As a student at Moeller High School, he found a discarded upright bass in the music room, fixed it up and began playing and taking lessons. He eventually moved to New York, working with names such as Art Farmer and Woody Herman. He moved back to this region in 1990 and continued playing nearly every night at spots around town. Bodley died in 2006.
  • Jazz Hall of Fame inductee, Joe Lukasik At the age of 86, Joe Lukasik still plays the clarinet regularly and performs weekly in Clifton with a band called Queen City Vintage Vibe. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Erie, Pa., he studied music in New York and Colorado, and then taught jazz clarinet for 20 years at the university level in Denver. In 1995, he and his wife moved to Cincinnati, where he’s played at many clubs and community centers, and with well-known groups including the Buffalo Ridge Jazz Band and the Faux Frenchmen.
  • Lynne Scott was born into a musical family in Cincinnati, and at the age of 9, appeared with her mother on a local television show singing “Birth of the Blues.” She appeared regularly on radio and TV programs around the Midwest, including the Nick Clooney Show, the Bob Braun Show and the 1180 Club radio show. She has sung with many jazz groups in the area, including the Rob Allgeyer Trio, the Phil DeGreg trio, the Pete Wagner Orchestra, and many more.
  • Jazz Hall of Fame inductee, Mike Sharfe Michael Sharfe has played bass for five decades and is one of the hardest-working musicians in town, with credits on more than 250 CDs. He and Hall of Famers Steve Schmidt and John von Ohlen formed the Blue Wisp Trio, backing national acts at that club, and then formed the nucleus of the Blue Wisp Big Band, with which he still performs. He’s toured nationally with guitarist Adrian Belew, and with Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops, and is a guiding voice in several current ensembles, including the Cuban-inflected Mambo Combo.

A special recognition award was given to Sue Brown, who has been instrumental in several jazz education programs, including Jazz at Dusk, a workshop that allows students to perform in professional venues before live audiences. 

The Hall of Fame event is also a jazz concert, and music was performed by the Phil DeGreg Trio; Joe Lukasik; Ed Moss’ former outfit, the Society Jazz Orchestra; Lynne Scott; and Michael Sharfe’s Retro Nouveau group.
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David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.