Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Randy Weston Archive Provides Glimpse into the History of Jazz in America and Africa

Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Randy Weston Archive Provides Glimpse into the History of Jazz in America and Africa

Article excerpt

Randy Weston Archive Provides Glimpse into the History of Jazz in America and Africa. Harvard Library has acquired pianist and composer Randy Weston's personal archive of musical scores, recordings, correspondence, posters, and other materials that offer a rare glimpse into the world of an artist, an ambassador, and a businessman.

The project, the first major collaboration between Harvard Library and the Jazz Research Initiative (http://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/jazz-research-initiative) at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, will make available Weston's archive of recordings and documents for scholars and the public to experience free of charge. The archive will be of interest to scholars of music, of African American culture, and of the history of the relationship between Americans and Africans for many generations. Researchers and scholars will be able to use the collection once it is fully processed in the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, where the collection will be housed.

As one of the first African American musicians to deeply engage with his musical roots in Africa, Randy Weston occupies a pivotal place in American music. A pianist of powerful intensity and originality, Weston emerged from a thriving musical scene in 1950s Brooklyn, which included Max Roach, George Russell, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and Miles Davis. His most enduring musical influence is Thelonious Monk, who nurtured his talent. He went on to tour five continents and collaborate with luminaries such as Langston Hughes.

The Randy Weston Archive includes documentation from all periods of Weston's prolific career, including original compositions and arrangements by his collaborators, such as trombonist Melba Liston; along with musical recordings from festivals, club and concert hall performances, and informal occasions such as rent parties and rehearsals. Printed ephemera include original flyers, handbills, posters and programs, all providing a visually evocative portrait of the jazz scene of the 1960s and '70s. The archive also contains materials from Weston's activities in Africa, such as correspondence, photographs, business records, and recordings.

Randy Weston's first recordings as a band leader began in the mid-1950s, and he has released more than forty recordings over the course of fifty-plus years. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.