Category Archives: Jazz Archive

Remembering Harold Feinstein

The Rubenstein Library has learned that photographer Harold Feinstein passed away on June 20th at the age of 84.   Feinstein was one of the original inhabitants of the “Jazz Loft” at 821 Sixth Avenue in New York City.  His singular photographic work, and his association with other occupants of 821 Sixth Avenue, including W. Eugene Smith, composer Hall Overton, and artist David X. Young,  led in 2004 to his being interviewed by Sam Stephenson for the Jazz Loft Project.  The Project was archived by the Rubenstein Library in 2012-2013, and includes streaming files of many of Stephenson’s interviews. We include the interview with Harold Feinstein here in its entirety.  See also the obituary in the New York Times.

Tape 1:

Tape 2:

Tape 3:

Post contributed by Craig Breaden, Audiovisual Archivist. 

Welcome Craig Breaden!

Craig Breaden, Jazz Loft Project Archivist

We are pleased to welcome the Rubenstein’s newest staff member, Craig Breaden, who started this month as the Jazz Loft Project Archivist in the Technical Services Department. Originally from Texas, Craig has both a master’s in history from Utah State and an MLIS from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He comes to Duke from the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia, where he worked as a Media Assets Archivist and then as Head of the Media and Oral History unit. As the Jazz Loft Project Archivist, he’ll be putting those experiences to good use when working with the oral histories, recordings, and other materials in the Project’s archive. Learn more about the Jazz Loft Project here.

When he’s not at work, Craig says his favorite thing to do is to spend time with his family (he and his wife have 2 boys, ages 6 and 4). His hobbies include listening to, writing, and playing music, “with varying levels of proficiency,” he adds. He especially enjoys the guitar and the banjo. He also brews his own beer.

As soon as his family is settled, all Rubenstein happy hours will be held at Craig’s house, where he will serenade us with banjo music and serve us home-brewed beer. Welcome, Craig!


Kenny Dennard, University Archives Researcher

Former Duke men’s basketball team captain Kenny Dennard came to visit the Duke University Archives today. We gave him a refresher on his Duke basketball career (1977/78-1980/81), with the help of the Sports Information Office’s Basketball Records.

Kenny Dennard Reads the 1981 Chanticleer, 2012
Photo by Angela Mace.

Here’s Kenny reading the 1981 Chanticleer. Check out Kenny’s reflections on his time at Duke (brought to you courtesy of the digitized edition of the 1981 volume).

Lynn Eaton and Kenny Dennard, 2012
Photo by Angela Mace.

Here’s Kenny and Lynn Eaton, the Hartman Center’s research services archivist. She’s 5′ 6″, by way of comparison.

Thanks for visiting, Kenny, and come back soon!

(By the way, Kenny is a fan of the Duke University Archives on Facebook. Are you? We have only 29 hours left in our Facebook competition with the UNC Archives!)

A Tribute to a Jazz Legend

Frank FosterLast Tuesday, legendary jazz saxophonist, arranger, and composer Frank Foster died at the age of 82. The RBMSCL’s Jazz Archive holds Dr. Foster’s papers, which include handwritten scores of many of his compositions (including “Shiny Stockings,” written for the Count Basie Orchestra) and audio recordings of concerts. Several of our staff members had the good fortune to work closely with both Dr. Foster and his papers, and they have offered their thoughts on his passing and his legacy:

“When the Jazz Archive at Duke was first getting started, we were trying to build Duke’s holdings of manuscript big band arrangements—compositions that otherwise wouldn’t be widely available for study or performance.  Frank Foster was an obvious person to reach out to, as he was one of the most significant composers and arrangers in the entire history of jazz. Through John Brown, I was able to reach out to Dr. Foster, and he generously donated the vast collection of materials that now comprise the Frank Foster Papers.  Manuscript arrangements, audio and moving image recordings, photographs, and a large collection of personal papers—including drafts of his autobiography and other of Dr. Foster’s many prose writings—are now available for study and research. Although jazz has lost a phenomenal musician and a genuinely kind human being, I’m proud to know that the Frank Foster Papers at Duke University will help to ensure that his music and his legacy live on into the future.”

—Jeremy Smith, former Jazz Archivist for the RBMSCL

“My experience with the Frank Foster Papers involved listening to and digitizing cassette and open reel tapes of live concerts, interviews and lessons.  These audio documents paint a picture of a man deeply committed to furthering America’s unique art form through performance, composition, and education.  His legacy will be felt through his teaching of jazz improvisation and arrangement, and will be carried on by those he has touched.”

—Zeke Graves, Perkins Library Research Services Assistant

“The Duke community was enriched by its relationship with Frank Foster.  The collection of his papers in the Jazz Archive will ensure that his presence continues to be felt here in the Triangle and that scholars and students in future generations will be able to study and learn from his work.”

—Naomi Nelson, Director of the RBMSCL

Additional Resources:


Instruction Session in the Rare Book RoomThis past semester, RBMSCL librarians led over 90 instruction sessions with students from Duke University and beyond—including students taking courses on advertising history at Elon University and Johnson & Wales University. We’ve pulled together a mere sampling of the courses we’ve supported over the past few months. We think you’ll see that the RBMSCL has something for every research interest!

  • Advertising in Society
  • The Age of Jim Crow: Racial Segregation from Plessy to Brown
  • African American Women and History
  • American Business History
  • Animals and Ethics: Welfare, Rights, Utilitarianism, and Beyond
  • Book Art: Text as Image (videos produced by students in the class)
  • Citizen Organizing, 1776-Present
  • Classics of American Literature, 1860 to1915
  • Consumerism in Great Britain and the U.S.
  • Documenting Race, Class, and Gender (Writing 20)
  • Enlightenment Orientalism
  • Globalization in Writing (Writing 20)
  • Hidden Children: Children and Childhood in U.S. History and Across Cultures Cultures (Writing 20)
  • History of Photography, 1839 to the Present
  • Human Rights Activism
  • Intermediate German Conversation
  • Introduction to German Literature
  • Introduction to Old English
  • Methods of Social Research
  • Native American History through Autobiography
  • New Media, Memory, and the Visual Archive
  • New Testament Greek Reading
  • Photography in Context: Photographic Meaning and the Archive of Documentary Arts
  • The Politics and Obligations of Memory
  • Reading Gender, Writing Technoscience (Writing 20)
  • Southern History
  • Witchcraft in Comparative Perspective
  • Writing Sound and Sound Writing: Hearing Race (Writing 20)
  • Writing the Self (Writing 20)

Wondering if the RBMSCL could support your Spring 2011 course? Send us an e-mail at special-collections(at)!

In Conversation: Michael Cuscuna

Date: Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Regulator Bookshop
Contact Information: Jeremy Smith, 919-660-5839 or jeremy.smith(at)

Grammy Award winning record producer Michael Cuscuna (Blue Note Records, Mosaic Records) will discuss his work producing the recordings of jazz pianist Horace Silver.

Silver was one of the leading composers and pianists of the hard bop era of jazz, and his music will be the focus of a concert by the SFJAZZ Collective the following evening at Page Auditorium.

SFJAZZ Collective

This event is co-sponsored by Duke Performances and the Jazz Archive.

Duke Jazz Ensemble Celebrates Frank Foster

Date: Friday, 1 October 2010
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: Baldwin Auditorium (map and directions)
Contact Information: Jeremy Smith, 919-660-5839 or jas5(at)

Frank Foster, ca. 1970s. From the Frank Foster Papers.

The Duke University Jazz Ensemble, led by John Brown, presents a concert celebrating living jazz legend Frank Foster.

This concert will include Foster’s new arrangements of compositions by North Carolina musicians, completed to commemorate his association with Duke University. Duke Jazz Studies Program alums and past guest artists will join the performance with the Duke Jazz Ensemble.

Foster’s papers were recently acquired by the RBMSCL’s Jazz Archive. A Grammy Award-winning composer and saxophonist, Foster was a member of the Count Basie Orchestra,  and lead the group from 1986 to 1995. In 2002, he was presented with a Jazz Master Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more details, including information about purchasing tickets, visit the Duke Department of Music’s event webpage.

A Jazz Master’s Papers Come to Duke

Frank Foster, ca. 1970s. From the Frank Foster Papers.

The Jazz Archive at Duke University announces the recent arrival of the Frank Foster Papers. Foster is one of the leading jazz saxophonists, big band leaders, and composer/arrangers of the post-World War II era. While serving as the primary arranger for the Count Basie Orchestra since the 1950s, Foster continued to compose and arrange for a variety of ensembles, receiving two Grammy Awards in the 1980s for his work. In 2002, Foster received the Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The papers (which range from 1927 to 2009) reveal Foster’s personal and professional lives. Scores and parts composed or arranged by Foster for jazz big bands, as well as business records, publicity, reviews, and news clippings documenting Foster’s career, are complemented by personal correspondence, photographs, and a variety of Foster’s own prose writings. There are also roughly fifty hours of concert recordings featuring various bands Foster performed in.

While portions of the papers are currently open for research, the entire collection should be processed and available for use by the fall of 2010. If you’d like to arrange a visit to view the collection, or if you have any questions, please e-mail us at special-collections(at)

Post contributed by Jeremy Smith, Jazz Archivist.

Sam Stephenson and The Jazz Loft Project

Date: Monday, 12 April 2010
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Jeremy Smith, 919-660-5839 or jas5(at)

Join us as the Jazz Archive hosts Sam Stephenson, director of the Jazz Loft Project.

Sam will discuss the history of his work on this fascinating audio and photographic archive and will highlight some of the recent project results, including a new book, radio series, and traveling photography exhibition. The Gothic Bookshop will provide copies of The Jazz Loft Project at a 20% discount and Sam will be available to sign copies.

Guests are invited to bring their own lunches, but dessert and drinks will be provided.