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Frederick "Fritz" Swischer Collection

Identifier: MS-0156

Scope and Contents

The Frederick “Fritz” R. Swischer Collection was donated to the UMKC Libraries in 2001. The materials had been acquired from Swischer by Chuck Haddix, Kansas City jazz exponent, radio host, and Curator of the Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, for use as research material in writing Haddix’s book Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop – A History, co-authored with Frank Driggs (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Swischer’s research, culminating in the unpublished book Kansas City Jazz, 1923-1937: The Music, provides an analytical and historically interpretive viewpoint of the sound and initial development of early Kansas City jazz music. Swischer noted in the introduction to his book: “in comparison to the more extensive literature available on jazz developments in other American cities, little has been written about Kansas City jazz.” The focus is an in-depth analysis of historical recordings from 1923 to 1937 of Kansas City artists such as Bennie Moten, George E. Lee, Andy Kirk, Lester Young, Count Basie, Pete Johnson, Ben Webster and Mary Lou Williams.

Housed in LaBudde Special Collections, the manuscript materials range from unpublished manuscripts, to transcriptions, to written drafts, to citation references, and include typescripts, manuscript books, pencil drafts written in notebooks, and notecards. In addition, Kansas City jazz is compared to jazz styles developing in New York, Chicago and the Southwest. An analog sound cassette and six audio CDs of original compositions and jazz arrangements featuring Swischer on clarinet and piano round out the original collection. In 2014, Swischer donated additional material including manuscript scores, notebooks, correspondence, a photograph, and miscellaneous items.

Housed in the Marr Sound Archives, the audiovisual materials consists of recordings that include concerts of Southeast High School, Wichita Kansas, and a recording of Swischer's quartet.


  • 1934 - 2004


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status is unknown


3 Linear Feet (LaBudde: 7 Manuscript Boxes.)

0.5 Linear Feet (Marr: 4 Lacquer Discs, 4 Open Reel Audiotapes.)

Language of Materials


LaBudde: Peiying Yuan, Kelly McEniry (supervising archivist); Addendum 1: Jeff Borowiec, Stuart Hinds (supervising archivist). Marr: Rebekah Green.
LaBudde: October 2009; Addendum 1: April 2014. Marr: 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Special Collections and Archives Repository