Dave Brubeckby Adrian Mendoza

Rare and historic recordings of Dave Brubeck will be digitized and preserved during the next year, thanks to a GRAMMY Foundation grant that was awarded to University of the Pacific's Library.

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Arts and Culture

University Library receives GRAMMY Foundation Grant to digitize and preserve historic Brubeck recordings

Apr 19, 2012

Dave Brubeck's legacy will continue to grow thanks to digital technology and the efforts of the Special Collections staff at the University of the Pacific Library. During the next year, recording experts will meticulously work with the staff of Special Collections to stabilize and digitize 49 highly endangered reel-to-reel tapes of concerts, rehearsals and personal recording sessions by pianist/composer Dave Brubeck that are part of the Brubeck Collection.

The project will be funded by a grant from The GRAMMY Foundation,® which selected Pacific's Brubeck Collection as one of 18 recipients in the United States, Canada, and the Dominican Republic to receive preservation grant funding. The grants were revealed earlier this month.

"The Brubeck Collection anchors our mission by giving us the cultural and historical perspective to inform our other Institute programs and it is wonderful to not only have the grant support but to have an acknowledgement of  this important work from the Grammy Foundation," said Simon Rowe, director of the Brubeck Institute, which oversees the Brubeck Collection.

The Brubeck Collection was chosen by The GRAMMY Foundation because the tapes offer unique, unreleased documentation of Brubeck's monumental contributions to jazz. The tapes date from the 1950s to 1980s, and contain unreleased recordings of concert performances, rehearsals, and jam sessions.

This one-year project builds upon the results of a 2010 preservation survey of audio and video tapes in the Brubeck Collection that had been  funded by a GRAMMY Foundation Preservation Planning Grant. The digitization project will be completed in partnership with The Audio Archive, a Bay Area company that specializes in audio transfer and preservation.

"This grant will enable the University Library to preserve and digitize a significant number of unique recordings of Dave Brubeck' music that are endangered by the inherent instability of the tapes on which they were originally recorded," said Shan Sutton, associate dean and head of Special Collections at Pacific's University  Library. "These recordings include a concert and after-hours jam session from Brubeck's celebrated 1958 tour of Poland, a 1967 jam session with Burmese percussionist Palghat Raghu, and a 1970 concert in Central Park featuring Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan."

The Brubeck Collection is part of The Brubeck Institute, established by the University of the Pacific in 2000 to honor its distinguished alumni, Dave and Iola Brubeck. The Collection is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive collections from a contemporary musician, and consists of Dave and Iola Brubeck's correspondence, legal and business documents, musical recordings, music manuscripts, photographs, printed programs, memorabilia, and other important archival material.

The GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program earlier this month awarded $250,000 to help facilitate a range of research, archiving, and preservation projects on a variety of subjects. Pacific was awarded $8,983 for the digitization project.

For more information on the GRAMMY Foundation, visit www.grammyfoundation.org.

For more information about the Brubeck Institute, visit www.brubeckinstitute.org.

For more information about the University of the Pacific Library, visit www.pacific.edu/Library.html.  


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