The Center for American Music, part of the University of Pittsburgh Library System, has acquired the Dave Burrell Archive.
Burrell was an influential innovator in New York’s free jazz scene and played alongside such trailblazing musicians as alto saxophonist Marion Brown and tenor saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and David Murray.
Burrell’s compositions for the theater include the opera Windward Passages (1979), with a libretto by his wife, Monika Larsson, and Holy Smoke (1999), created with choreographer Eva Gholson. As a composer-in-residence at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, he wrote numerous pieces inspired by archival documents and other materials, including Bill of Sale for a Slave (2007), Syllables of the Poetry of Marianne Moore (2008), and Western Extension of the United States of America 1811 (2009). In 2010 he launched a project called American Civil War: 1861–1865, which led to a number of compositions.
The Burrell Archive consists of twenty-four linear feet of posters, recordings, programs, photographs, correspondence, scores, and contracts that document his career from the 1960s through the present. It will open to researchers later this year.
The archive will be presented to Pitt at Bellefield Hall Auditorium during the 52nd Annual Jazz Concert on Tuesday, November 1, 8:00 p.m.