A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BEN WEBSTER FOUNDATION

During the eight years where Ben Webster lived in Denmark (he died here in 1973), he did not have a personal manager or agent to take care of his artistic rights. In 1972 he joined up with Billy Moore Jr., former arranger for Jimmie Lunceford, among others. Mr. Moore took it upon him to clarify Webster's present and past recording history in an attempt to secure all the means and royalties that Webster was legally entitled to - but rarely received - from the different companies that kept reissuing Webster on LP and CD. After Webster's death Billy Moore Jr. took the initiative to create The Ben Webster Foundation together with the trustee of Webster's estate. Since Webster's only legal heir, Mr. Harley Robinson in Los Angeles, gladly assigned his rights to the foundation, The Ben Webster Foundation was confirmed by The Queen of Denmark’s Seal in 1976. In the Foundation's trust deed, one of the initial paragraphs reads: ‘to support the issemination of jazz in Denmark’. The board of the Foundation consists of friends and relations of Ben Webster. It is a beneficial Foundation, where Webster’s annual royalties are conveyed back to musicians, both in Denmark and the US. An annual Ben Webster Prize is awarded to a young, but outstanding musician. The prize is not grand, but considered highly prestigious. During the years, several American musicians have visited Denmark with the help of the Foundation, and concerts, a few recording and other jazz related events have been supported. First of all the Foundation monitors Ben Webster's artistic rights and has a keen eye for the many reissues of his music that pop up all over the world, sometimes more or less legal and often dubious with regard to technical quality and musical validity. The Foundation has been in charge now for 29 year, and it is rewarding to observe that Ben Webster's outstanding music is still being enjoyed all over the globe. The Foundation is ready to keep working in Webster's spirit for years to come.
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