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Jazz legend Vernon Alley to receive Presidential Medal


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May 6, 2002
Vernon Alley playing his bass at the San Francisco Jazz Festival

Vernon Alley, the legendary bassist who has played a major role in San Francisco's jazz scene since the 1940s, will receive the SFSU Presidential Medal at a ceremony on Friday, May 24 -- the evening before commencement.

Alley, 86, is known as the "dean of San Francisco jazz" and has been a major fixture on San Francisco's jazz scene since its post-World War II heyday in the North Beach and Fillmore districts. He still performs several times a month.

Alley, an undergraduate studies music student in 1940, has actively supported SFSU, performing at alumni functions and special events such as "Veterans of Comedy Wars: A North Beach Reunion."

The Presidential Medal honors those who have made long-lasting, widespread contributions to SFSU and the city of San Francisco. Recipients are chosen by President Robert A. Corrigan.

For more on Alley and the SFSU Presidential Medal, see the press release.

Photo Credit: Vān Nguyen, 2001 San Francisco Jazz Festival.

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Last modified May 6, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs