IICSI People: Brian Lefresne

Improv Notes extends its congratulations to IICSI student researcher Brian Lefresne, who has just won a Morroe Berger-Benny Carter Jazz Research Fund award from the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. The award will enable Brian to advance his dissertation research with a visit to the IJS, North America’s foremost jazz archive.

The Morroe Berger-Benny Carter Jazz Research Fund was established in 1987 by Benny Carter (1907-2003) and his wife, Hilma, and by the family of Morroe Berger (1918-1981), Carter’s biographer and a professor of sociology at Princeton. Benny Carter was a pioneering alto saxophonist, trumpeter and arranger. In addition to his lengthy jazz career, starting in the 1940s Carter worked extensively in Hollywood studios, becoming one of the first African Americans to penetrate the highly segregated world of film and television music.

Brian is a PhD candidate in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. His dissertation’s working title is Signifyin’ on Saturn: Race, Art, and Politics in the Life and Works of Sun Ra. His visit to the IJS archives will enable Brian to access valuable materials relating to Sun Ra, and to the history of early jazz performance.

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