April 20, 2014
Menlo Park, CA
Photo: Dr. Herb Wong at home July 18, 2012 Photo by Frank Jang. Legendary jazz journalist, broadcaster, educator, and record and concert producer Doctor Herb Wong, 88, passed away at home in Menlo Park, California yesterday morning.
He hosted his own jazz show on KJAZ radio which aired from 1959 to 1996. He was a frequent emcee at the Monterey Jazz Festival, co-founded the Palo Alto Jazz Alliance, produced the Palo Alto Jazz Festival, and was a president of the International Association for Jazz Education, and elected to its Hall of Fame. In December, 2013 he was honored with the Palo Alto Excellence Award in Jazz Education.
An avid educator, he designed and taught more than 75 courses on jazz during his 25 years as an edicator in Palo Alto. He has also taught at University of California Berkeley and Western Washington University, and introduced jazz education into the Berkeley elementary schools curriculum.
Always affable and witty, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz and was able to share his passion for the music in a way that anyone could understand. He knew many of the great jazz artists of the 20th/21st century personally.
Known as a 'renaissance man' for his multiple talents, after serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Service, he earned a Phd from UC Berkeley in zoology and a master's degree in science education at San Jose State University. He has written many album liner notes, and co-authored several books on science for children.
He was a dear family member, a descendant from my great-grandfather who came to America in 1852. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, brother Elwood Wong, daughters Kira and Kamberly and four grandchildren.
Photo: Dr. Herb Wong receives AAJA.org Pioneer Journalist Honor from Suzanne Joe Kai, AAJA-LA.org board member Photo by Frank Jang. In the summer of 2012, I interviewed my Uncle Herbie for our family archives and a documentary project on Asian American media pioneers. He...