Assistant Professor, Music
Esquire Bldg, Room 111
BA, University of Arizona
MLS, University of Arizona
Keith Pawlak has distinguished himself as a curator, teacher, and scholar of American music. He currently serves as the curator for the School of Music’s jazz and popular music archive and teaches Jazz History.
Much of Keith’s time is devoted towards preserving and perpetuating the great music produced by the American recording artists that dominated Hollywood’s golden era of recording following World War II. He worked to develop the jazz and popular music archive at the School of Music, which houses the collections of many of these composers and performers, such as Les Baxter, Nelson Riddle, Artie Shaw, Paul Weston, and Jo Stafford–to name just a few. The archive consists of approximately two dozen artist collections and a collection of published dance arrangements from Tin Pan Alley’s golden days that numbers approximately 4,000 titles.
Keith has also produced oral histories, given scholarly presentations, and published articles on American music for sources like Grove Dictionary and Wikipedia. In 2012 he published the memoirs of Paul Weston and Jo Stafford in a work titled Song of the Open Road: An Autobiography and Other Writings by Paul Weston and Jo Stafford. Additionally, he has been active in promoting the live performance of great works of American popular music through the Archive Ensemble. The group has performed a film score (synchronized to picture), captured the essence of a 1930s cabaret, and has performed tributes to great American artists like Artie Shaw, Paul Horn, and Ralph Carmichael.
He has completed more than 50 music preparation and reconstruction projects that have led to world performance premieres. Titles include the following: “The Adam and Eve Ballet” from 20th Century Fox’s Can Can; select titles from How To Marry A Millionaire, Daddy Long Legs; Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook; Teenage Devil Dolls, and numerous titles from the libraries of Artie Shaw, Paul Weston, Jo Stafford, Robert Drasnin, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nelson Riddle and Paul Horn.
These titles and others have been performed by the following artists or organizations: Jack Jones, Seth MacFarlane, Wynton Marsalis, Gary LeMel, Family Guy, American Dad, The BBC Concert Orchestra, John Wilson Orchestra, Hamburg Staatsoper, University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra, and MIT Symphony Orchestra.
The archive is supported in large part by donations from the public and by funding from the Lew Spence Memorial Endowment.
For more information regarding the jazz and popular music archive or for donations, please contact Keith Pawlak through the following contacts.