Past Event

Dan Morgenstern, A Life in Jazz

Few are more beloved in the jazz community than Dan Morgenstern. Jazz advocate, producer, writer, scholar, he led the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University for over three decades, establishing it as the world’s preeminent archive for jazz. Along the way, he shaped the way we hear and think about this music, mentored generations of writers, educators, and musicians, and in turn, was embraced by artists from Louis Armstrong to Ornette Coleman to Alban Berg. Join us in celebrating Dan’s 88th birthday in an afternoon of warm conversation, music and love.

More about Dan Morgenstern:

Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University since 1976, Dan Morgenstern is a jazz historian and archivist, author, editor, and educator who has been active in the jazz field since 1958.

He was chief editor of DownBeat from 1967 to 1973, and served as New York editor from 1964. Morgenstern was co-editor of the Annual Review Of Jazz Studies and the monograph series Studies In Jazz, published jointly by the IJS and Scarecrow Press, and author of Jazz People. He has been a jazz critic for the New York Post, record reviewer for the Chicago Sun Times, and New York correspondent and columnist for England’s Jazz Journal and Japan’s Swing Journal. He’s contributed to reference works including the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Dictionary of American Music, African-American Almanac, and Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year; and to such anthologies as Reading Jazz, Setting The Tempo, The Louis Armstrong Companion, The Duke Ellington Reader, The Miles Davis Companion, and The Lester Young Reader.

Morgenstern taught jazz history at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Brooklyn College, New York University, and the Schweitzer Institute of Music in Idaho. He served on the faculties of the Institutes in Jazz Criticism, jointly sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the Music Critics Association, and on the faculty of the Masters Program in Jazz History and Research at Rutgers University.

Morgenstern is a former vice president and trustee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; was a co-founder of the Jazz Institute of Chicago; served on the boards of the New York Jazz Museum and the American Jazz Orchestra; and is a director of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and the Mary Lou Williams Foundation. He has been a member of Denmark’s International JAZZPAR Prize Committee since its inception in 1989.

A prolific annotator of record albums, Morgenstern has won seven Grammy Awards for Best Album Notes (1973, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1991, 1995, and 2006). He received ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award for Jazz People in 1977 and in 2005 for Living with Jazz.