Plans for National Big Band & Jazz Hall of Fame Unveiled for Palm Springs


The popular destination resort and retirement community of Palm Springs, CA has been chosen as the site for the proposed "National Big Band & Jazz Hall of Fame."

The venture is sponsored by Taurus Venture Capital Fund LLC, who will fund construction of the 16,000 square foot museum. The museum will include exhibits, a ballroom, a studio designed for live radio broadcasts and a gift shop offering various souvenirs and CD's representative of this music genre.

Unlike other museums, this structure will host various celebrations with its unique broadcast studio and ballroom dance floor. With close to 300 radio stations in the United States that program Big Band and Jazz, the studio will be available for conducting broadcasts from the museum itself. In addition, the museum will house "The Make Believe Ballroom" for dancing and live performances.

Among other cities proposed for its construction were New Orleans, Las Vegas, Chicago and Hollywood.

The aim of the Hall of Fame is to continue the music legacy for present and future generations through various artist exhibits and musical artifacts reflective of this musical genre and its evolution according to Horace Heidt Jr., President of the Hall of Fame. In addition, the Hall of Fame plans to establish and bestow awards and scholarships to children and young adults, as well as conduct seminars, educate and involve those interested in learning and even pursuing a musical career.

"Palm Springs is so appropriate for a Museum of this caliber," said Heidt. "Not only will we have artifacts and memorabilia from almost all of the Big Band and Jazz great from across the country, but we are talking with national institutions about displaying some of their exhibits."

Construction on the museum will begin as soon as plans are approved by the City of Palm Springs, with an expected opening date of October 2, 2000. The grand opening will feature a live performance with a name band to be determined. One of the first exhibits will feature "The Golden Age of Jazz," to be displayed for six months beginning in March 2001. In addition to the museum renovation, the Big Band & Jazz Hall of Fame is planning a number of fundraising activities, including a celebrity golf tournament to coincide with the grand opening, and is seeking sponsorships to support the museum.

With Palm Springs being one of the most recognized cities in the world, the many top musicians located here forever link it to the world of Big Band and Jazz. Frank Sinatra, who could have lived anywhere in the world, chose Palm Springs as his residence. William Beck, Chief Operations Officer of the Hall of Fame projects 100,000 visitors to the Museum the first year. The Museum is expected to boost tourism income for the city of Palm Springs by $20,000,000 annually.

"Plans are to induct into the National Big Band & Jazz Hall of Fame some of the nation's top musicians, band leaders, arrangers and others connected with big band and jazz music, whether living or deceased, to honor and commemorate their works and contributions," said Heidt. "We also plan to honor this art form by bringing together big band and jazz musicians in concerts and special events which demonstrate the many forms of big band and jazz music."

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