Kenneth Diehl, co-founder of Arizona Classic Jazz Society, has Died

Ken DiehlKENNETH DIEHL, 96, on Jan. 18 in Scottsdale, AZ. A co-founder of the Arizona Classic Jazz Society, he served as the Society’s first President (and later Treasurer) and first Festival Director. He was named the ACJF’s “Gentleman of Jazz” in 2001. Ken was introduced to Dixieland Jazz listening to records when he was in the Army during World War II.

Following his discharge and living on Long Island, he became a regular patron of New York City’s famed jazz clubs: Stuyvesant Casino, Central Plaza, Jimmy Ryan’s, Condon’s, and Nick’s. In the early ’50s, he regularly vacationed in New Orleans where he befriended the likes of George Lewis and Papa Celestin. A graduate of Pratt Institute, he had a 30-year career as a chemical engineer, of which 15 years were in the nuclear field.

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Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

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