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Howard E. Fischer

Lawyer for jazz musicians, founder & E.D. of NY jazz Museum, filmmaker, They Died Before 40,new jazz film to make history.

About Me

Writer, Producer, Director - documentary films.

THEY DIED BEFORE 40 - “rough cut” of 93 minutes.eight jazz musicians who died before the age of 40 made significant contributions to the music. How they lived and died is revealed. THE HOLLAND AVENUE BOYS: A SUCCESS STORY. 1998 Video 58 minutes. Acclaimed video portrays the individual successes - personal, career, lifestyle and relationships - and the success as a group of 11 men from the Bronx, NY over more than half a century and their plans to maintain the relationship. Shown on over 50 PBS stations. It received laudatory reviews in numerous publications such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, Video Librarian, Billboard, New York Post, et al. It also received a feature article by the Associated Press and the New York Daily News. It has been approved and recommended by the National Institute on Media and the Family and the Dove Foundation.

Founder and Executive Director - New York Jazz Museum. 1972-1977. Devised business plan, raised all funds from foundations, government agencies, corporations and individuals. Devised membership program, established income-generating sales shop, film programs, exhibits, posters and booklets, touring programs (United States and overseas) and live music programs in the Museum sponsored by Seagrams. Produced Jazz Puppet Show and multi-media history of jazz. Produced and published a monthly jazz newsletter for 8 years. Established archive of 25,000 items. Negotiated all contracts, including lease of 2-story building in midtown Manhattan and then purchase of another building in midtown with the help of the Ford Foundation.

Attorney at Law - private practice. 1964-1972. Licensed in New York State and specialized in entertainment and nonprofit law. Represented arts organizations in music, dance, film and theatre. Artists represented include Charles Mingus, Elvin Jones, Sy Oliver, Wild Bill Davison and Harrison Smith (manager of Jelly Roll Morton).

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2016-10-07

I was first exposed to jazz when, as a young boy, my mother and father would dance around our 78rpm record player as they had danced to great jazz at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, NY. I went on to collect over 2,000 jazz records, to found the New York Jazz Museum in our own building in midtown New York, NY. The Museum operated from 1972 to 1977 and was destroyed by a power struggle. I wrote a book about it called JAZZ EXPOSE: The New York Jazz Museum and the Power Struggle That Destroyed It. In 2016 I finished my film, THEY DIED BEFORE 40, about eight jazz musicians who died before the age of 40. It is 93 minutes with 60 pieces of music and over 600 photos and graphic images. Unfortunately, license costs have prohibited me from showing it publicly. Please help (see and the trailer on My jazz dream is fading!

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