There is less than a month until a concert in New York to benefit Dick Sudhalter, the multi-talented musician and writer who needs all the help his friends (I am one) and admirers can give. Here is what I wrote in June about Dick’s dilemma.
Richard M. Sudhalter, the gifted cornetist, biographer of Bix Beiderbecke and invaluable jazz historian, needs help. Following a massive stroke nearly three years ago and a recent diagnosis that he has MSA (multiple system atrophy), Dick’s medical bills have mounted to proportions that he cannot begin to manage.
Sudhalter wrote Lost Chords: White Musicians and Their Contributions to Jazz 1915-1945. Following racist attacks by ignoramuses when it was published in 1999, it is now beginning to get the credit due it as one of the most valuable historical and analytical studies about jazz. He also wrote superb biographies of Beiderbecke and Hoagy Carmichael. Three books of their quality would be accomplishment aplenty for anyone. But Sudhalter is also a superb cornetist in the Beiderbecke tradition and beyond it. His contributions to the music and to the general culture are profound.
Friends are organizing a benefit concert to be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York on September 10, but Dick’s financial situation is crushing now. He is due to go to the Mayo Clinic for treatment. It’s going to be expensive. I am sending a check. I hope that you will also help, to whatever extent you can.
The concert will start at 7 pm at the church at Lexington Avenue and 54th Street. Tickets at the door or in advance are forty dollars. Please consider donations above that amount.
Dan Levinson and Randy Sandke are organizing the concert. If you go, you will hear Harry Allen, Dan Barrett, Eddie Bert, Bill Crow, Jim Ferguson, Dave Frishberg, Wycliffe Gordon, Marty Grosz, Becky Kilgore, Bill Kirchner, Steve Kuhn, Dan Levinson, Marian McPartland, Joe Muranyi, David Ostwald, Nicki Parrott, Bucky Pizzarelli, Scott Robinson, Randy Sandke, Daryl Sherman, and the Loren Schoenberg Big Band. There will no doubt be additions to that list. Tickets are available in advance–and donations can be sent by using this address:
P.O. Box 757
Southold, NY 11971
You can also order tickets online with a credit card by visiting PayPal and using this account:
Because of the MSA, Dick is unable to speak understandably. His ability to read and write are not affected. He would be delighted to hear by e-mail from friends who may have fallen out of touch. If you are in a position to offer him work–articles, reviews, essays, liner notes–hire him. He is a brilliant writer and he needs the money.