Jazz Historian Dan Morgenstern Honored on 90th Birthday with Creation of Rutgers Fellowships

The acclaimed author and educator was director of the university's Institute of Jazz Studies for 36 years

Dan Morgenstern
Dan Morgenstern

The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J., has appointed internationally acclaimed historian, writer, and educator Dan Morgenstern as its executive director emeritus and has named a yearlong fellowship in his honor to celebrate his 90th birthday and significant contributions to jazz scholarship. The tribute will continue in the spring with a symposium on Morgenstern’s life and legacy.

IJS will make the official announcement of all this during a birthday bash at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City today (October 23) at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased on Birdland’s website.

Morgenstern served as director of IJS for 36 years, 1976-2012. In addition to his directing of the Institute, Morgenstern has been the editor of DownBeatMetronome, and Jazz magazines. He also served 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; taught jazz history at the Peabody Institute, Brooklyn College, New York University, and the Schweitzer Institute of Music, as well as Rutgers-Newark; 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. Among the many awards he has received over his long career are eight Grammy Awards, the latest in 2010 for his album notes for the Mosaic box set The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946).

For the newly created Dan Morgenstern Institute of Jazz Studies Distinguished Fellowships, IJS has selected three individuals: 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.

“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.”