Al Young title

HERB WONG (1926-2014), jazz educator, producer, promoter and commentator

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Herb Wong by John Spragens 1998
Photo: © John Spragens

Dr. Herb Wong in 1998

Obituaries

Herb Wong: Visionary founder of BUSD’s jazz program

By Sarah Cline, Jazz Program Director at Berkeley High School

We at Berkeley High School and in BUSD Jazz lost our founding father this Easter. Dr. Herb Wong passed early in the morning Sunday April 20. He was 88.

Wong was the visionary principal of Washington Elementary School who was responsible for hiring Phil Hardymon, Dick Wittington and Bob Chaconas to teach jazz to little kids in the Berkeley Unified School District, way back in the late 1960s. At the time, Wong was one of a very few people in the nation who believed in jazz education at the elementary school level — as music education, as a part of the civil rights movement, and as a way of propagating a truly democratic and artistic spirit among those of us in the next generation.

Herb-Wong WA Elementary 1960s
© Sarah McCullough

||| Read Sarah Cline’s obituary in full at its Berkeleyside source.

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Menlo Park: Herb Wong, jazz icon and educator, dies at 88

by Sandy Brundage / Almanac (Menlo Park, CA, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley)

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