Two individuals who have long championed the legacy of Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke are the recipients of the 2020 Bix Lives Award, chosen by the Board of Directors of the Bix Beiderbecke Museum & Archive Collection in Davenport, Iowa. The recipients are drummer-bandleader-historian Josh Duffee and Carol Schaefer, who was a key player in the creation of the Bix Museum.
Duffee is a professional musician who for many years was music director for the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, which this summer for the first time in its 49 years, was held virtually due to COVID-19. The Moline native, now living in Davenport, has spent his career keeping Quad-Cities’ musical heritage alive. He has also served on the Jazz Society Board and is known for his commitment to supporting music education in the area through music scholarships and teaching drum lessons.
A lifelong Bix fan, Schaefer dedicated the past four years to getting the Museum to what it is today, from supervising the construction to spending countless hours fundraising and helping operate the museum. He spearheaded the search and hiring of Nathaniel Kraft, the Museum’s first director, who has a Master’s degree in museum studies from Western Illinois University-Quad Cities. Since retiring from the Board, Schaefer has taken on an advisor role and continues to help the Museum with projects.