The two-day celebration marking the grand opening of the Bertram and Judith Kohl Building included appearances by Stevie Wonder, Bill Cosby, Camille Cosby, and many Oberlin jazz studies alumni - as well as concerts, jazz films, panel discussions, workshops, and an honorary degree ceremony.
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“A building should broadcast its purpose to the world” is the philosophy behind the Bertram and Judith Kohl Building, the new home for jazz studies, music history, and music theory at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
The building, dedicated in a campuswide celebration on May 1, features a state-of-the-art recording studio and the largest privately held jazz recording collection in the United States. It was designed with the highest environmental building standards in mind; the Bertram and Judith Kohl Building intends to be the first music facility in the world to attain a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating, as developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The new building also honors Wendell Logan, professor of African American music and chair of the jazz studies program, who died in 2010.
The love that James Neumann '58 of Chicago has for jazz is manifest in a collection
of more than 100,000 recordings and a vast array of posters, ephemera, and
iconography. It is believed to be the largest privately held collection in the
United States. He and he and his wife, Susan, have
given the collection to Oberlin, where it will have pride of place in the Bertram and Judith Kohl Building.
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