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Published: Friday, 10/29/2004

City proclaims honors for Toledo jazz legend

City of Toledo officials declared yesterday Jon Hendricks Day, helping the University of Toledo kick off a drive to raise $4 million to establish a jazz institute.

Mr. Hendricks, 83, a jazz singer, was presented with a proclamation at a ceremony at Government Center in the morning and was to be the guest of honor at a party last night in UT's Student Union.

David Stern, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UT, said the university is launching the campaign to fund an International Institute of Jazz.

UT's music department currently has seven full-time jazz faculty members. Mr. Stern said the goal of the fund-raising drive is to be able to offer scholarships and to bring jazz musicians to campus to teach and perform.

Mr. Hendricks has won five Grammys and is known as the father of vocalese - the setting of words to established jazz instrumentals. He has performed with such jazz legends as Count Basie, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. In June, Mr. Hendricks was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

Mr. Hendricks grew up in Toledo, graduated from Scott High School, and fought with the U.S. Army in France during World War II, later attending UT.

Yesterday, Mr. Hendricks said his dream since he was a student at UT in 1949 and 1950 was that all the world's nations would join as a United States of the World.

He said he formed a chapter of the United World Federalists on the UT campus, and said the formation of the European Union is a huge step in that direction.

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