The Sunshine Jazz Organization (SJO) was created in 1986 and is based in Miami, Florida. We are committed to the idea that the measure of a society can be found in its culture. Music is of the utmost importance for the continual growth, enrichment and advancement of our community, for our students and for our position as cultural leaders in the USA and Americas. In the Greater Miami area we can boast world-class jazz artists on every instrument and a variety of vocal styles. The SJO is committed to creating avenues for Jazz performance, education and awareness by inviting all ages to enjoy most events free or at a nominal charge. We encourage you to go out and support live jazz thus allowing artists to develop and thrive, and SJO to continue producing exciting presentations in parks, schools, concert venues, and local nightspots.
Keith Valles - President
Holly Spillane - Vice President
Windsome Williams - Treasurer
Jeanette Tullis - Secretary
Leesa Richards - Board Member
JaNia Harden - Board Member
Brenda Martin Providence - Board Member
Corky Dozier - Board Advisor
Nicole Yarling - Board Advisor
Mike Factor - Board Advisor
Gone but never forgotten.
WE LOVE YOU MADLY!
Nicknamed "The Mahj" by Duke Ellington himself (short for Maharajah, Purveyor of Swirls), the veteran Jazz DJ and one of America's leading authorities on Jazz, chuckles "Music is my love; it's my life." Charles "China" Valles began his musical career as road manager for saxophonist "Illinois" Jacquet in the Fifties and has met and interviewed musical giants such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.
Valles arrived in South Florida in 1962 to head an upstart Jazz radio station, and eventually graced the airwaves including WBUS, WTMI and WDNA continuously until not too many years ago. With his delightfully gruff voice, full of whimsy and charm, Valles is a well-worn local treasure.