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Jefferson Jay’s San Diego Music Hall Of Fame chooses legacy over the latest

“This is not an award show”

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

“It’s in no way, shape, or form an awards show,” says Jefferson Jay, founder and President of the San Diego Music Hall Of Fame. Rather, the New Jersey transplant fell in love with this city and its arts scene over two decades ago, but sensed something was missing. “I felt that the visual arts community and the fine arts community did a really excellent job of supporting each other and promoting themselves. But while we have museums downtown and the whole Spanish Village, and it’s a really vibrant addition to our city, musicians here have nothing like that. All the different little groups and people are separated, and people might just know each other or not know each other, just from passing. This is supposed to be more of a centralizing place where people can look 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, even though it’s been kind of overlooked or overshadowed by all the other great 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 an act’s recent accomplishments and honoring its enduring legacy. “It’s more of a history celebration of San Diego music. It’s not about who did what last year and what record got put out. It’s not a room where people are partying and having drinks and catching up. It’s a more serious kind of event that really seeks to educate the people who attend about the accomplishments of some of the great folks of San Diego music.”

Acknowledgments and inductions aren’t limited to musicians and bands. They also extend to journalists and even to local companies such as Taylor Guitars. “[Taylor] selling the company to their employees for one tenth of what they could have got from overseas investors — it’s pretty exceptional. That sort of vision and generosity and keeping it in the community is a spectacular corporate example.”

Accomplishments such as this are the sorts of thing that merit induction into the institution, which will hold its third ceremonial event on November 5 in Ocean Beach. “There’s one extra factor that I’m going to throw out there. I’m looking for people who not only have contributed mightily with their music, but also with their kindness and their character, and people who’ve gone the extra mile to make the other people in the community feel welcome and encouraged, regardless of what they may or may not have accomplished.” Notable among the six 2021 inductees is the late DJ Carlos Culture, who fell to covid early in the pandemic. Culture was known for his mentoring of both up-and-coming and established musicians. Inductees are not voted in, per se, but are chosen in what Jay describes as “a slam dunk,” after discussion with the Hall Of Fame staff.

Past Event

San Diego Music Hall Of Fame Ceremony

Given that only 12 inductees exist at press time, some overlap is to be expected between Jay’s project and the San Diego Music Awards Lifetime Achievement awards. The Beat Farmers are a case in point.

Looking to the future, Jay hopes to establish a permanent locale where people can go to appreciate San Diego’s musical history. “Ultimately, over time, maybe we get to a facility or something, and then it does start to stand as a legacy of what San Diego music has been. We’re not quite 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. Performers are scheduled to include the Lisa Sanders Band, Jerry Raney, Yale Strom, Walt Richards, Nathan Raney, Rob Deez, and Gato Papacitos.

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

“It’s in no way, shape, or form an awards show,” says Jefferson Jay, founder and President of the San Diego Music Hall Of Fame. Rather, the New Jersey transplant fell in love with this city and its arts scene over two decades ago, but sensed something was missing. “I felt that the visual arts community and the fine arts community did a really excellent job of supporting each other and promoting themselves. But while we have museums downtown and the whole Spanish Village, and it’s a really vibrant addition to our city, musicians here have nothing like that. All the different little groups and people are separated, and people might just know each other or not know each other, just from passing. This is supposed to be more of a centralizing place where people can look 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, even though it’s been kind of overlooked or overshadowed by all the other great 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 an act’s recent accomplishments and honoring its enduring legacy. “It’s more of a history celebration of San Diego music. It’s not about who did what last year and what record got put out. It’s not a room where people are partying and having drinks and catching up. It’s a more serious kind of event that really seeks to educate the people who attend about the accomplishments of some of the great folks of San Diego music.”

Acknowledgments and inductions aren’t limited to musicians and bands. They also extend to journalists and even to local companies such as Taylor Guitars. “[Taylor] selling the company to their employees for one tenth of what they could have got from overseas investors — it’s pretty exceptional. That sort of vision and generosity and keeping it in the community is a spectacular corporate example.”

Accomplishments such as this are the sorts of thing that merit induction into the institution, which will hold its third ceremonial event on November 5 in Ocean Beach. “There’s one extra factor that I’m going to throw out there. I’m looking for people who not only have contributed mightily with their music, but also with their kindness and their character, and people who’ve gone the extra mile to make the other people in the community feel welcome and encouraged, regardless of what they may or may not have accomplished.” Notable among the six 2021 inductees is the late DJ Carlos Culture, who fell to covid early in the pandemic. Culture was known for his mentoring of both up-and-coming and established musicians. Inductees are not voted in, per se, but are chosen in what Jay describes as “a slam dunk,” after discussion with the Hall Of Fame staff.

Past Event

San Diego Music Hall Of Fame Ceremony

Given that only 12 inductees exist at press time, some overlap is to be expected between Jay’s project and the San Diego Music Awards Lifetime Achievement awards. The Beat Farmers are a case in point.

Looking to the future, Jay hopes to establish a permanent locale where people can go to appreciate San Diego’s musical history. “Ultimately, over time, maybe we get to a facility or something, and then it does start to stand as a legacy of what San Diego music has been. We’re not quite 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. Performers are scheduled to include the Lisa Sanders Band, Jerry Raney, Yale Strom, Walt Richards, Nathan Raney, Rob Deez, and Gato Papacitos.

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