[Tatum, Art. (1909–1956)]
Invitation and Program from the Newport Jazz Festival Anniversary at the White House
Original invitation and program from the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival at the White House, hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton, and with the seating card for Mrs. Art Tatum. The evening featured Wynton Marsalis, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby McFerrin, Herbie Hancock and others, with Thelonious Monk Jr. as Master of Ceremonies. Included are the invitation card and RSVP cards in the original envelope, together with the evening's program (4 pp., bound with gold cord) and Mrs. Tatum's seating card. Some light wear but overall in fine condition. Program 4.5 x 8 inches; invitation 6.5 x 4.25 inches.
From the Estate of Art Tatum.
Art Tatum is considered one of the world's greatest jazz pianists. Tatum had received some formal musical training but, utilizing his perfect pitch, was mainly self-taught. He was known for his experimental and creative playing, as well as his legendary speed and improvisational skills. Despite being nearly blind, Tatum's dexterity made him an excellent player, as can be heard on the 1933 recording 'Tea for Two,' one of his best known songs. Ahead of his time, Art Tatum's techniques would contribute to the development of modern jazz, with aspects of his technique influencing musicians including Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and Oscar Peterson. Tatum, after his sadly premature death at age 47, was recognized for his considerable talents and his contributions to the jazz world when he was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame, the International Hall of Fame, and awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors.