Project: Golden Era of the Big Band Jazz Musicians: Reminiscences of NEA Jazz Master Dan Morgenstern
Project Director:Hank Hehmsoth, School of Music, Texas State University
Revised Project Timeline August 2018:
Due to NEA Jazz Master Dan Morgenstern’s health and advanced age (he is 90 years old) and concerns regarding his flight travel, airport connections, hot August temperatures in Austin, Texas, and back and forth, hotel commuting to recording studios, a change of plan has been established. The new August 2018 Timeline requires Project Director Hehmsoth and Co-Director Keith Winking to travel to New York City to record interviews with Morgenstern and his lifelong friends and associates, jazz broadcaster and curator at NYC Lincoln Center Phil Schaap, and Senior Scholar at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem Loren Schoenberg. Video and audio clips will be recorded in two locations, Morgenstern’s offices at the Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies, and The National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Both locations are near Morgenstern’s residence.
September to December 2018:
Project Director Hehmsoth will work to produce the recordings, develop the programs, and create a website dedicated to Dan Morgenstern’s accomplishments, including his research and recollections of the Kansas City Jazz School, its Big Bands and performers. Audio and video recordings will be archived at the university library’s Wittliff Collections.
Hehmsoth will do a soft-launch of the in-progress website by introducing it along with the recordings, lesson plans, and performance program outlines to thousands of visiting audience members at the annual Hill Country Jazz Festival and Eddie Durham Jazz Celebration to share the free resources with high school students, educators, and the general public who attend. Wittliff archives as well as recorded live performances and other recordings made available on the website will preserve this unique heritage of stellar performances while safeguarding and codifying Morgenstern’s large body of research regarding Kansas City Jazz.
Once all recordings are fully produced and the website is complete, Hehmsoth will send press releases about the website to National and State Associations for Music Education, local, regional, and national radio stations, and news outlets introducing the website and recordings available for free download and public distribution.
... a personal note from Project Director Hank Hehmsoth:
"All About Dan"
I've known Dan for the past 13 years as the keynote speaker at the annual Eddie Durham Jazz Celebration in San Marcos, Texas. Dan tells me he was on the NEA grant committee that awarded me my 1st NEA grant in 1979. Now, 40 years later, I am proud to reciprocate with this 2018-19 NEA grant (PDF, p. 60), awarded to honor Dan's life and work as a jazz advocate.