Monday, May 19, 2008

Ed Fenner

Self-styled "jazz activist" Ed Fenner reportedly died yesterday.

Fenner was a tireless promoter of jazz in Kansas City. He was responsible for compiling the Jazz Ambassador's jazz calendar. As I've previously noted, it's the single most valuable resource for local jazz fans. He also sold advertising for JAM magazine. And he had hoped to launch KC Jazz Voice this year.

Fenner and I didn't hear or experience jazz the same way. I'd be the first to admit that I have only a fraction of his energetic passion for the art form. I spotted him at nearly every traditional jazz show I attended at the Folly and Jardine's in the past few years.

Fenner's passing isn't just a terrible loss for his family and friends. It's a devastating blow to Kansas City's jazz community.


punkyjunk said...

I know very few people in this town that gave so much of themselves to the music as Ed did. He really defined what it means to say “it’s all about the music.” I feel extremely fortunate to have spoken with him last week when he was in the hospital – calling me from his bed to conduct JAM advertising business, of all things. He faithfully served the music, all the way to the end.

I always enjoyed our frequent conversations, his radiant personality and unbridled enthusiasm for jazz. His selflessness, dedication & pure love for the music were truly infectious. The greatest honor to Ed would be for folks in KC to pick up where he left off and support the scene as passionately as he did. I only wish I could hear the jam sessions that he’s probably getting to watch now.

-Andrew Zender, American Jazz Museum/Blue Room/Gem Theater

the unthinking lemming said...

I talked with Ed Fenner at Killer Strayhorn's CD release event at Jardines not 2 weeks back. Sad to hear of his passing.

WLIB said...

Damn, that's a serious loss. Ed was the Energizer Bunny of the KC Jazz community.

Pete Dulin said...

He'll be missed in the jazz community

Here's a link to our tribute to him in -

Anonymous said...

We will be holding a memorial jam at Jardine's for Ed this Sunday from 5:30-9:30. All musicians are welcome.

Anonymous said...

I am so saddened by finding out today about Ed's death. I just saw him as mc at Clark Terry's event this May. We shook hands and hugged. He would come at times to see me perform. I asked him how was his health. We had opportunity to go to Morocco together in 2006. I will miss him a lot. He will be a great lost to the community and jazz world. Thank you Ed for your love of the jazz music and inspiration.