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Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark Celebrates Acclaimed Jazz Historian and Author Dan Morgenstern as He Turns 90

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Dan Morgenstern

Appoints Morgenstern IJS Executive Director Emeritus, Names Fellowship in His Honor, Will Host Symposium on His Life and Legacy

NEWARK, NJ — The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) at Rutgers University–Newark has appointed Dan Morgenstern Executive Director Emeritus of IJS and has named a yearlong fellowship in his honor to celebrate his 90th birthday and significant contributions to jazz scholarship. Homage will continue in the spring with a symposium on Morgenstern’s life and legacy. IJS made the official announcement of the foregoing during a birthday bash at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City on October 23.

An internationally acclaimed historian, writer, and educator, Morgenstern served as director of IJS for 36 years, 1976-2012.

“Dan Morgenstern is literally a national treasure and was the guiding force at IJS for almost four decades,” said IJS Executive Director Wayne Winborne. “His desire to preserve the legacy of jazz while firmly planted in the now and looking toward the future is surpassed only by his keen intellect, incredible memory, and pure love for this music, the musicians who created it, and those who continue to practice its magical arts.” 

In addition to his directorship of IJS, Morgenstern’s career includes seven years as editor of Down Beat magazine, last editor of Metronome, 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 quoted frequently in the national media.

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 Master’s Program in Jazz History and Research at Rutgers-Newark. He co-produced and co-hosted the “Jazz from the Archives” program on WBGO-FM and co-hosted the monthly Jazz Research Roundtable at Rutgers-Newark.

Morgenstern 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.” Other awards and honors include three Deems Taylor awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; the A.B. Spellman National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy; Down Beat magazine’s 27th recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award; and a Legacy Award from the Recording Academy.

As for the newly created fellowship in Morgenstern’s honor, IJS has selected three individuals to serve as Dan Morgenstern Institute of Jazz Studies Distinguished Fellows: Stefon Harris, four-time Grammy-nominated, jazz vibraphonist; Sheila Anderson, author and jazz radio and television host/personality; and Loren Schoenberg, two-time Grammy-winning tenor saxophonist, conductor, educator, and jazz historian. Harris will lecture and teach a master jazz class. Anderson will moderate panel discussions, give a seminar, and produce her podcast. Schoenberg will write and help to plan a spring 2020 symposium on Morgenstern’s life and legacy. All three fellowships will begin immediately.

“The members of this inaugural class of Distinguished Fellows embody, in their individual ways, Dan’s commitment to excellence, uncanny ear for great music, and most of all, sheer joy in being a part of this musical community,” shared Winborne.

IJS Senior Archivist Vincent Pelote, one of the first young scholars hired by Morgenstern, added, “The Distinguished Fellows are all also deep thinkers, great communicators, and very connected to community. We’re excited to welcome them to Newark and into the IJS family. Working with them this next year is going to be great and definitely in keeping with Dan’s ethos.”

About Rutgers University–Newark
Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N or Rutgers-Newark) is a diverse, urban, public research university that is an anchor institution in New Jersey’s cultural capital. More than 13,000 students are currently enrolled at its 38-acre campus in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, the Rutgers Law School–Newark, the School of Criminal Justice, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. RU-N is exceptionally well positioned to fulfill higher education’s promise as an engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility. It has a remarkable legacy of producing high-impact scholarship that is connected to the great questions and challenges of the world. It has the right mix of disciplines and interdisciplinary centers and institutes to take on those questions and challenges. It is in and of a city and region where its work on local challenges undertaken with partners from many sectors resonates powerfully throughout our urbanizing world. Most importantly, RU-N brings an incredible diversity of people to this work—students, faculty, staff, and community partners—making it more innovative, more creative, more engaging, and more relevant for our time and the times ahead. Learn more at www.newark.rutgers.edu.

About the Institute of Jazz Studies
The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) at Rutgers University–Newark is the world's foremost jazz archive and research facility. It was founded in 1952 by Marshall Stearns (1908-1966), a pioneer jazz scholar. In 1966, Rutgers was chosen as the collection's permanent academic home. IJS is part of the Rutgers University Libraries and in 1994 moved to spacious new quarters on the fourth floor of the John Cotton Dana Library at Rutgers-Newark. The Institute is used by students from Rutgers (especially those in the Master's Program in Jazz History and Research) and other institutions, teachers, scholars, authors, independent researchers, musicians, the media, record companies, libraries and other archives, and arts agencies. The Institute of Jazz Studies has been designated as “A Literary Landmark” by the New Jersey Center for the Book in the National Registry of the Library of Congress, October 2013. Learn more at www.libraries.rutgers.edu/jazz.