Jazz aficionado Lynne Mueller recalls seeing renowned trumpeter Art Farmer perform in a William Paterson University jazz concert in the late 1980s. During the later years of his life, she became his close friend and manager.
To honor the memory of Art Farmer (1928-1999), one of the most respected of modern jazz trumpeters, Mueller donated a generous portion of his music, recordings, and memorabilia to the University’s Living Jazz Archives. She is also providing William Paterson University with a $28,000 donation to establish the Art Farmer Jazz Master Scholarship.
“The recent donation of Art Farmer's collection to the Living Jazz Archives brings us the work of a true jazz master composer, performer and bandleader, and one of the great lyrical improvisers in jazz history,” says David Demsey, coordinator of jazz studies, professor, and curator of the University’s Living Jazz Archives. “Lynne Mueller's generosity, and her work with jazz historian and discographer Noal Cohen, have made this all possible, and we're all so grateful. At the core, there is sheet music from his actual band books, a beautiful collection of his LP and CD recordings, and a great collection of letters and other papers.”
“Living jazz archives are really important,” says Mueller. While there are archives around the world that collect jazz information, Mueller says that William Paterson’s Living Jazz Archives is significant because it features the work of specific musicians, like Michael Brecker, James Williams, Mulgrew Miller, Clark Terry, Thad Jones, and now Art Farmer.
Mueller spent her early career in the corporate world and also has more than 30 years of jazz concert production experience in New York City. She has served on several jazz committees and is active in promoting concerts and festivals, now in New Jersey.
“I chose to donate the archive to William Paterson, so students can come and learn about Art Farmer, and have access to his recordings and compositions, and learn what it’s like to be a jazz musician,” says Mueller.
Through her generous donation to jazz scholarships and the archive, Mueller hopes to inspire others to continue the archive and consider giving scholarships to support jazz students at William Paterson.
“Art’s legacy will continue,” says Mueller. Quoting a line by Farmer, who was featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary, A Great Day in Harlem, she says “Musicians are not gone, but live on in the next generation of musicians.” If he were alive, Mueller says Farmer would approve of these donations. “He would have a smile on his face right now. He would probably wink.”
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