Richard M. Sudhalter
Author, Musician, Jazz Historian

An Account of the September 10, 2006 Benefit Concert for Richard Sudhalter.

On  May 22, 2006, I received a very disturbing message from Enrico Borsetti. Dorothy Kellog, Richard M. Sudhalter's friend, had written to Enrico alerting him of Richard's deteriorating medical condition. Richard had suffered a massive stroke in 2003, and although his health had improved in 2004, by 2005 it  began to decline. Richard was diagnosed with MSA, multiple system atrophy. Richard's medical bills were mounting. Enrico suggested that a medical fund be established to help Richard with his medical expenses. I thought the idea was excellent, and within a few days I uploaded to the Bix Beiderbecke website the following letter.

"Important Announcement About Richard M. Sudhalter

To My Fellow Jazzophiles and Bixophiles:

I am certain that you all know about the crucial role that Richard Sudhalter has played in the fields of Jazzology and Bixology. Richard is a multi-talented individual: author, musician, historian, researcher, teacher, critic, etc. Richard's achievements are too numerous to list here: scholarly articles in magazines and newspapers, chapters in books, liners for records and CDs; he is a concert organizer, radio broadcaster,
Grammy Award winner, Winner of an ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Citation for Excellence, etc. It will suffice, at this point, to mention the seminal and influential books that he wrote or co-wrote.

   1. “Bix: Man and Legend,” Richard M. Sudhalter and Philip R. Evans with William Dean-Myatt, Arlington House, New Rochelle, NY, 1974. Nominated for a National Book Award.

   2. “Lost Chords: White Musicians and Their Contribution to Jazz, 1915-1945,” Richard M. Sudhalter, Oxford University Press, NY, 1999.  Voted a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

   3. “Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael,”  Richard M. Sudhalter,  Oxford University Press, NY, 2002.

Richard’s many and valuable contributions to our understanding of Bix’s music and life are legendary. For one example, had it not been for “Man and Legend,” the Bixography ( website would not be in existence today. That book had a profound influence on my life.

Sadly, Richard suffered a massive stroke
in 2003. Although he recovered initially, in the last two years Richard’s health has deteriorated considerably. Richard has been diagnosed as having MSA, multiple system atrophy. Expensive consultations are necessary, and medical bills are mounting. A consultation at the Mayo Clinic is scheduled for August 24, 2006.

Enrico Borsetti suggested -and I enthusiastically agree- that I start a campaign among friends and followers of Richard Sudhalter to solicit help in defraying his medical and associated expenses. This is the purpose of the present communication: I ask you to help as much as you possibly can.

Please send your checks or money orders, made out to “Richard Sudhalter,” to:

Richard  M. Sudhalter
Post Office Box 757
Southold, NY 11971

Those who wish to make their contributions directly to a bank account, please use the following

North Fork Bank
54375 Route 25
Southold NY 11971
Bank Transit Number (also known as Routing Number or ABA Number) 021-407912
Name on account: Richard M. Sudhalter
Account Number 0126-36587-3

We all owe a profound debt of gratitude to Richard for his extraordinary and life-long efforts to elucidate, preserve, and disseminate the music we love. Richard has done a lot for us. It is time that we reciprocate. Don’t put this aside. Write your check or make fund transfer right now and mail it immediately. This is not a time to delay in taking action. Richard needs our help.

Thank you very much.

Albert Haim"

I alerted several jazz discussion groups of the need to help Richard and directed readers to the announcement in the Bix site. Contributions began to flow in.

A few days letter, it occurred to me to organize a benefit concert for Richard with the proceeds to go to his medical fund. I obtained Richard's permission to go ahead with the idea, and contacted Dan Levinson and Randy Sandke. It turns out that Randy had thought of the same idea at about the same time. Dan was quite enthusiastic about the project and wrote on
5/28/06,  "I have a great deal of respect for Dick.  I learned much about him when he came to my apartment to interview me in preparation for writing the liner notes to my last Roof Garden Jass Band CD, "Echoes in the Wax" in 2003 (one of his last projects, I imagine, before his stroke).  I discovered a very conscientious man, who gave 110% of himself to every project he undertook, be it a full-length book or the liner notes to my little CD.  How many liner note writers would have taken the time to INTERVIEW ME?!  I see in him much of myself, or at least someone I would LIKE to be.  I feel a strong connection between us."
Following consultation with Richard and Dorothy, Dan and Randy drew up a list of musicians and began contacting them to participate in the concert. They got in touch with Pastor Dale Lind of St. Peters Lutheran Church on Lexington and 54th. St., New York City, who generously agreed to make the Church Auditorium available for the concert. Dorothy volunteered to help with tickets sales and mailing of announcements. I was to write, in consultation with Dan and Randy the announcements, and Dorothy was going to take care of the designs. The response from the musicians was overwhelming: people were calling from all over the US and the world volunteering their participation.

By the beginning of August, cards and announcements of the concert were mailed to hundreds of people.


Dan Levinson and Randy Sandke Present
A Benefit Concert
Richard M. Sudhalter
Author, Musician, Jazz Historian

Richard M. Sudhalter has played a crucial role in the field of jazz. An author (Bix: Man and Legend, Lost Chords: White Musicians and their Contribution to Jazz, Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael), musician, historian, researcher, teacher, and critic, he has been largely unable perform any of these functions since suffering a massive stroke in 2003. In addition, he was recently diagnosed with MSA—Multiple System Atrophy. With tremendous medical bills mounting, his friends Randy Sandke and Dan Levinson, with the help of Albert Haim and Dorothy Kellogg, are organizing a benefit concert to help ease his financial burden.

You can do your part by attending the event on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 from 7-10 p.m. at ST. PETER’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, New York, NY. The minimum donation is $40.00.

To order tickets, send a check made payable to RICHARD SUDHALTER BENEFIT CONCERT to:
Dorothy Kellogg
P.O. Box 757
Southold, NY 11971
You may also order tickets online with a credit card by using the PayPal account
If you cannot attend but would like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please mail a check for any amount made payable to RICHARD SUDHALTER BENEFIT CONCERT to Dorothy Kellogg at the address above, or send your contribution using the PayPal account

For more information, contact Dan Levinson at (212) 533-1704 or

Harry Allen, Tom Artin, Dan Barrett, Eddie Bert, Francesca Biagi, Giampaolo Biagi, James Chirillo, Bill Crow, Kevin Dorn, Eddie Erikson, Jim Ferguson, Chuck Folds, Joel Forbes, Dave Frishberg, Wycliffe Gordon, Marty Grosz, Jeff Healy, Sy Johnson, Brad Kay, Orange Kellin, Jon-Erik Kellso, Becky Kilgore, Bill Kirchner, Steve Kuhn, Dan Levinson, Marion McPartland, Joe Muranyi, Brian Nalepka, David Ostwald, Sam Parkins, Nicki Parrott, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ed Polcer, Scott Robinson, Molly Ryan, Randy Sandke, Mark Shane, Daryl Sherman, The Loren Schoenberg Big Band, Keisha St. Joan, Andy Stein, Carol Sudhalter, Frank Tate, Jackie Williams.

We all owe a profound debt of gratitude to Richard for his extraordinary, life-long efforts to elucidate, preserve and disseminate the music we love. This is our opportunity to reciprocate.

By early September, the program was finalized.

Announcement of Concert in the New York Press.

The "Jazz Listings" for the Sep 8, 2006 issue of the New York Times included the following item.

"BENEFIT CONCERT FOR RICHARD M. SUDHALTER (Sunday) Mr. Sudhalter, a scholar and musician long active in traditional jazz circles, has been in ill health in the past few years; proceeds from this concert will go toward his medical bills. The list of artists includes the tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, the trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, the trombonist Eddie Bert, the pianist Marian McPartland and the guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. Its organizers, the clarinetist Dan Levinson and the trumpeter Randy Sandke, will also perform. At 7 p.m., St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, (212) 533-1704; minimum donation, $40."

The Sep 8, 2006 of the New York Sun carried the following itme by Will Friedwald.

This Sunday at 7 p.m., there is a benefit concert for one of my own mentors and spiritual fathers, the historian and cornetist Richard M. Sudhalter, whose books (particularly "Bix: Man and Legend" and "Lost Chords") are an essential part of any jazz education, and who is battling the effects of a stroke and of multiple system atrophy. The concert will take place at St. Peter's, and the leading attractions, along with the two organizers — the clarinetist Dan Levinson and the trumpeter Randy Sandke — are the outstanding Canadian guitarist and singer Jeff Healey, the pianist singer Daryl Sherman, and the full Loren Schoenberg big band. It promises to be an outstanding event for a man who has made an outstanding contribution to jazz.

Program Schedule

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ed Polcer - cornet
Tom Artin - trombone
Joe Muranyi - clarinet
Harry Allen - tenor sax
Dave Frishberg - piano
Bucky Pizzarelli - guitar
Frank Tate - bass
Jackie Williams - drums

7:20-7:30 DAVE FRISHBERG (piano solo: “Dear Bix”)
Jon-Erik Kellso - trumpet
Dan Levinson - clarinet
Brad Kay - piano
Jeff Healey - guitar
Brian Nalepka - bass
Kevin Dorn - drums
Molly Ryan - vocal

7:40-7:50 DARYL SHERMAN (piano solo/vocal)

Carol Sudhalter - sax
Dick Katz - piano
Jim Ferguson - bass
Jackie Williams - drums
Keisha St. Joan - vocal

8:00-8:10 STEVE KUHN (piano solo or with rhythm section)

Jon-Erik Kellso - trumpet
Wycliffe Gordon - trombone
Joe Muranyi - clarinet
James Chirillo - banjo
David Ostwald - tuba
Kevin Dorn - drums

8:20-8:30 JACKIE CAIN (vocal)
Steve Kuhn - piano

Brad Kay - cornet/piano
Orange Kellin - clarinet
Dan Levinson - C-melody saxophone
Jeff Healey - guitar/trumpet/vocal
Scott Robinson - bass sax
Kevin Dorn - drums

8:40-8:50 MARIAN McPARTLAND (piano solo or with rhythm section)
?Frank Tate - bass

8:50-9:00 THE BIAGI BAND
Jordan Sandke - trumpet
Carol Sudhalter - sax
Sam Parkins - clarinet
Andy Stein - violin
Chuck Folds - piano
Bill Crow - bass
Giampaolo Biagi - drums
Francesca Biagi - vocal


Bill Kirchner - soprano sax
Armen Donelian - piano
Jim Ferguson - bass/vocal

Randy Sandke - trumpet
Dan Barrett - trombone
Dan Levinson - clarinet/C-melody sax
Scott Robinson - C-melody sax/clarinet
Mark Shane - piano
Marty Grosz - guitar
Nicki Parrott - bass
Rob Garcia - drums

9:30-9:40 B.E.D.
Becky Kilgore - guitar/vocal
Eddie Erickson - guitar/vocal
Dan Barrett - trombone
Joel Forbes - bass


The concert was a resounding success. There were 319 attendees plus musicians and their friends (about 100). In spite of the crowded schedule (nine bands and six soloists in three hours), the atmosphere was relaxed, everyone enjoying the music and paying homage to Richard.

For three hours (non-stop!!) musicians and soloists played one or, at most, two numbers. Nevertheless, you could appreciate the musicianship exhibited by bands and soloists. Some of the highlights were Dan Levinson's Lost Chord Seekers (with Brad Kay at the piano) playing "Blue River" and "I Didn't Know"; Daryl Sherman singing and telling some wonderful stories about Richard. Another highlight of the concert was Healy's Harmonists (with Brad on cornet and piano) playing "I'm More Than Satisfied" and "Confessin'." The most amusing part of the concert was Marty Grosz singing "Mississippi Mud" in English and German.

We were treated by Marian McPartland to two wonderful renditions of Hoagy Carmichael's compositions: "Heart and "Soul" and "New Orleans." In spite of her arthritic condition, Marian plays piano with an agility unheard of in an 80+- (maybe 90?) old person. Sy Johnson played another of Hoagy's compositions, "Skylark." Incidentally, Hoagy's son, Hoagy "Bix" Carmichael was in the audience.

Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, made a 10-minute speech in which he highlighted the amazing versatility of Richard - musician, author, producer, teacher, newsman, researcher, scholar, and a master in every activity he practiced. Richard could not speak himself; but his ability to write is unchanged, and he wrote some interesting remarks which were read by his friend Terry Teachout.

A couple of other highlights. Randy Sandke's Bixophiles played "Sunday," and the Loren Schoenberg Big Band played "A Dream Deferred," one of Richard's composition.

The concert ended with a standing ovation for Richard, who clearly was moved as well as happy by the outpour of love and support by so many of his friends.

I wrote on September 12, 2006,
"Dear All,

Although I do not have detailed information about the numbers, I think the concert was a resounding success and fulfilled its intended purpose. I would like to share with you some of my thoughts.

First and foremost, it was a moving – and highly deserved- tribute to Richard for his innumerable contributions to jazz as an author, historian, musician, and researcher. Speaking for myself, and I am sure for many others, I want to acknowledge my debt of gratitude to Richard. His writings, in particular, “Man and Legend,” have influenced my life profoundly. Had it not been for Richard’s comprehensive, insightful, and sad - I cannot re-read “Man and Legend” without feeling a profound sorrow an melancholy- account of Bix’s life, my own life would not have been what it is today. I read “Man and Legend” over thirty years ago. After an induction/gestation period of a quarter of a century, I launched the Bixography website, and my life was changed forever and for the better. Thank you, Richard.

There were many heroes involved in making the idea of a benefit concert for Richard a reality and a great success.

-Enrico Borsetti who alerted the jazz community of Richard’s plight. Had it not been for Enrico’s concern and desire to help, what turned out to be an event of historic proportions would not have taken place.

-Dan Levinson -with help from Randy Sandke and Judy Kahn- whose organizational skills, remarkable attention to detail, and indefatigable energy were the key to a superb evening of music in honor of Richard.

-Dorothy Kellogg who had the lovely invitations printed and distributed, and efficiently handled the requests for attendance from hundreds of fans who supported the event.

-The musicians who selflessly provided superb music for the evening.

-The hundreds of friends whose love and admiration for Richard filled the auditorium with warmth and good wishes.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the cooperation and generosity of Reverend Dale Lind and The Jazz Ministry of Saith Peter's Lutheran Church.

To all the people  I mentioned above -and with apologies to those I probably missed but were instrumental in bringing the idea of a benefit concert to fruition- I say thank you for a memorable evening.

Albert Haim

Dan Levinson wrote on September 12, 2006,

"Pardon my delay in writing this message.  I've been thinking about writing it for a week, but have barely been able to find the time to sit down at my computer.  I wanted to thank you all for donating your artistry to the cause last weekend.
The esprit de corps among all of you was truly phenomenal.  If I'd known that you would be so respectful of the schedule, I wouldn't have worried so much!  And what a breathtaking display of talent - I wish I could have just sat back and listened to you all.
I don't have the final tally, but I know that from a financial standpoint the event was a tremendous success.  We had about 340 people in there, and I had been told that 350 was the maximum we could have accommodated.  Not bad at all.
Again - MANY, many thanks to each and every one of you.  I am proud to have been involved in such a memorable event.  We done good.  I will look back on September 10, 2006 for years to come...and smile.
Dan Levinson

Benefit Concert for Richard M. Sudhalter in London.

22 Oct 2006 6.30pm – 10.30pm Dick Sudhalter Benefit Gig
GREAT BRITISH JAZZ BAND: Mike Cotton, Digby Fairweather (trumpets) Roy Williams, Chris Gower (trombones) Dave Shepherd, John Barnes (clarinet/saxophones) Nick Dawson (piano) Len Skeat (bass) Bobby Worth (drums). KEITH NICHOLS' 'Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke' featuring Andy Woon (cornet) / KEITH NICHOLS RAGTIME ORCHESTRA featuring Mo Morris (violin) / KEITH NICHOLS BLUE DEVILS featuring Olaf Vas, Mick Foster, Alastair Allen and an All Star cast!
Other guests include: Julian Marc Stringle (British Jazz Award Winner/clarinet/2005/6), Campbell Burnap, Richard Pyte, Norman Field, Martin Wheatley, Ron Horton, Graham Read, Graham Collicott.
Mem £8 adv / £10 on the door Non-mem £8 adv / £10 on the door

100 Club. 100 Oxford Street, London

A Relevant Link.

Doug Ramsey on the Sudhalter Concert