Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Libraries holds ‘Jazz with Friends’ reception as part of annual fall series

17th Annual Fall Reception. Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian
17th Annual Fall Reception. (Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian)

The University of Massachusetts Libraries celebrated the Boston Jazz Society’s recent donation of its records to the library, including photographs, posters, recordings, original manuscripts and more, as it hosted its 17th Annual Fall Reception in the lower level of the W. E. B. DuBois Library Sunday.

Attended by roughly 100 people, this year’s reception, “Jazz with Friends,” featured performances by the UMass Jazz Quartet and UMass Jazz Ensemble I, along with an exhibit of artifacts from the University’s archives that will be on display through January.

Aaron Rubinstein, the university and digital archivist for UMass Libraries who is in charge of maintaining and organizing the University’s archives as well as preserving its collections digitally, said jazz holds an important position at UMass.

“Jazz has been part of UMass’ history for decade,” he said. “Because of that rich history of jazz here at UMass, we’ve also started to document the history of jazz in New England and even beyond that.

“The material that’s on display is a very small sampling of the material that we have in our collections. These collections are very large and provide rich resources for research.”

Rubinstein will be leading the digitization effort for the Boston Jazz Society’s new additions to the University’s special collections. Photographs of jazz greats in casual, intimate settings from Boston area photographer Bernie Moss, among many other artifacts, will be added to the library’s online digital repository, which currently contains over 136,000 items.

Among the materials on display at the reception was an issue of the Drum, which was published on campus between 1969 and 1988 and contains essays, poetry, art and interviews related to the “black literary experience.” A poster for the long-running Jazz In July summer music program, which has brought together students and some of the nation’s foremost jazz educators and musicians together in Amherst for clinics, lectures, and performances, was also featured.

The UMass Jazz Quartet kicked off the reception with a half-hour set of jazz standards and Jazz Ensemble I closed with a number of student and faculty-written compositions. One of these compositions was “Masara No. 2” by Yusef Lateef, jazz legend and former UMass faculty member, who has a significant amount of content devoted to him in the library’s archives.

Christian Tremblay, a graduate student studying jazz composition and arrangement and a pianist for both the Quartet and Jazz Ensemble I appreciated the ambience of the event.

“It’s nice to have an intimate, informal setting to play. A lot of our concerts are very much recitals in a big concert hall. This is more of a jazz atmosphere,” he said.

Several of the event’s organizers made remarks between the two musical sets. Jay Schafer, director of the Libraries, spoke about the Boston Jazz Society’s new contribution to the library and presented the Lorrey and Kathy Bianchi Award for exceptional dedication to the library to sophomore Stephen Kang.

Kang, finance major, received the award for his service to the library’s special collections and archives.

Rubinstein, Charlie Hadley, president of the Friends of the Library Board of Trustees, Aureldon Henderson, president of the Boston Jazz Society, and Jeff Holmes, director of the jazz program and conductor of Jazz Ensemble I, also spoke.

Arthur Doran can be reached at [email protected]

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