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Columbia College Chicago
Zane Knauss sound recordings and other material

Zane Knauss sound recordings and other material

Knauss, Zane

Collection, 1975–1977 and undated, consisting of sound recordings of radio broadcasts he produced about jazz artists, including the Composers Profile features on Duke Ellington and Sy Oliver, and the original soundtrack for his documentary film, Cheraw for Dizzy, about Dizzy Gillespie, along with other materials related to the film.

1 box papers plus 16 reel-to-reel tapes and 5 audio cassettes

Donated by Zane Knauss, 1994.

Biographical note:

Zane Knauss (1927– ) is a lifelong jazz enthusiast who steeped himself in the music from an early age. His main career focus, however, was arts promotion. Knauss was a publicist for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, then served in public relations for Southern Methodist University, and later the University of South Carolina.

In 1975, Knauss combined his love of jazz with local pride. South Carolina Educational TV (SC ETV) funded a documentary about Dizzy Gillespie, which was filmed in Gillespie's home town, Cheraw. Knauss wrote the script and did the interviews and soundtrack for the film. He was also a producer and scriptwriter for other public television and radio programs, including a five-part series during 1976–1977 for South Carolina Education Radio titled Composers Profile on jazz artists and co-production of an eight-part series for public radio titled African American Music Tree.

A collection of transcripts of Knauss's interviews was published as volume 2 of the “Conversations with . . .” series, as Conversations with Jazz Musicians (Detroit: Bruccoli Clark, 1977).

Scope note:

The collection consists mostly of sound recordings for the Dizzy Gillespie documentary, the Composers Profile radio show, and for the jazz interviews later included in his book. There are also three tapes that were given to Knauss by George Wein, the well-known founder of the Newport Jazz Festival—non-commercial recordings of a concert featuring Dizzy Gillespie at Carnegie Hall in the 1970s performing with the New York City All-High School Chorus. The director of the chorus at that time, John Motley, was also from Cheraw, and clips were used for the film. Note that use of the Carnegie Hall recordings is restricted to research only.

There is also a small amount of correspondence, notes, clippings related to the tapes from Wein, and a rough script and cue sheets for Cheraw for Dizzy.