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John Graas Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SPEC-009

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a variety of music folders, scrapbooks, reel-to-reel recordings and two vinyl albums. Also included are a mute maker and two mouth pieces.


  • Creation: 1939-1958

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Literary rights, including copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical Note / Historical Note / Administrative History

John Graas was one of the first jazz French horn soloists. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, on March 14, 1917, he began playing the French horn in high school. In his teens he won a national contest that took him to Tanglewood, where he played under Koussevitsky, learning the fundamentals of classical music. In 1942 he became a member of the Claude Thornhill Orchestra. After a period in the Army (1942-1945) and stints with the Cleveland Orchestra and Tex Beneke's big band, Graas' got his first high-profile gig, playing with Stan Kenton's Innovations Orchestra (1950-1951). Later, he settled in Los Angeles and worked as a studio musician in addition to being used on West Coast jazz dates by Shorty Rogers and others. As a composer, Graas sought to combine together jazz and classical music, and recorded fairly regularly as a leader during from 1953-1958. He died of a heart attack at the age of 45 in April 1962.


18 Cubic Feet


No further additions are expected.

John Graas papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA