Thursday, September 9, 2021

R.I.P.: Phil Schaap, Longtime WKCR-FM NYC Jazz Expert

April 8, 1951 - Sept 7, 2021
Phil Schaap, who explored the intricacy and history of jazz in radio programs that he hosted, Grammy-winning liner notes that he wrote, music series that he programmed and classes that he taught, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. 

He was 70, according to The NY Times.

His partner of 17 years, Susan Shaffer, said the cause was cancer, which he had had for four years.

Schaap was host of an assortment of jazz radio programs over the years, but he was perhaps best known as a fixture on WKCR-FM, the student-run radio station of Columbia University.

He did more than write and talk about jazz; he also knew his way around a studio and was especially adept at unearthing and remastering the works of jazz greats of the past. He shared the best historical album Grammy as a producer on the Holiday and Davis-Evans recordings, as well as on “Louis Armstrong: The Complete Hot Five & Hot Seven Recordings” (2000).

Over the years he imparted his vast knowledge of jazz to countless students, teaching courses at Columbia, Princeton, the Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, Rutgers University, Jazz at Lincoln Center and elsewhere.

“They say I’m a history teacher,” he said in a video interview for the National Endowment for the Arts, which this year named him a Jazz Master, the country’s highest official honor for a living jazz figure, but he viewed his role differently.

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