Dan Morgenstern Awarded a Singular Honor

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 A Rutgers Honor as He Retires from World’s Largest Jazz Archive

Grammy Award-winning jazz historian and author Dan Morgenstern has been awarded the Rutgers University Award, one of its highest recognitions, by President Richard L. McCormick.  The award, which includes both a medal and a citation, recognizes individuals who have given distinguished service to the university and demonstrated great leadership or made outstanding contributions in scholarship, public service, business, industry, athletics, or the arts. Previous winners include Albert Schatz, co-discoverer of streptomycin, and U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg.

The award citation states, “Your exceptional contributions to preserving, promoting, and advancing our understanding of jazz, have ensured the enduring legacy of this great American art form. In your work as Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark since 1976, you have built the Institute into the largest archival collection of jazz and jazz-related materials in the world and a tremendous source of pride among our university community.”

 Morgenstern retired from the jazz institute in January 2012.

“I join President McCormick in lauding the memorable achievements of this remarkable Jazz Master,” stated Philip Yeagle, Interim Chancellor of Rutgers-Newark. “Dan Morgenstern leaves a three-fold legacy: the brick and mortar of the Institute of Jazz Studies in Dana Library; the thousands of lives he has inspired and touched through his passion for teaching, writing, preserving, and enjoying jazz; and the gift to the future of jazz, here and around the world, of the archive he has built.”

The award was made to Morgenstern at a reception in his honor on April 17.

Morgenstern’s legacy truly is amazing.  An internationally acclaimed historian, writer, and educator, he has received eight Grammy awards, the latest in 2010 for his album notes for “The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946), on Mosaic Records.”

Morgenstern received three Deems Taylor awards from ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The first two were for his books, Jazz People and Living With Jazz; then in December 2007, he received his third, for his liner notes on “If You Got to Ask, You Ain't Got It!" Earlier that year, Morgenstern stood alongside other jazz luminaries on a stage in New York– the only non-musician in the group – as he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, receiving the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.  (The New York Times calls the “Jazz Master” designation “the nation’s highest jazz honor.”)  That same year Down Beat magazine named Morgenstern the 27th recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award, and The Recording Academy honored Morgenstern with a Legacy Award.

Morgenstern’s extensive knowledge of jazz led famed documentarian Ken Burns to ask Morgenstern to act as senior adviser to his 10-part PBS series, “Jazz." Morgenstern, who attended Brandeis University, has taught jazz history at the Peabody Institute, Brooklyn College, New York University, and the Schweitzer Institute of Music, as well as in the Masters Program in Jazz History and Research at Rutgers-Newark.  He co-produces and co-hosts the “Jazz from the Archives” program on WBGO-FM, and co-hosts the monthly Jazz Research Roundtable at Rutgers-Newark.

Morgenstern’s career includes seven years as editor of Down Beat magazine, last editor of Metronome and first editor of Jazz Magazine, stints as jazz reviewer for the New York Post and record-reviewer for the Chicago Sun Times. He has written hundreds of articles, co-authored or contributed to numerous jazz books, and is frequently quoted in the national media. He is currently writing his memoirs.

The Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, the world’s most extensive jazz archives, is part of the Rutgers University Libraries. The IJS is housed in the John Cotton Dana Library on the Newark campus of Rutgers, at 185 University Ave.:


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