- circa 1970s–1988
Scope and Contents
The Bill Barron Collection contains a small but diverse amount of music and documents spanning the latter part of his career, mainly from the 1970s until 1988; covering his activities as a musician and educator.
There are several catalogs, brochures, and programs from his years as a music educator as well as photocopies of some of his compositions.
1 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use.
Language of Materials
The Bill Barron Collection contains a small but diverse amount of music and documents spanning the latter part of Barron's career, mainly from the 1970s until 1988. The collection contains catalogs, brochures, and programs from his years as a music educator as well copies of some of his compositions.
Biographical / Historical
Bill Barron, born William Barron Jr., was born March 27, 1927 in Philadelphia. He played tenor and soprano saxophone as well as being a gifted composer and teacher. He began playing the piano at age nine like his younger brother Kenny eventually would, but switched to saxophone.
At age seventeen, Barron joined the Carolina Cotton Pickers, and soon went on toured the South in the early 1940s. After serving in the army for three years beginning in 1943, he enrolled in the Ornstein School of Music in Philadelphia, formerly Combs College of Music, where he studied composition, theory and arranging as well as saxophone and clarinet. He went on to perform with such artists as Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones, Cecil Taylor, and Jimmy Heath throughout the 1950s. After moving to New York in 1958, he continued to work with Taylor and Jones, and formed his own group, the Barron Brothers. Barron joined up with trumpeter Ted Curson in 1964 and toured Europe, where he continued to thrive, mainly in Sweden and Denmark. Barron performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1965 with Cecil Taylor.
He directed the Muse Jazz Workshop of the Children's Museum in Brooklyn between 1968 and 1974. Barron received his doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1975 and began teaching at Wesleyan University. Barron went on to become the chairman of the music department in 1984 and remained there until his death on September 21, 1989 in Middletown, Connecticut.
Some of Barron's more famous recordings include "The Next Plateau" (1989) and "Jazz Caper" (1982); compositions include "Motivation" and "Hold Back Tomorrow." Kenny Barron played on all of his brother's recordings. Wesleyan University maintains a collection of Bill Barron's music and papers.
The Bill Barron collection is divided into two series: Series 1. Music Manuscripts and Notes and Series 2. Publications
The collection was previously entitled "The William "Bill" Barron (1927-1989) Collection (MC005)" and was renamed "The Bill Barron collection (IJS-0005)" in 2021.
- Caryn Radick
- 2011 November
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Part of the Institute of Jazz Studies Repository
185 University Avenue
John Cotton Dana Library
Newark New Jersey 07102 United States