News and Events: Archive:

Jazz Institute Celebrates 100 Years of Fats Waller

see caption
Image of Fats Waller, courtesy of the Institute of Jazz Studies on the Rutgers-Newark campus.

Forget about keeping quiet in the John Cotton Dana Library, at least on Saturday, May 8. The joint will be jumping that day when the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS), in Dana Library, commemorates the centennial of the birth of musical legend Fats Waller, whose songs include "Ain't Misbehavin," "I've Got Rhythm," "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Black and Blue."

"The Joint is Jumping: A Celebration of Fats Waller's Centennial" will feature live music, lectures by Waller experts Paul Machlin, Mark Borowsky and Bob Pinsker, and screenings of Fats Waller film appearances. Performers include pianists Ray Bryant and Mike Lipskin, singer-pianist Daryl Sherman and singer-guitarist Marty Grosz.

Thomas "Fats" Waller (1904-1943), a seminal figure in the history of jazz, was a prolific composer and recording artist known for his effervescent performances. A brilliant pianist, organist, singer, and bandleader, Waller's legacy remains alive, 61 years after his death, in his hundreds of recordings and handful of movie roles.

For a digital introduction to the man and his music, go to "Fats Waller Forever," at This interactive Jazz Institute website includes sound clips of his songs, photographs and biographical information.

The day-long program, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 9:30 a.m., and end at 6 p.m. The program will take place in the Dana Room of the Dana Library, 185 University Ave., on the Rutgers- Newark campus. SEATING IS LIMITED; ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED; 973/353-5595 (weekdays, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) or e-mail:

The May 8 program is funded by the Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries and presented by the IJS.

Dana Library is wheelchair-accessible, as is the Rutgers-Newark campus. Rutgers-Newark can be reached by New Jersey Transit buses and trains, the PATH train and Amtrak from New York City, and by Newark City Subway. Metered parking is available on University Avenue and at Rutgers-Newark's public parking garage, at 200 University Ave. Printable campus maps and driving directions are available online at:

For additional information, please call Carla Capizzi, (973) 353-5262; e-mail:

Due to the strong advance response to this conference, the venue has changed. The Fats Waller Centennial Celebration has been moved, as of April 29th, to the Multipurpose Room on the second floor of the Robeson Campus Center.

Story by Carla Capizzi

Posted April 29, 2004