Interview: Howard Rumsey (Part 1) - JazzWax

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September 02, 2009


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Doug Zielke

Howard...If you happen to read this, I wish you were still Manager of the fabled Lighthouse.
I was there a few years ago, and it's sad...not a note of real jazz to be heard there anymore. Best wishes!

Ken Koenig

For those with an interest in knowing more about the Lighthouse story there is an acclaimed documentary film about the Lighthouse available at and at The cover of the film is shown in Part One of this interview.

Gil Nicholas

Jack Ordean was a very good friend of my fathers for years.. From the 30's till Jack's passing.
I was blessed with knowing and taking clarinet lessons from him personally as a youth.. Unfortunately.. I never learned... but the love of Big Band music has always been in my brain and heart.. My Father and his Twin Brother use to dance with the likes of Phil Harris Band and other Big Bands in the 30's.

Jack used to stay at our home in the 50's and was like an uncle..

Unfortunately ..Diabetic conditions took his life..

Terry Smith

What great memories. I used to hang out at the Lighthouse in the 50's; took lessons from Stan Levey, the drummer for awhile, and because of that I got a chance to hang out in the back booth during the week when they weren't busy. I was fortunate to be there for some of the great performances of the time when many people came to sit in when they weren't playing somewhere or weren't on the road. Talked with Rumsey many times; glad to see he lasted so long. Absolutely great memories. Terry Smith

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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