Friday, July 22, 2011


“Bix Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius”, a biography targeted to middle school students, covers all the stages of the musician’s short but remarkable life, from his early days through his rise to fame, his struggles with alcohol and his tragic death at the young age of 28. Because the original book went out of print, the Midwest Writing Center has been cooperating with East Hall Press, Dr. Karin Youngberg and her students at Augustana College, the Collins Family and the Bix Society and received a grant from Scott County Regional Authority for printing and marketing to make republishing this biography of a local legend a reality.

Beiderbecke, born in Davenport in 1903, showed great musical potential even as a child. He grew up during the early days of jazz and quickly discovered the cornet and his calling as one of the great jazzmen of the 1920s. The new edition of the book will feature original illustrations by William Hannan and was designed by Dr. Karin Youngberg and her students through Augustana East Hall Press. It was printed by Fidlar Doubleday Printing.

The Midwest Writing Center will first introduce the republished edition of “Bix Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius” at a launch party on Friday July 29th from 6 - 9 pm at the Bucktown Center for the Arts, located at 225 E. 2nd Street in downtown Davenport as part of Bucktown’s annual Birthday Bash.  In honor of the book’s republication, it will be sold at a 10% discount for $9.00 during the bash. Along with the attractions and refreshments offered during the bash, Midwest Writing Center will be serving “jazz age” themed refreshments on the 3rd floor of Bucktown. For free tickets to the Bucktown Birthday Bash, contact the Midwest Writing Center at 563-324-1410.

In recognition of the widespread support and assistance received from the community, the Midwest Writing Center will gift copies of “Bix Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius” to local libraries and Scott County middle schools.

If you can’t make it to the launch party, the book will be available for purchase at the Davenport Public Main Street Library Bix Porch party on August 4th   at 11:00 a.m. as well as at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. after the annual Bix Jazz services First Presbyterian Church, where Agatha Beiderbecke, Bix’s mother, was once the organist. “Bix Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius” will also be offered for purchase at the Midwest Writing Center and on 

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