Profile

John Edward Hasse

Curator

M.A. (1975) and Ph.D. (1981), Indiana University Certificate in Business Administration, The Wharton School (1981) B.A., Carleton College (1971)

Research Specialties: 
  • Music in American culture, 1880s–present
  • History of jazz, ragtime, and American popular music
  • History of the U.S. recording industry and music business
  • Duke Ellington
  • Music of New Orleans and the Mississippi River
  • Children's songs
  • U.S. patriotic songs
  • Standard repertories
Role in Museum: 
Projects: 

Current Projects:

  • Founder and director of international Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM)
  • Project manager for www.smithsonianjazz.org and a jazz education project for middle-school students
  • Research on jazz controversies, on the standard repertory of jazz, and on Duke Ellington
  • Advisor to the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

Past Projects:

  • Founder and former executive director, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
  • Founder and co-director of the former America's Jazz Heritage: A Partnership of the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and the Smithsonian Institution, a ten-year, $7-million project of traveling exhibitions, educational programs, radio broadcasts, and oral histories (1993–2003)
Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 
  • ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards (for excellence in writing about music), 1982 and 1986.
  • Grammy Award Nominations (Best Album Notes, Best Historical Album), 1989.
  • Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Carleton College, 1996.
  • Certificates of Appreciation for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education, International Association for Jazz Education, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1994, 1991.
  • Named the William KcKinley Visiting Scholar by Mt. Union College, Malone College, and Walsh University, 2001.
  • Awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Walsh University, 2001.
  • Elected Secretary, International Association for Jazz Education, 2002–2004.
Professional Affiliations: 
  • American Musicological Society
  • Association for Recorded Sound Collections
  • College Music Society
  • International Association for Jazz Education
  • International Association for the Study of Popular Music
  • International Association of Jazz Record Collectors
  • National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
  • Society for American Music
  • Society for Ethnomusicology

Publications

“Launching Jazz Appreciation Month,” Jazz Education Journal, March 2002, pp. 40–42, 44–45.

Explains the origins and purposes of this international celebration, and details the cultural coalition that is supporting it.

Teacher’s Guide to Jazz: The First Century. Alexandria, Va.: The author, 2000. 64 pp., bibliog.

A guide for college professors to Jazz: The First Century, featuring 500 discussion and test questions (and answers); and chapter-by-chapter recommendations for further reading.

“The Duke Ellington Renaissance: A Review of Recent Books, Recordings, and Music Editions,” College Music Symposium 40 (2000), pp. 183–89.

Reviews a spate of important publications on Ellington, whose centennial was celebrated in 1999 and whose vast archives are housed at NMAH.

Jazz: The First Century. With forewords by Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones. New York: Wm. Morrow, 2000. 246 pp., bibliog., discog., illus., photos, tables. Chapter 1: “The Emergence of Jazz,” Chapter 3: “The Swing Era,” as well as “Introduction” and twenty-one sidebars.

This book marks the passage of jazz music’s first century by bringing together text by 27 experts with more than 300 images. Authors include David Baker, Bob Blumenthal, James Dapogny, Krin Gabbard, William H. Kenney, Neil Tesser, et al. With seventy concise sidebars on jazz songs, styles, techniques, repertory, landmarks, radio, television, etc., and extensive backmatter.

“Ellington at 100: Genius Beyond Category,” Jazz Educators Journal, March 1999, pp. 32–37, 39–40.

Discusses the genius of Ellington, his increasing recognition by colleges and concert halls, and the Smithsonian’s extensive set of initiatives to interpret his legacy, including exhibitions, fellowships, performance programs, publications, and radio broadcasts.

“Introduction” to The Stardust Road; Sometimes I Wonder: The Autobiographies of Hoagy Carmichael. New York: Da Capo Press, 1999, pp. v–xvii.

Presents a concise biography of Carmichael, provides the background for his two memoirs, and assesses his talents and contributions to American culture. With a select discography.

“All That Jazz,” in James Conaway’s The Smithsonian: 150 Years of Adventure, Discovery, and Wonder, pp. 336–37. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.

This essay describes the Smithsonian’s work in jazz, including collections, oral histories, exhibitions, and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Big Band Treasures, Live (annotator and assistant producer). Compact disc with 28-page booklet. Washington: Smithsonian Recordings, 1995.

The first commercially-issued recording by this important ensemble, which was established by Congress in 1990. The recorded performances were conducted by David Baker and Gunther Schuller, and feature works by Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, and others.

Beyond Category: The Musical Genius of Duke Ellington; The Best of Ellington from Victor, Bluebird, and RCA, 1927–1967, (producer and annotator). Two compact discs (or cassettes) with 28-page booklet. Washington: Smithsonian Collection of Recordings; New York: BMG Records, 1994.

An anthology of the best Ellington recordings, from his Cotton Club years (Black and Tan Fantasie, Mood Indigo, and his early-1940s recordings (Ko-Ko, Concerto for Cootie), to his late-career recordings (Far East Suite, Concert of Sacred Music).

Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington. With a Foreword by Wynton Marsalis. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. Paperback ed., with revisions: New York, Da Capo Press, 1995. UK ed., London: Omnibus Press, 1996. 480 pp., appendices, bibliog., discog., filmog., index, notes, photos.

A “career biography” of Ellington, one of the 20th century’s greatest composers, based in part upon the vast Duke Ellington archives at NMAH. With chapter-by-chapter sidebar essays on essential recordings. Illustrated with 130 photos.

“Duke Ellington: The Smithsonian Will Preserve and Perpetuate Duke Ellington's Legacy,” Jazz Educators Journal 22, no. 1 (January 1990), 24–27.

Describes the scope of the huge Duke Ellington Collection acquired by the NMAH in 1988, and the Museum’s plans to catalog it and present it to the public.

The Classic Hoagy Carmichael (producer and annotator). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Collection of Recordings; Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society; London, England: BBC Records, 1988. Four 12" LPs, boxed, with a 64-page book, bibliog., discog., filmog., illus. Also issued on cassette and CD.

Spanning 60 years of recordings, from 1927–1987, this anthology presents 57 classic recordings of songs composed by Hoagy Carmichael, including Stardust, Skylark, Lazy River, Georgia On My Mind, and Rockin’ Chair, as recorded by Louis Armstrong, Artie Shaw, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Carmichael himself, and others.

Ragtime: Its History, Composers, and Music. New York: Schirmer Books, 1985; London: Macmillan, 1985 and 1986. Cloth and paper ed.s, x + 400 pp., bibliog., discog., illus., music, photos, tables.

An overview of ragtime, with chapters covering the history (e.g., jazz and classical music), leading figures (Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton), and its music.