The UMKC Retirees Association presented its first Recognition Award to professor emeritus Daniel Jaffe for his outstanding achievements as a jazz poet - locally and nationally.
Since his retirement from UMKC in 1995, Jaffe has published four books of poetry, written 10 books yet to be published, collaborated on CDs of poetry/music with Mike Melvoin and has given hundreds of public jazz and poetry performances around the country.
“Dan Jaffe’s greatest accomplishment, among many - one that makes him most unique - is that he has found a way to fuse the art of poetry and the art of jazz into a unique art form,” said Howard Schwartz, professor emeritus, University of Missouri-St. Louis. “He has written several books of exceptional poetry that are intended not only to be read on the page, but read out loud in a musical setting.”
Jaffe’s book and CD “Playing the Word” is cited as a prime example of jazz poetry. In 2007, he was inducted into the Elder Statesman of Kansas City Jazz as the group’s only writer-poet.
Since his first poetry/ jazz program with George Salisbury in 1962, Jaffe has worked with legendary figures that include poet/novelist Langston Hughes, percussionist Vince Bilardo and bassist Milt Abel.
The Recognition Award is presented to a retired faculty or staff member for outstanding personal achievements and/or outstanding contributions to the University, the Retirees Association, the profession or to the community. Individuals may be nominated for the award by faculty, administrators, staff and community members - whether the nominee is retired or actively employed.
Jaffe was honored on May 19 for his outstanding accomplishments. A perpetual plaque - with his name appearing as the first recipient of the Recognition Award - will hang in the Administrative Center, second floor.