Back home after a fabulous weekend in Davenport. The Bix Museum is truly fantastic. Not just a display of beautiful artifacts, photographs and documents. You have to see it, and more than once to really appreciate the scope and significance. The only way I can describe the Museum is a mini course, a great lesson where you learn about Bix: the man, his music and his times. The key men in the transformation of a dream into a living, breathing reality are: Randy Sandke (Bix scholar, first class musician, indefatigable in his acquisition of Bix items and in his generosity), Howard Braren (retired fund raiser who devoted the last several years to secure funding for the Museum), Al van Tieghem (retired financial wizard who managed all financial aspects and came to the rescue with his own generous contributions when crises arose, and they were numerous), the museum designer (I am embarrassed for not remembering his name, a highly competent man who in a few months learned more about Bix than most aficionados know from a lifetime as Bixophiles), the man (again, I am embarrassed- can't remember his name) who with a team of highly skilled workers actually constructed physically the Museum.
I don't use the word hero lightly, but the people I named above plus others who helped in the background are truly heroes and they deserve our eternal gratitude.
Here is a brief look. If you were not planning to visit, it should whet your appetite for more! There are glimpses of Randy and Bix Sandke, Howard, Braren, Al van Tieghen, Lisa Ryan, David Sager, Albert Haim etc,
George Avakian—Record producer and jazz historian
Hoagy Bix Carmichael
Dick Hyman—Pianist and composer
Dan Morgenstern—Director Emeritus of the Institute of Jazz Studies
Vince Giordano—Bandleader and jazz historian
David Sager—Archivist, Library of Congress National Jukebox
Howard Braren—Family member and retired fund raising consultant
Randy Sandke—Jazz musician and author
Board Members and Officers
Howard Braren—Rock Island, IL—President
Sue Fischer—Conestoga, PA—Co-Vice President
Randy Sandke—Shohola, PA—Co-Vice President
Muriel Voss--Bettendorf, IA-Secretary, Co-Treasurer
Albert Van Tieghem—Sarasota, FL—Co-Treasurer
Gerri Bowers—Davenport, IA—Historian
Jim Petersen—Davenport, IA—Board Member
Elizabeth Beiderbecke-Hart--Springfield, IL -- Board Member
Dan Hayes -- Davenport, IA--Board Member
Dr. Albert Haim—Setauket, NY—Advisor
For more information contact
Howard Braren at 563-343-9606 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Sandke at email@example.com
Muriel Voss at 563-343-9609 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PO Box 3052, Davenport IA 52808
Museum designer: Joe Hines.
Museum construction: Carol Schafer
By all means, you must visit Davenport and spend a couple of days in the Museum.