The 2019 John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year Award




  • Thomas Lizotte is an accomplished music educator who has influenced the artistic lives of thousands of students. He is a teacher at Cape Elizabeth High School in Cape Elizabeth, ME. Thomas Lizotte has been in public education for the past 30 years. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, with degrees in music education and wind conducting. He has taught high school in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida and Maine. His primary jazz influences have been Dave Sporny, Dave Demsey Paul Alberta, Don Doane and Steve Massey. He is a regular contributor to The Instrumentalist magazine. Long active as a teacher and judge in the marching arts, he is a member of three teaching halls of fame – Massachusetts Drum Corps, Boston Crusaders and Maine Music Educators.
  • About the Award

    With this award, Berklee is pleased to collaborate with the Jazz Education Network to recognize an outstanding jazz educator who represents the highest standards of teaching and whose results in the classroom have brought distinction to an institution and to students with the John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year Award.

    This award is named after a legendary jazz educator who served as a distinguished professor at Berklee College of Music for more than 3 decades. LaPorta was an impressive teacher, colleague, and musician.  He played a pivotal role in the earliest stage of formalized American jazz education—shaping the unique Berklee curriculum and influencing the artistic lives of thousands of students.

    This national recognition is presented to the recipient at the Jazz Education Network conference (January 9-12, 2019) and re-presented at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival in Boston, MA (January 26, 2019).  The recipient must be present to receive this honor.

    The recipient of the John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year Award receives

  • Berklee $1,500 Cash Prize
  • Berklee $500 Travel Stipend to Attend the JEN Conference (January 9-12, 2019 in Reno, NV)
  • Complementary JEN Conference Registration
  • Complementary JEN Conference Hotel Room
  • Berklee Online Course
  • Berklee High School Jazz Festival Package (Boston, MA)
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