It’s difficult to describe the impact music has on our lives. Numerous people throughout the ages – such as musicians, artists, philosophers and people from all walks of life – have attempted to express this. Maya Angelou writes that “music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” or “Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” writes J. K. Rowling, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
As the Jacksonville Historical Society prepares for the renovation of the Casket Factory building into the Jacksonville Area Music Museum, Chip Storey, Music Museum consultant, is collecting and expanding our music related items. One of his recent acquisitions focuses on a local personality with an international reputation, Richmond A. Matteson.
Matteson was the Koger Distinguished Professor of American Music in charge of the Jazz Studies program at UNF beginning in 1986. Prior to that, he recorded with Louis Armstrong & The Dukes of Dixieland on tuba, big bands on bass trumpet and euphonium, and had his own recordings.(Library M 1366 .A1 R53 1991?). According to Rich Matteson’s Jazz Corner on UNF Digital Commons, he founded the award-winning jazz program at UNF in 1987. He created a weekly jazz radio show on WJCT with Landon Walker, titled Jazz Corner. This site has archived some of his historic broadcasts (digitalcommons.unf.edu).
He was inducted into the International Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame in 1990, along with Louis Armstrong and Clem DeRosa. To learn more about this talented jazz educator, the library has a copy of his life, consisting of various newspaper articles, vita information, and letters from various producers and marketing managers extolling his talent. We are appreciative of this donation by Matteson’s widow so that new generations can learn of his many accomplishments!
Jacksonville Historical Society Librarian