Who is Michael Fitzgerald?

I am a music researcher, author, educator, and librarian/archivist. I have been fortunate to have studied performance, composition, and improvisation with many great artists including Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, Mulgrew Miller, Ted Dunbar, William Fielder and Michael Philip Mossman. I have studied jazz research with Dan Morgenstern and Ed Berger of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies and with Dr. Lewis Porter. In addition to B.M. and M.M. degrees, I also hold a M.S.L.S. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science and wrote a comprehensive masters paper on Jazz Archives in the United States.

One of my recent projects is Current Research in Jazz, an online open access journal designed to publish peer-reviewed articles of original jazz research. In addition to shorter articles of a scholarly nature, it publishes bibliographies, indices, chronologies, and other research aids to serve and support jazz scholarship.

I am co-author with Noal Cohen of the definitive biography of alto saxophonist and composer Gigi Gryce. The book Rat Race Blues – The Musical Life of Gigi Gryce has been featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and has received favorable reviews worldwide, also winning the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) award for excellence in 2003. It features a biography, musical analysis, composition index, comprehensive discography and bibliography as well as an extensive photo section with many never-before seen items. Over seventy-five interviews with family, friends and colleagues of Gryce’s were conducted and numerous errors from previously published works have been corrected and myths that have been perpetuated (some for nearly fifty years) have been dispelled. The long-awaited revised second edition of Rat Race Blues will be published in fall 2014. Please visit http://www.gigigrycebook.com for details. Updated discography and composition indices are now maintained online.

The Prescription Records CD issue of William Fielder’s album Love Progression and the Verve Elite series limited edition reissue of the 1954 EmArcy albums Blakey and Introducing Joe Gordon feature my liner notes and the Complete Mercury Max Roach Plus Four Sessions 7-CD set from Mosaic Records includes my biographies of the performers. Coda Magazine published my Art Davis discography in the May/June 1997 issue, the Jimmy Giuffre discography I compiled with Matthew Snyder in the July/August 1998 issue, and a version of my Perry Robinson discography in the September/October 1999 issue. I have also contributed to publications including the centennial edition of Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Music, the second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music, The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra by Robert L. Campbell, Rahsaan Roland Kirk by Guy Cosson and Bright Moments by John Kruth, Paul Bley’s autobiography Stopping Time, The Musical World Of J.J. Johnson by Joshua Berrett and Louis Bourgois, Perry Robinson: The Traveler by Perry Robinson with Florence Wetzel, and issues of the IAJE Jazz Educators Journal (September 2002), Jazz Research News (September 2002), the Green Mountain Jazz Messenger and the New Brunswick Banner. The Winter 2003 issue of Signal To Noise magazine includes my profile of the bassist Henry Grimes and the 2014 special jazz issue of Washington History (journal of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.) includes my article on “Research Washington Jazz History.” I currently review jazz books for the ARSC Journal.

I have given presentations on jazz at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, the University of North Carolina, the University of the Arts, the University of the District of Columbia, and at two Rutgers IJS jazz research roundtables. The notes from the first of these roundtables are online here at my site. I work at the University of the District of Columbia, home of the Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives, and I serve as a consultant for a number of projects, including: the W. Eugene Smith Jazz Loft Project at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the Map of Jazz project, which received a 2010 National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Start-Up Grant, and several jazz documentary films including Music Inn, produced by Projectile Arts. I am extensively featured in the new book More Important Than The Music: A History of Jazz Discography by Bruce D. Epperson.

I can be reached via e-mail: