Jun. 19, 2014

GRAMMY Foundation Grant Will Preserve James Kimball's Rare Instrument Recordings


A GRAMMY Foundation grant to Livingston Arts will support the preservation of SUNY Geneseo ethnomusicologist James Kimball's recordings of traditional New York state musicians and music. Joining Kimball (center) in front of the college's McClellan House are (l to r) Glenn McClure from Geneseo's English faculty, holding a 19th-century banjo; Geneseo Interim President Carol S. Long, holding a Laotian khaen; Kimball, holding an Irish tune manuscript; Chris Norton, executive director of Livingston Arts, holding a West African talking drum; and local folklorist and ethnomusicologist Karen Canning, holding a Vietnamese dan tranh. The Geneseo Global Music Center eventually will house Kimball's collection in the college's McClellan House.

GENESEO, N.Y. – The rare instrument recordings of SUNY Geneseo ethnomusicologist James Kimball will be preserved as part of the recorded sound heritage of the Americas thanks to a preservation assistance grant from the GRAMMY Foundation has awarded Livingston Arts, Livingston County’s official arts council.

The $5,000 award will support the initial stages of preserving Kimball’s recordings of traditional New York state musicians and music by preparing the recordings and related materials for digitization, including basic inventorying, stabilization and assessment.

Funded by the Recording Academy, the grant program provides funding annually to organizations and individuals to support efforts that advance the archiving and preservation of the recorded sound heritage for future generations, as well as research projects related to the impact of music on the human condition. The program this year distributed more than $200,000 among 15 recipients nationwide.

“Most of the music and stories I have recorded come from rural New York,” said Kimball, “and it will be nice to have the legacy of these memories professionally preserved and accessible to others. I am very appreciative of the work Livingston Arts has done to make this happen.”

Kimball’s more than 40 years of research in traditional American music has resulted in a unique collection of field recordings, interviews, manuscripts, printed materials and instruments. Kimball has generously shared his knowledge and instrument collection through numerous presentations in the state for historical societies, schools and libraries and through dances and concerts with the Geneseo String Band, which he founded at SUNY Geneseo in 1976.

The college is collaborating with Livingston Arts and will eventually house the Kimball collection in the Geneseo Global Music Center in McClellan House on Geneseo’s Main Street.

Media Contact:
David Irwin
Media Relations Director
(585) 245-5516