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Tony and Betty Zamora named 'Ambassadors of Jazz'

Tony is a long-time saxophonist. You probably remember his band, the Tony Zamora Jazz Ensemble, which got together in the mid-1980's.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 11:04 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2019 11:19 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- A Lafayette Legend became even more legendary Wednesday night.

Tony Zamora and his wife Betty were named 'Ambassadors of Jazz' in the Greater Lafayette community.

Tony is a long-time saxophonist. You probably remember his band, the Tony Zamora Jazz Ensemble, which got together in the mid-1980's. 

Although Tony hasn't played in over a decade, the Zamora's are being honored for their dedication to supporting and encouraging jazz music locally.

Tony said receiving this title is very humbling, and he hopes it inspires all young musicians to follow their dreams.

"I was excited and I was exhilarated," Zamora said. "It was something I hope that will benefit the young people that look at the future and the possibilities for succeeding in their dream."

High school jazz musicians competed on Wednesday night for the Tony Zamora Scholarship worth $500. 

Brent Laidler, Administrator of the Tony Zamora Scholarship, said everybody who remembers Tony remembers him through his music.

Laidler gave each contestant a copy of a live recording of the Tony Zamora Jazz Ensemble playing at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette back in 1995.

"So the students get a chance to hear Tony," Laidler said. "To have that context will give them an understanding of why his name is on the scholarship."

Tony said watching the young musicians play shows that music gets better over time.

"I hope this is able to be inspiring and develop the passion for the music that I had when I was coming up as a young man. I wish them well," Tony said. 

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