Ed Dix Collection Now Available

Ed Dix

Photographs in the Ed Dix Collection are now available in the UMKC Digital Special Collections.

Tenor saxophonist, bandleader, and financial planner, Ed Dix was born in Kansas City on May 5, 1929. He began playing clarinet at age five, but switched to tenor sax at fourteen. While in high school, he toured the U.S. in bands styled after Glenn Miller’s. He was, himself, influenced by the playing of Lester Young, the tenor saxophonist in Count Basie’s band.

For the first years of his adult life, Dix continued to tour in bands. It was Mary Anne (Dix’s wife, married 1950) who got him an audition for the Ralph Flanagan Band, with which he toured throughout the country – even playing at the Palladium. Dix also led a band of his own: The Eddie Dix Orchestra (“Music That Clicks with Dix”).

Fatherhood encouraged Dix to reconsider his priorities and refocus towards his family. After a brief stint at Bendix Aviation at a time when they were making atom bombs, he began a second career as a financial planner in 1952. Eventually, he settled in Beaumont, TX, where he worked until his retirement. His musical activities resumed after retiring, performing regularly as well as recording.

Dix was a lifelong friend of Bob Brookmeyer (1929-2011), another Kansas City-born jazz musician and a master composer/arranger and valve trombonist. Their friendship is well documented through their numerous letters to each other, photographs/scrapbooks, and the many big band charts that Brookmeyer wrote for the Eddie Dix Orchestra.

Ed Dix passed away March 13, 2020.

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Glass exhibit table

FIRST FLOOR GALLERY

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Map of third floor of Miller Nichols Library