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Magee, Jeffrey 1961–

Magee, Jeffrey 1961–

PERSONAL: Born 1961. Education: Oberlin College, B.M., 1983; University of California, Berkeley, M.A., 1986; University of Michigan, Ph.D., 1992.

ADDRESSES: Office—School of Music, Indiana University, 107 S. Indiana Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405-7000. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Educator and writer. Indiana University, associate professor of musicology. Executive editor of "Music of the United States of America" (series of scholarly recorded editions), for National Endowment for the Humanities.


(With Richard Crawford) Jazz Standards on Record, 1900–1942: A Core Repertory, Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago (Chicago, IL), 1992.

The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Author's writings on music have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies, including American Music, Lenox Avenue, International Dictionary of Black Composers, Musical Quarterly, The Cambridge History of American Music, and Journal of the American Musicological Society.

SIDELIGHTS: Jeffrey Magee studies and teaches American music with a special focus on jazz, ragtime, and popular songs. He is also the author of The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz. Considered the first comprehensive biography of the musician, the book chronicles Henderson's life from Atlanta to New York, where he became a big band leader, as well as a talented composer and arranger. Henderson provided songs and arrangements to many of the Swing Era's biggest stars, including Benny Goodman and the Dorsey Brothers. In addition to chronicling Henderson's life and career, Magee provides analyses of many of Henderson's musical scores.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Don Heckman pointed out that the author provides a valuable insight into "Henderson's identity as both a creative facilitator of other musicians' efforts and the frustrated composer-arranger of music that was a foundational element in the Swing Era." In a review in the Boston Globe, Renee Graham commented, "Magee is less concerned with personal minutiae than his subject's progression as a musician. This may leave those in search of a more straightforward Henderson biography wanting, but creates room for an engrossing history of jazz's evolution between the world wars." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "more a 'portrait of a musical collaboration' than a biography," and wrote that it serves as "a welcome addition to the study of swing." Dave Szatmary commented in the Library Journal that the author "does an excellent job of placing his subject in the context of uncertain social changes in the African American community."



Boston Globe, January 12, 2005, Renee Graham, review of The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz, p. C6.

Library Journal, January 1, 2005, Dave Szatmary, review of The Uncrowned King of Swing, p. 115.

Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2005, Don Heckman, review of The Uncrowned King of Swing, p. E39.

Publishers Weekly, December 6, 2004, review of The Uncrowned King of Swing, p. 52.


Indiana University Media Relations Web site, (June 3, 2005), biographical information on author.

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