DAVENPORT, IOWA (December 15, 2022) — The Bix Beiderbecke Museum and World Archives is pleased to announce the acquisition of a new artifact.

One of the trombones owned by jazz musician Newell “Spiegle” Willcox has been donated to the Bix Museum with a megaphone mute played at Carnegie Hall. Willcox played with Bix Beiderbecke in the Goldkette Orchestra from 1926-27 and enjoyed a long career in music until his death in 1999 at the age of 96.

Nathaniel Kraft, Bix Museum Director stated, “we wish to thank the Willcox family, in particular Charles and Cynthia, for their generous donation of their late father’s trombone and mute. The trombone not only is a piece of jazz history but has a special significance to the Quad Cities as Spiegle played it here at several Bix Festivals he attended through the 1980s and ‘90s.”

The Conn trombone is engraved with Spiegle’s name and was prominently used by the musician in the later years of his life at concerts and jazz festivals all over the world. The donated megaphone mute was made specifically for Spiegle at the 1975 Goldkette Orchestra reunion and Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke concert at Carnegie Hall.

“It is almost fitting to have the instrument return to Davenport,” says Kraft. “There was a photo of Spiegle performing at the LeClaire Park Bandshell found in his instrument case by the family when they were considering what to do with it. We are grateful that they chose to entrust it with the museum.”

The new artifacts will be on permanent display at the museum starting in early 2023 alongside another mute of Willcox’s on loan from SUNY Cortland and a stool signed by the musician after one of his last Bix Fest appearances.

About the Museum

The Bix Beiderbecke Museum opened to the public in 2017 in the lower level of the Common Chord building at 2nd and Main Street in downtown Davenport, Iowa. The museum is open Monday to Friday, 10AM-5PM, and Saturday by appointment only. The free museum honors the life and music of Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke and features many original artifacts related to Beiderbecke and his colleagues The museum takes the visitor chronologically through the life of Bix. His jazz music is featured throughout the museum, along with videos, interactive displays, and photos. For more information, visit bixmuseum.org.

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