Preserving the Jazz Tradition
Library fellowship allows student to make historic Leonard Feather blindfold tests more accessible to the public
Jazz critic and writer Leonard Feather sought to answer a simple question – could people identify a performer’s race or gender simply by the way he or she played their instrument?
Mitch Gibbs, a senior from Snohomish, Wash., received the inaugural Berry IJC Fellowship and helped make this collection, and Feather’s findings, more accessible to the public.
By matching the audio recordings of the tests to the magazine editions they were published in, Gibbs could provide users more detailed information on the recording, including a list of songs featured in each interview.
Article by Kathy Foss, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences
Photography by Joe Pallen, Historical photographs courtesy of the U of I Library Special Collections and Archives
Published February 2020