KENNETH 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.