Joyce Hellmann Bizot, a life-long jazz fan and supporter, conceived and created the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 1981 and chaired it until 2000. Since 1983, the competition has been a part of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. For ten years, she was an associate producer with jazz competitions sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies. At the University of North Florida, Joyce served as a charter member and chair of the Advisory Board of the Music Department’s Jazz and American Music Program (JAMS). She is also a member of the Northeast Florida Jazz Association of Jazz Educators and a former member of the International Association of Jazz Educators.
Before retiring from the City of Jacksonville, Joyce served for more than three decades as an urban planner and administrator in the neighborhood, community and economic development divisions as well as housing and human services programs. For her dedication to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and her support of music and arts programs, Joyce Hellmann Bizot was inducted into the 2009 Jacksonville Jazz Festival Hall of Fame.