The Willie Akins Music Scholarship

Willie Akins Music Scholarship Update

Hello friends,
I want to announce that the Willie Akins Music Scholarship Fund at Webster University has been fulfilled! What this means is that we have surpassed the pledge of 25,000 dollars within the endowment fund to activate the scholarship!

As of December 31st, 2021 we are sitting at over 26,000 dollars! We did it! So now this scholarship will begin to release funds annually to qualified students of the Jazz department at Webster University, (Webster, MO). The scholarship is designed to assist students based on need and merit. Also, this scholarship will live on in perpetuity, proudly paying homage to the late, great Jazz saxophonist, Willie Akins!

This brings me such great pleasure to see the name of one of my jazz mentors live FOREVER! We love you Willie!

Many of you know just how special Willie was in supporting and nourishing so many current jazz greats from the St. Louis area, and with this scholarship, that legacy will continue.

I want to thank ALL the people, corporate sponsors and venues that helped make this dream come true.


I will be setting up a monthly concert series starting this summer that will continue on to generate funds to add to this scholarship with the goal of ONE MILLION DOLLARS within the next 20 years. These shows will continue at various venues that donate their space along with jazz combos and musicians that donate their time to perform and help grow the fund, promote music education and the great American artform that we call JAZZ.

If you would like to contribute as a musician, band, venue, corporate sponsor, or private donor, just know that EVERY PENNY generated goes directly into the scholarship fund. PERIOD!


Thank You,

Joe Mancuso