LaBudde & Marr | Dan Jaffe Collection




Related Cataloged Material

- Books


Related Collections By Topic

- Humanities
- Music
- Music: Jazz & Big Band
- Music: Kansas City Jazz

Scope and Content of Collection

The Dan Jaffe Collection was gifted to LaBudde Special Collections and Marr Sound Archives in March 2011.

Print Collection

Housed in LaBudde Special Collections, materials date from the 1940s to 2011, with the bulk of the material ranging 1960 to 1990. Within lies a culmination of literary capital from the inspirational career and a life of creativity by a publisher, scholar, mentor and wordsmith guru. Included are correspondence, published and unpublished manuscripts, plays, operas, graphics, photographs and miscellaneous publications. In addition to the Jaffe manuscripts are the works of various other authors gathered for publication by the BkMk Press, of which Jaffe was managing editor. The poetry is limitless and ready access to the knowledge and methodology used during the creative writing process is enlightening. Of particular interest is the connection Jaffe makes while integrating his passion for jazz into music and verse.

Another gem of this collection is an assemblage of communal poetry gathered during the “Artists in Schools” program, in which Jaffe participated. There are remnants of the legacy of souls transformed through the direction in finding one’s thoughts and giving them life by putting pen to paper. To one unfamiliar with this particular process of ingenuity, it is a fascinating literary encounter. The collection is an unyielding resource for anyone examining the science of poetry and creative writing.

Audio Collection

Housed in Marr Sound Archives, the collection contains sound recordings of performances, poetry readings, lectures, interviews, and radio broadcast. Materials in the collection include Without Memorial Banners: An American Opera in the Jazz Idiom, Dedicated to Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker by Dan Jaffe and Herb Six, programs of the literary writing show New Letters on the Air and interviews and poetry readings from author/poets such as Dan Jaffe, John Ciardi, John Knoepfle, and Paulette Jiles.

Biographical Sketch

Over the years Dan Jaffe has come to be known as a jazz-poet, although he writes about many other things. More than a dozen of Jaffe’s poems have been set to music for concert chorale. His album with Mike Melvoin, Playing the Word, has been heard on radio throughout the country. Jaffe has written books about the environment, the American landscape, and Midwestern history. Jaffe is a former fellow of the Breadloaf Writers Conference and the winner of a major Hopwood Prize at the University of Michigan. He was the first annual winner of the Kansas City Writers Place award. In addition to other awards and publications, his poems have been widely anthologized in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He was the subject of a documentary entitled Dan Jaffe, Jazz-Poet.

Jaffe has often performed with outstanding jazz musicians, including Bobby Watson, Ira Sullivan, Brian Murphy, George Salisbury, Frank Smith, David Basse, Nicole Yarling and Mike Melvoin. In 2007 he was honored as an Elder Statesman of Kansas City Jazz.

Jaffe is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He founded BkMk Press with Roy Fox, head librarian of the Johnson County Resource Library. Fox and Jaffe’s approach at the time was to celebrate arts through the library. Later BkMk Press was housed at UMKC with Jaffe as longtime editor.


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