Rutgers-Newark is now the official home of jazz legend Count Basie’s life artifacts
Published June 15, 2018 | Newswire
The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) at Rutgers-Newark is now home to a collection of nearly 1,000 artifacts that belonged to late jazz icon William J. “Count” Basie Jr.
A jazz pianist, organist, bandleader and composer, Basie’s career spanned more than 60 years and helped elevate jazz a serious artform. Basie also established swing as one of jazz’s predominant styles.
The Count Basie Collection, which was officially announced during a ceremony at Rutgers-Newark on Wednesday, includes his pianos, Hammond organ, photos, correspondence, concert programs, business records, housewares and press clippings. It will be open to scholars, curators, writers, students, filmmakers, and music aficionados looking to study his life and impact on jazz.
Wayne Winborne, executive director of IJS, said the collection, which spans Basie’s lifetime, “represents the latter years of Basie’s life and career particularly well.” It also includes materials that illuminate the life and work of his wife, Catherine Basie. According to Winborne, the acquisition of Basie’s collection continues IJS’s reputation as one of the world’s foremost archives and research facilities devoted to jazz.
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In addition to hundreds of artifacts, Rutgers-Newark now also retains the rights to Basie’s name, likeness, and trademark. The collection will become available to the public in the near future for research and exhibition.
Count Basie made history when, in 1958, he became the first black Grammy Award winner. He earned nine of the awards in total, and had four of his recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
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