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Porter, Lewis

Lewis Porter (PhD, Brandeis, 1983) is Professor of Music at Rutgers University in Newark, and founder and director of the Master’s Program in Jazz History and Research there since Fall 1997. A leading jazz scholar, he has dedicated his career to raising the standards of jazz scholarship, and to mentoring young scholars worldwide and in his Master’s program. While full-time at Rutgers, he has also taught at the New School, Manhattan School of Music, Jazz At Lincoln Center, and as a guest at numerous colleges in the US and Europe. He is an author or coauthor of six books on jazz and numerous articles on jazz, an assisting author of the definitive Coltrane discography, and a consultant to record producers, publishers, and producers of jazz radio shows and films. He is a frequent guest on radio (NPR, WNYC, WBGO, etc.), often quoted in print (NY Times, Star Ledger, etc.) and occasionally appears on TV and film (BET, BBC). He made numerous media appearances in 2005 about his role in researching and releasing the Monk/Coltrane Carnegie Hall recording. He was nominated for a Grammy in 1996 (under Best Historical Reissue) for his role in producing the boxed set of Coltrane’s Atlantic Recordings. He has performed extensively, primarily as a pianist. In April 2002, Altrisuoni (www.altrisuoni.com) released a CD of his music, entitled Second Voyage, featuring Dan Faulk, Ken Wessel, Harvie S (formerly Harvie Swartz), Porter, Marcus Baylor, and guest Dave Liebman.

His first book, Lester Young (1985), appeared in a revised edition in 2005 (University of Michigan Press), with an added photo section and CD guide. Porter edited A Lester Young Reader, coauthored Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present (with Michael Ullman, and Ed Hazell; Prentice-Hall,1992), compiled an anthology of historical articles and his own essays (Jazz: A Century of Change, Schirmer Books, 1997), and published the acclaimed study John Coltrane: His Life and Music (University of Michigan Press, Jan. 1998). The latter book won the 1999 Jazz Research Award from the Association of Recorded Sound Collections.

In 2002 he was appointed editor for a series of books on jazz for the University of Michigan press. He has completed a jazz encyclopedia which will soon be published online, and he is heading a team of five researchers compiling a comprehensive John Coltrane reference work (Routledge, 2007). Perhaps most exciting of all, he is founder, and co-editor with Professor John Howland, of a new peer-reviewed journal, Jazz Perspectives, which will begin publication early in 2007.

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