Ben Webster Foundation

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The Ben Webster Foundation, a non-profit organization, was formed by jazz enthusiasts and musicians in Denmark and it was confirmed by the Queen of Denmark's Seal in 1976.

During the eight years where Ben Webster lived in Denmark, (he died 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. Moore took it upon himself 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's musical works on LP and CD. After his death Billy Moore Jr. took the initiative to create the Ben Webster Foundation together with the trustee of Webster's estate. As Webster's only legal heir, Harley Robinson assigned his rights to then-new-formed foundation and it was subsequently 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 insemination of Jazz in Denmark. The board of the foundation consists of close friends and enthusiasts of Ben Webster. Webster’s annual royalties are conveyed back to musicians, both in Denmark and the US. The Ben Webster Prize is awarded by vote to one of the outstanding young musicians each year.[1] The prize is not a grant, but a reward for the good work being done by the talented Jazz artists each year on the name of Ben Webster's legacy. During the years, several American musicians have visited Denmark to help the foundation. They gave concerts, participated in recordings of some of those live performances. They also supported some other, jazz related, events too. The Board of Trustees monitor Ben Webster's artistic rights and the many reissues of his music around the world. The foundation further assures that the legality, technical quality and the musical validity of these reissues are kept in line. The foundation has been in existence for last 34 years while Ben Webster's music is being enjoyed all over the world.[2]

In year 2009, Ernie Wilkins' Almost Big Band opened the Copenhagen Jazz Festival with a concert at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse where a special arrangement called the All-time Battle of the Tenor Saxophones in Hundred Years were presented which were founded by the Ben Webster Foundation. Politiken, the influential paper from Denmark, published the story.[3]


  1. ^ "The Annual Ben Webster Prize". Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  2. ^ "The Ben Webster Foundation". Archived from the original on 2 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  3. ^ "All-time Battle of Tenor Saxophones in Hundred Years". Retrieved 2010-11-12. 

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