Magazine article IAJRC Journal

The Pres' Message

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

The Pres' Message

Article excerpt

Duncan P. Schiedt. Born 1921; deceased 2014. Photographer, book author, freelance-writer, jazz researcher, jazz pianist; collector of jazz records, books, and journals; and most of all- gentleman, and friend to anyone who professed an interest in jazz! Duncan was a member of IAJRC for decades, served as Vice President 1981-1983 and President 1983-1985, was a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award, 1989; and long-time member of the Nominations Committee. Duncan made his presence and influence felt in many ways. Although I have been a member of IAJRC since about 1982, I only first encountered Duncan when I attended my first IAJRC Convention (the 36th) in 1998 in Redondo Beach, California. Duncan was the man who could be found at any handy piano playing tunes by people who really knew how to write music.

I knew of the annual January Indy record bash but because of scheduling conflicts was not able to attend until 2004 or 2005 when then-president, Ron Pikielek, called an informal meeting of Board Members and Tmstees. I was Vice-President at the time. When I first walked into the now-familiar meeting room at the Clarion Hotel near Indianapolis where vendors and record enthusiasts were gathered, I noticed the sign plugging IAJRC. This told me I was in the right place with the right people! Since then, I have attended each of these wonderful annual events. Like everyone else, I was always warmly greeted by Duncan and co-host, Phil Oldham. At this year's event, Duncan was there, mingling with people and playing the piano. There was no suggestion of any health problems,. I later learned a few knew he had them. Perhaps three weeks before he died, I received a phone call from an IAJRC member informing me that Duncan was terminally ill and perhaps had no more than a few months to live. I didn't know whether to phone Duncan to let him know I had been told about his condition or not. Each situation is different, and one never knows how someone will react when approached about such news, and I didn't want to violate his privacy. On a Thursday, I got a call from Duncan who was direct about his condition and how he was faring. He invited me to come visit and pick out jazz books I might want. I thanked him and said I would wait until the weather was safer for driving. It was still winter and snow had to be considered. …

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