Bob Masteller ’60 and The Jazz Corner, a club he co-owns in Hilton Head, S.C., are the subject of a book, “The Jazz Corner Story,” written by Martin J. McFie and edited by Carol E. Tuynman. Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Junior Jazz Foundation, which Masteller and his wife Lois formed in 2004. The foundation raises funds independently to buy instruments for kids in schools, pay for their music lessons and bring professional musicians to teach them at Jazz Camps.
“The Jazz Corner and the Junior Jazz Foundation are Bob’s tribute to the music, and to his father,” writes McFie. “Here, Bob has created a modern day return to the Jazz and Swing Eras. The atmosphere and the culture of the place echo with speak-easy retro. There is always a huge welcome for people enthusiastic to have uninhibited fun and enjoy themselves, listening to great musicians play live music seven nights a week. Live jazz music that gets feet tapping and just won’t stop. Not ever.”
The book includes a history of jazz and of the Jazz Corner, profiles of the musicians involved with the club, an overview of and recipes for some of the food served at the club, and two music CDs, “Live Jazz! From the Jazz Corner,” featuring Masteller among other musicians who have played at the Club.
The author refers to the Jazz Corner as “one of the top jazz clubs in the world today.”
A lifelong jazz enthusiast, Masteller began playing jazz in his father’s band at the age of 12 and led a series of jazz groups on campus during the late 1950s while attending Hobart College. Following his graduation, he continued to practice jazz, playing the trumpet, valve trombone and vibraphone and leading his own groups in clubs throughout the “low country” of South Carolina and Georgia. Masteller has performed for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and Sen. Fritz Hollings from South Carolina.
The past several years, he has performed during Reunion celebrations at HWS.