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Each year the Jazz Arts Foundation, Inc. awards tuition and lodging to Jamey Aebersold’s Summer Jazz Workshop in Louisville, KY to a deserving High School student in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra’s Jazz Arts Orchestra. The scholarship honors Clarence “Duke” Madison. Mr. Madison was a Lexington jazz saxophone icon for many years and in 1992, the board of directors of JAF created the Annual Duke Madison Memorial scholarship to honor him and to preserve his legacy.

The first several years, KY high school students were asked to send audition tapes to a panel of adult musicians and educators named by JAF who then chose the recipient. When JAF created the Youth Jazz Ensemble in 1996, it became the Director’s responsibility to choose a recipient yearly from the students in the Ensemble. The first Director was John Richardson (from 1996 to 2005) and he was succeeded by the first scholarship recipient, Larry Nelson (from 2006 to 2007).

The Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra (CKYO) “adopted” the Youth Ensemble in 2007 and it became the CKYO Jazz Arts Orchestra (JAO). The JAF board voted to allow the CKYO group directors to choose a deserving student musician from the JAO to receive the annual Duke Madison Scholarship.

Click HERE for more information regarding the Summer Workshops.

The Honoree

DukeMadison B&WClarence “Duke” Madison 1923 – 1997
Clarence “Duke” Madison was a recognized jazz saxophone player in Kentucky. He was born in Anderson, IN, the son of Roger and Beatrice Madison. Clarence Madison started playing the tenor saxophone at the age of five in Sunday school, and as a teen he played with a number of bands. Duke had no formal training, his talent was a true God given gift.

At the age of 16 he began playing with the Hal Mcintire Band and continued playing on stage with greats, such as, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Charlie Parker, Stan Kenton, Clark Terry, and many others. He performed and taught music, then enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 5, 1943. During his time in the service, Madison was a member of the World War II prestigious Army Service band. After serving in the Army, Madison continued playing with various bands, coming to Kentucky in the 1940s to play with the Jordan Embry Band in Richmond, KY. He later moved to Lexington, KY, where he played jazz at local clubs and events for 50 years and led the Duke Madison Trio. He was also employed as a postal worker. Clarence Madison was the husband of Anna M. Gaines Madison. He was a member of the Negro Musicians association, where he held a seat on the board of directors for eight years. Clarence “Duke” Madison will be remembered for his music genius, contributing his unique and emotional jazz music to the Lexington community for over 50 years.

On May 19, 1997 the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky passed a resolution to “express its profound sense of sorrow upon the passing of Clarence “Duke” Madison, and extends to his family and many friends its most heartfelt sympathy” (see Kentucky Senate Resolution 13 (SR13), 12/19/1997).

Click HERE for a 28:30 minute YouTube documentary “Duke Madison: Life and Music” produced/directed by Patrick McNeese, January 24, 1992.

Click HERE for a more extensive Bio of Duke Madison provided by Bennie J. Smith, Founder & CEO, BJS Enterprises, LLC.

For more: J. Hewlett, “Jazz musician played in area for 50 years,” Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/14/1997, p. B1; and T. Carter, “New group seeking support for Jazz,” Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/22/1990, p. J1.

2017 Duke Madison Memorial Scholarship Recipient Thomas Kikuchi



The son of Ken and Paige Kikuchi, Thomas is currently a Senior at Lafayette High School and is a member of the Central Kentucky Youth Jazz Arts Orchestra (CKYO JAO). His primary focus is the piano, but he is also accomplished on the drums. After graduation Thomas plans on majoring in engineering at Northwestern University. Click HERE for more information about Thomas.






2016 Duke Madison Memorial Scholarship Recipient Jacob O’Donnell






Jacob graduated from Henry Clay High School this year. He plays tenor saxophone with the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra Jazz Arts Orchestra (CKYO JAO), as well as several other music groups and plans to attend the University of Kentucky as a music education major next fall. More information will follow soon so check back. Click HERE for more information about Jacob.





 2015 Duke Madison Memorial Scholarship Recipient Brittany Conn


Photo by Dave Birdwhistell

Photo by Dave Birdwhistell




Ms. Conn is a 2015 graduate of George Rogers Clark High School where she was a member of the marching band.  Brittany plays the saxophone and is also a member of the Central Kentucky Youth Jazz Orchestra. This fall Brittany will be a freshman at the University of Kentucky where she will be studying music. Click HERE for a short essay by Brittany on her camp experience.








June 12, 1992 – The JAF Board of Directors passed a motion to create and fund the “Annual Duke Madison Memorial Scholarship” to pay the tuition for a deserving person to attend Jamey Aebersold’s Summer Jazz Workshop at the University of Louisville each July. Subsequently the board agreed to pay for the recipient’s lodging as well.
1992:  Larry Nelson
1993:  No record
1994:  Scott Kretzer
1995:  No record
1996:  Geordie Kelly (First recipient from JAF Youth Ensemble)
1997:  Youth – Bobby Kenney, Adult: George Railey
1998:  Clint Woltering
1999:  Michael DuFresne
2000:  Sean Cutshall
2001:  Colin Campbell
2002:  Elliott Friedman
2003:  No record
2004:  Lee Larry
2005:  Jacob Ruiz
2006:  May not have awarded – Director had resigned and we were transitioning group to CKYO
2007:  Phil Duff – First recipient from CKYO JAO
2008:  Cooper Harbert
2009:  Clark Barnhart
2010:  Cody Putman
2011:  Luke Schwalbach
2012:  Coty Taylor
2013:  Sebastian Bradley
2014:  C. J. Blair
2015:  Brittany Conn
2016:  Jacob O’Donnell
2017:  Thomas Kikuchi