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Morgenstern is deservedly proud of the nearly five decades of work he has accomplished in the jazz field as a writer and educator. But the one thing that brings the most satisfaction is his position at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. Although he has threatened to retire many times, his co-workers won't hear of it. The Institute, which is walking distance from the Newark PATH station, is a growing entity of jazz concerts, research studies, and a protector of the works of the great jazz musicians for generations to come. "This is not a dusty, dry museum, Morgenstern said. "We have a lot of music be it albums, scores, photographs, memorabilia and have one of the greatest collections of the works of [pianist] Mary Lou Williams in the world. But this stuff is here to be used; it's not just to tuck it away. It's here to keep the music alive.
It will be a room filled with applause and accolades from jazz lovers and educators around the world when Dan Morgenstern receives his Jazz Master Fellowship Award. But for Dan Morgenstern, the true reward is much closer to his heart. "To do something positive for this art, known as jazz, is wonderful. And if people think that's what I've done, then that makes me feel very good.
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!