Bix Beiderbekce was one of the first fourteen inductees to the Ertegun
Jazz Hall of
Fame. The Selection Committee consisted of Ahmet Ertegun, Wynton
Marsalis, Dan Morgerstern, Albert Murray, Phil Schaap, Gunther Schuller
and George Wein, and a72-person
international voting panel that included musicians, scholars and
educators from 17 countries. The announcement of this honor from
the Jazz at Lincoln Center website follows.
JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER TO
INDUCT INAUGURAL CLASS OF MUSICIANS
INTO THE ERTEGUN JAZZ HALL
International Voting Panel
Selects 14 Jazz Legends to be
30, 2004 (NEW
at Lincoln Center tonight will celebrate the dedication of the Ertegun
Hall of Fame and the official induction of its inaugural class of
members.Located within the new home of
Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame,
interactively immerses visitors in the lives and artistry of jazz
named by Jazz at Lincoln Center Board member Ahmet Ertegun and his
in honor of his late brother and Atlantic Records partner Nesuhi
The musicians inducted into the Ertegun
Jazz Hall of
Fame are: Louis Armstrong, Sidney
Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington,
Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll
Charlie Parker, Art Tatum and
Lester Young.Inductees’ family
members, friends and
fellow artists will be on-hand to receive the honors on their behalf.
With a welcome by Ahmet Ertegun and
Gunther Schuller, Victor Goines and Wynton Marsalis, inductees’ awards
presented by Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, James Carter, Benny Golson,
Hancock, Hank Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Wynton Marsalis, James Moody,
Payton, Randy Sandke, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Randy Weston, Dr.
and Bob Wilber.Also performing will be
the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra Rhythm Section: Eric Lewis (piano),
Henriquez (bass), and Herlin Riley (drums); Madeleine Peyroux (vocals)
Kisor (trumpet).Generous support for
the evening was provided by Movado.
<>"The greatest artists speak
epochs of the
undying soul that distinguishes man from everything else in creation,”
Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center.“These 14 men and women are the embodiment
of the very best in American culture.Their creations will stand for all time as a testament to the
of our way of living. We're proud to provide the world with a
celebrate and reflect upon their great achievements."
<>A 72-person international
includes musicians, scholars and educators from 17 countries, was
nominating and selecting the most definitive artists in the history of
induction into the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame.Criteria for nomination include excellence and significance of
artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of jazz.
<>“The artists that we will
the first class of
members into the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame gave something wonderful,
passionate, inspiring and eternal to the world,” said Ahmet Ertegun.“My brother Nesuhi, in whose honor my wife
and I named the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, helped nurture some of these
artists and I think it is only fitting that we help create a space
of all ages can come to learn about their contributions to the world of
jazz.The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame
will provide a center where the lives and the artistry of the greatest
musicians will be celebrated, and where people will come to learn about
something to which my brother devoted his life’s work.”
The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, which was
the Rockwell Group and opens to the public on October 21, is a
installation featuring a 14-foot video wall, interactive kiosks,
touch-activated virtual plaques and the great sounds of jazz.The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame’s physical
design celebrates jazz by emphasizing flexibility and improvisation,
utilizes materials, such as cork, wood and brass, found in jazz
instruments.The Ertegun Jazz Hall of
Fame will be free and open to the public between the hours of 10am-4pm,
through Sunday.The space will also be
open to ticket-holders in the evening.
“The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame is a very
of our new home,” said Derek E. Gordon, Executive Director, Jazz at
Center.“Whether you come to Frederick
P. Rose Hall to see a jazz performance or a classical concert or a
program, you will be exposed to the essence of jazz and inspired by the
talented and celebrated men and women that we honor in the Ertegun Jazz
Every year, the international panel that
Lincoln Center has assembled will vote on a new class of honorees.Each new class of inductees will be honored
at an annual ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall.
Nesuhi Ertegun (1917 -
The Ertegun Jazz Hall of
Fame, named for Nesuhi Ertegun, is
a gift of Mica and Ahmet Ertegun.Nesuhi Ertegun’s passionate advocacy of jazz music and nurturing
musicians made an indelible contribution to the awareness and
jazz throughout the world.The son of
the former Turkish Ambassador to the United States, Nesuhi Ertegun was
Istanbul and subsequently raised in Switzerland, Paris, London, and
D.C.A passionate jazz and blues record
collector, in 1944 Ertegun moved to Los Angeles, where he ran the
Shop and the Jazzman and Crescent labels.Among his first signings was legendary New Orleans trombonist
Ory.Ertegun became the editor of Record
Changer magazine, made records for the Contemporary label, and
studies at UCLA – the first accredited course of its kind in the
country.Today, the U.S. Library of
Congress is home
to the Nesuhi Ertegun Collection of Jelly Roll Morton Recordings.
Nesuhi joined his brother Ahmet at Atlantic Records.Moving to New York, he developed an album department and was
responsible for building the label’s exceptional jazz roster –
Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Ray Charles, Charles Mingus, the Modern Jazz
Quartet, Herbie Mann, and many others.In 1971, Nesuhi’s international expertise led to his
WEA International (now known as Warner Music International).A committed and effective foe of record
piracy worldwide, he also served as President of International
Federation of Phonogram
and Videogram Producers (I.F.P.I.).Among his many other interests, Nesuhi, along with his brother,
the New York Cosmos soccer team.He was
also a world-renowned collector of surrealist art.
<><>The citation for Bix
went through you like a shaft of light,” a friend wrote after hearing
Beiderbecke play the cornet for the first time, “making you feel all
clean and open.”
raised in Davenport, Iowa, Bix Beiderbecke fell in love with New
at the age of 15 and over the objections of his family determined to
jazz musician. He first came to public attention with the Wolverine
and later became a featured “hot” soloist with the orchestras of Jean
and Paul Whiteman. But he made perhaps his most important contribution
when he and the C-melody saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer made a series of
recordings, including “Singin’ the Blues,” that showed how jazz and the
romantic ballad could be combined, how music could simultaneously be
sweet and hot.
recording career lasted less than seven years; alcoholism and pneumonia
him at 28. But the understated eloquence of his solos and the silvery
brilliance of his tone -- “like a girl saying yes,” the guitarist Eddie
remembered --brought a new kind of quiet lyricism to jazz and helped
generation of eager young white musicians that they, too, could make a
contribution to the new American music.
# # # # # # # #
Each inductee was presented an award by an
artist who then played in honor of the inductee. The award was
accepted by a family member, estate, or family friend. Each award
Name of Inductee
Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame
Jazz at Lincoln Center
September 30, 2004
Randy Sandke made the presentation of the award to Bix, and Hoagy Bix
Carmichael received it. This is what
in an impermanent world. Just in my lifetime I have witnessed great corporations,
great buildings, even nations and empires rise and fall. And yet the music of
the people we honor here tonight is as eternal and indestructible as
anything mankind has ever produced.
written about Bix Beiderbecke includes the word ³legend² in the first
sentence. We must remember, though, that if it weren¹t for his music he would
have been forgotten long ago. Part of the tragedy of Bix¹s short life was
that he held his own talent in such low esteem. No one would have been more
surprised than him that now in the twenty-first century he has fans all over
the world, festivals are held in his honor, his entire recorded output is
widely available, and that he is being honored here tonight.
career lasted a scant six and a half years. During his lifetime he was
mentioned in print only a handful of times. When he died in 1931 at the age of
twenty-eight the New York Times ran no obituary.
And yet no one has
played like him before or since. He, along with Louis Armstrong and
Sidney Bechet were the first great soloists in jazz. All of them showed how
divergent and yet valid alternative approaches to the music could be, and all
within the first decade of recorded jazz.
Louis and Bix were
friends from the time they met as teenagers, and they continued to see
each other throughout Bix¹s life. On numerous occasions Louis expressed
his admiration and respect for Bix. He referred to him as a "born genius." His
"pretty notes went all through me," Armstrong said. "You can¹t find a
musician in the whole world that doesn¹t love Bix¹s "In a Mist."And in the
fifties, Louis remembered an after hours jam session with Bix at the Sunset
Café in Chicago: "I¹ve never heard such good music since," he wrote.
Bix is credited
with recording the first examples of a jazz ballad. The first was "Singin'
the Blues" from February of 1927, but I would like to play his equally
famous version of "I¹m Comin¹ Virginia," as recorded on May 13 of that year.
The award, received by
Hoagy Bix Carmichael, was a Movado clock inbedded in lucite.
[Movado was a sponsor of the event.] There was no certificate. Hoagy
told me that it was a nice affair, but went on too long. I asked him,
in a diplomatic manner, why was he chosen to receive the award. He told
me because of the friendship of his dad with Bix, because his middle
name was Bix, and because he knew one of the persons in charge. I
expressed my surprise that the award was not received by a member of
the Beiderbecke family. He said that the majority of the other 13
awards were, in fact, received by family members, but since there was
no direct Bix descendent, he (Hoagy) was designated. Randy wrote,
Bix made a speech about his fathers love for Bix and the profound
musical debt he owed to Beiderbecke. Following this I played Bix's two
choruses on "I'm Comin' Virginia" accompanied by Wynton Marsalis'
# # # # # # # #
On November 19, 2005, I posted the following in the Bixography forum.
Tuesday, I spent some time at the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame. The new
building where Jazz at Lincoln Center is located is in Columbus circle.
If I remember correctly, the Hall of Fame is located on the 11th floor.
The exhibit is rather small. It is housed in a long, narrow room with a
bunch of regular TV screens, one very wide multi screen display and two
The names of the 14 inductees are on those panels, with room for many
more. When you touch the name of the inductee, one of the small screens
is activated and a still photo plus text are displayed on the screen
for a couple of minutes. This is the photo
The text reads,
“Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931)
"Every note went through you like a shaft of light," a friend wrote
after hearing Bix Beiderbecke play the cornet for the first time,
"making you feel all clear and clean and open."
Born and raised in Davenport, Iowa, Bix Beiderbecke fell in love with
New Orleans music at the age of 15 and over the objections of his
family determined to become a jazz musician. He first came to public
attention with the Wolverine Orchestra and later became a featured
"hot" soloist with the orchestras of Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman.
But he made perhaps his most important contribution in 1927, when he
and the C-melody saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer made a series of
recordings, including "Singin" the Blues," that showed how jazz and the
romantic ballad could be combined, how music could simultaneously be
sweet and hot.
Beiderbecke"s recording career lasted less than seven years; alcoholism
and pneumonia killed him at 28. But the understated eloquence of his
solos and the silvery brilliance of his tone -- "like a girl saying
yes," the guitarist Eddie Condon remembered --brought a new kind of
quiet lyricism to jazz and helped convince a generation of eager young
white musicians that they, too, could make a contribution to the new
I already commented about the racist remark in the write-up, ”…helped
convince a generation of eager young white musicians that they, TOO [my
caps], could make a contribution to the new American music.” [My
comments, from a post on Oct 18, 2005 were as follows, " This is lifted from one of the talking heads in
Ken Burns PBS program on jazz (Margo Jefferson? I think so). I view
this statement as racist and patronizing. The "too", in particular,
The wide screen plays continuously a set of about two-minute videos,
one on each musician. The sequence is arranged in alphabetical order.
There is no narration. Only a recording is on the audio portion. The
video portion has images and sentences, phrases pertinent to the
musician. For Bix, the music is the Bix and Tram Feb 4, 1927 recording
of “Singin’ the Blues.” There is a photo of the Wolverines (the high
resolution photo in the Bixography), an image of the album “Jazz As It
Should Be Played”, a couple of individual photos of Bix. I tried to
take photos of the screne. I am getting the film back this afternoon
and will post anything useful. One of the sentences about Bix reads,
“Solidified jazz as an art form playable by both white and black
Does this strike you as a racist remark?
Another sentence, reads,
“He set the standards for lyrical balladry and helped bring the soloist
to the forefront with his round silvery tone and thoughtful phrasing.”
I like this one: it is an accurate and concise statement about the
importance of Bix in jazz.
I must say I was quite disappointed by the exhibit. I saw the Bix
exhibit at the River Music Experience in Davenport. Man, the Davenport
exhibit is orders of magnitude better, more interactive, more material,
better presentation. People talk about the sophisticated elite in the
Big Apple and the peasants and dumb people in the red states. Let me
tell you. Little Davenport “River Music Experiecne” left Big New York
“Jazz Hall of Fame” in the dust.
One of my biggest criticisms of the exhibit-and one which I expressed
loudly and in my best diplomatic manner
to a couple of staff members- was the fact that more than half the
tunes (associated with the 2 to 2.5 minute mini presentation on each
musician) were cut short. When the images ended the music ended!! My
charming remark to the staff members was, “Cutting the music short is
an abomination.” This had been preceded by another ill-mannered
comment, "Is this all there is to the exhibit?" I was surprised they
did not call security and have me expelled. They accepted what I said
and told me that they would pass the word to the people in charge. Even
after my boorish eruption, these nice people continued talking to me. I
asked them who presented the Bix award and who received it. They were
not certain, but they think that Hoagy Bix Carmichael, Hoagy’s son,
received the award on behalf of Bix. I'll try to give him a call later.
I asked Liz Beiderbecke-Hart if she had been invited (or Chris) and she
did not even know about the induction of Bix into the Jazz Hall of
I found out who were the members of the International Voting Panel. I
am not going to copy the whole list. Here are some names you will find
Dr. Michael White
For my European and British friends, here are some names
With the induction of Bix in the Jazz Hall of Fame (only one of 14), I
wonder if it is time to send another nomination of Bix for a USPS
commemorative stamp? What are your thoughts, guys and gals? Please
answer. My last post on the interlude (which I thought was very
important) was left “twisting in the wind.”
Posted on Nov 19, 2004, 9:17 AM
# # # # # # # #
Three Images from the Hall of Fame
1. The panel
When the panel is
touched, the image and text described in my previous
post appear on the screen. Note the number of empty panels for future
2. Here are two of the images in the mini presentation
The text reads "solidified jazz".
The text reads "and helped bring the
soloist to the forefront."
page was uploaded on June 28, 2005.
I am grateful to Randy Sandke, Hoagy Bix Carmichael, and Mary
Fiance Fuss, Director of Public Relations, Jazz at Lincoln Center, for their invaluable help. Some of the
images and text are from the Jazz at Lincoln Center website (
http://www.jazzatlincolncenter.org/) and are reproduced here with