New Leadership Chosen for World's Largest Jazz Archive
Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University–Newark prepared to play on a bigger stage
Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N) Chancellor Nancy Cantor has appointed the tandem of a multi-talented jazz champion and a revered keeper of the jazz flame to empower the Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) to “play on a much bigger stage while connecting new audiences to jazz.”
Cantor has announced the selection of Wayne Winborne as executive director of IJS, the world’s largest and most comprehensive jazz archive, and Vincent Pelote as director of operations. The appointments follow exhaustive national searches for both positions that included consultation and interviews with leading figures in the jazz world.
Following the retirement of longtime director and jazz fixture Dan Morgenstern, the IJS leadership was restructured to transform the position into two posts: a director of operations, whose focus will be the curation of the archive, and an executive director charged with forging partnerships to elevate the visibility and appreciation of the archive locally, nationally, and globally. A key goal articulated at the outset of the searches was to build awareness of this jazz gem, which for nearly 50 years has been revered among scholars all over the world and other members of the jazz cognoscenti, such as Ken Burns, who mined the archives for his landmark PBS documentary series, Jazz. Although the IJS, with holdings that include more than 150,000 precious recordings, is well-known among scholars and musicians of the jazz world, it is not yet well-known outside the circle of jazz insiders.
Cantor is thrilled with the results of the searches. The tandem of Winborne and Pelote, she says, combines “very deep and very broad knowledge of jazz, extensive connections with contemporary jazz artists, experience in education and in producing performances and programming, and the personalities and management skills to strengthen and significantly augment partnerships to lead the IJS into a new era of visibility and impact.”
John Schreiber, president and CEO of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, a well-known jazz impresario himself, co-chaired the search that found Winborne and is eager to start collaborating with him and the IJS. "I'm delighted to welcome Wayne home to Newark as the new leader of IJS. With deep experience that intersects philanthropy, education and corporate America, he possesses an irresistible passion for jazz and an impressive background as a jazz record producer, historian and advocate. All of us at the Arts Center can't wait to start jammin' with Wayne!"
Sterling Bland, the other executive director search co-chair, who is an English professor in the RU-N College of Arts & Sciences and has written extensively on jazz, is equally energized about what Winborne will bring to the university’s academic programming around jazz through the faculty appointment he will hold as professor of professional practice. “Wayne impressed faculty members from Arts & Sciences with his experience, his knowledge of IJS and the jazz idiom, his ability to teach innovative courses, and his personal warmth,” says Bland. “He’s positioned to contribute significantly to the experience of graduate students in the M.A. program in Jazz History and Research and undergraduate students in the music program in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media, as well as collaborate fruitfully with faculty and students across departments, programs, and research centers.”
Winborne, a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., has headed his own firm for the past five years, the Winborne Group, a consulting company with offices in New York City and Los Angeles that specializes in business development, strategic planning, fundraising, diversity, multicultural marketing, and program design and facilitation. For eight years prior to that, he was vice president for business diversity outreach at Prudential Financial in Newark, where he facilitated business and recruitment opportunities in targeted, diverse communities through corporate sponsorships, marketing partnerships, and related business development activities.
Previously, Winborne was director of program and policy research at The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), program officer at the Ford Foundation, senior research coordinator at the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, and adjunct lecturer in psychology and research methods at New York University and the City University of New York’s Baruch and Medgar Evers Colleges. He has authored a number of publications related to diversity and management in corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic settings.
Along with this impressive melding of business and academic experience, Winborne also has extensive knowledge of jazz and extensive relationships with artists and producers throughout the genre. He has served as advisor and consultant to artists and musicians and worked with filmmakers, playwrights, and theater producers. Winborne has produced recordings for the MaxJazz, HighNote, and Savant labels, including “Daybreak” by Bruce Barth and the just-released “Feeling Good” by Mary Stallings. He also has taught jazz history and appreciation at Stanford University.
Winborne also brings to the IJS an extensive record of success in fundraising in the jazz and nonprofit communities, as well as a network of collaborations with an array of cultural institutions. He has served on the boards of local and national nonprofit organizations ranging from the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, to the Asian American Justice Center, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Social and Public Art Resource Center. He earned degrees from Stanford and New York University.
“I can’t wait to get started,” says Winborne. “There is so much to build upon: the IJS’ phenomenal holdings, experienced and committed staff, rich history, and its presence in Newark, the intellectual resources of the university, and the great good will among so many possible collaborators across Newark, the New York metro area, and the jazz world. IJS is poised to realize fully the bold vision Chancellor Cantor has developed. I’m honored to have been chosen to be a part of this exciting next chapter.”
For his part, Pelote, a resident of Bayonne, N.J., is a well-known figure in the jazz community in Newark, the New York City metropolitan area, and beyond, having played a pivotal role at the IJS for 37 years. Most recently, he served as head of collections services and sound archivist, bringing expertise in music education as well as library science and archival management to all of his many roles at IJS over the years. An experienced teacher, broadcaster, and principal investigator on major grants supporting the IJS, Pelote has published several discographies, including one on Lionel Hampton in the celebrated vibraphonist’s autobiography. Nationally, he has served as president of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections. Pelote also is an accomplished jazz guitarist, and a graduate of Rutgers University, with a B.A. in music education, and a master of library science.
Cantor sees IJS’ new leadership as poised to ignite precisely the kind of collaboration needed to take the institute to a whole new level through innovation and collaboration. “With the considerable strengths of the IJS staff and support of community partners such as NJPAC—with whom we expect to announce a new, jazz-centered partnership in the coming weeks—and other key stakeholders, we will polish the IJS as a crown jewel of jazz and of Newark to realize the institute’s and our collective potential.”
Related: New York Times: Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers has a New Director. July 31, 2015
About the Institute of Jazz Studies
The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University – Newark is the largest and most comprehensive library and archive of jazz and jazz-related materials in the world. IJS was founded in 1952 with a donation of the vast collection of jazz lover and pioneering historian Marshall Stearns. In 1966 the IJS became part of Rutgers University, and in 1994 moved to its current home at the John Cotton Dana Library, 185 University Ave., Newark. The collection includes extensive and rare recordings, publications, instruments, and artifacts of jazz history, and is the designated repository for archives of jazz greats including Benny Carter and Mary Lou Williams. IJS presented decades of radio programs on WBGO, Newark public radio, as well as “Jazz Research Roundtables” presenting the world’s foremost jazz scholars, and concerts of leading jazz performers. More information is available at http://newarkwww.rutgers.edu/IJS/index1.html.
About Rutgers University–Newark
Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) is a diverse, urban, public research university that is an anchor institution in New Jersey’s largest city and cultural capital. Nearly 11,500 students are currently enrolled at its 38-acre campus in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School-Newark, Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick, the School of Law-Newark, the School of Criminal Justice, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. An engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility, RU-N has a remarkable legacy of producing high-impact scholarship that is connected to the great questions and challenges of the world. A pivotal strength is that RU-N brings an exceptional diversity of people to this work—students, faculty, staff, and community partners—increasing it innovation, creativity, engagement, and relevance for our time and the times ahead. For more information please visit www.newark.rutgers.edu.
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Photo by Theo Anderson.