Mehr Engagement für die Gitarre geht nicht: Maurice J. Summerfield, HonARAM

 

Ein Leben für die Gitarre

Nicht nur einzelne Stücke oder Werke, Tonträger oder Filme können "Alltime Favorites" sein, sondern oft genug auch Individuen. Oder sogar mal eine ganze Institution. Der Engländer Maurice J. Summerfield ist eine solche, ein Mann mit unstillbarer Leidenschaft für die Gitarre, voran die Jazz- und die Klassikgitarre, und zugleich ein begnadeter Geschäftsmann, wobei in diesem Fall das heuer nicht immer und überall so klangvolle Wort vom "Geschäftsmann" einen ganz besonderen und durchweg erfreulichen Klang hat. Im letzten Jahr wurde Maurice 70. Das wäre ein guter Anlass gewesen, über ihn zu schreiben. Dank der Vermittlung von Phyllis, der Witwe von Barney Kessel, kam es schließlich dazu, dass Ed Benson, der Gründer und Macher von "Just Jazz Guitar", ohne zu zögern und mit großer Begeisterung grünes Licht gab, als ihm für sein Magazin ein ausführliches Porträt über Maurice in Aussicht gestellt werden konnte. Das wurde kurz vor dem Redaktionsschluss in Atlanta fertig. Es ist ein Text geworden, für den Maurice selbst den Löwenanteil an Stoff geliefert hat, der in häufig praktisch im copy-and-paste-Verfahren verwendet werden konnte. Er hat den fertigen Artikel dann noch mit einigen Aktualisierungen versehen, die es noch knapp fürs Mai-Heft von JJG geschafft haben. agas veröffentlicht den Text 1:1 im Original für seine deutschsprachigen Leser, unter denen sich vermutlich nicht ausschließlich JJG-Abonnenten befinden. Die verwendeten Fotos stammen aus dem Summerfiel-Archiv.

 

On May 11, 2010 Lord Burns, Chairman of the Governing Body of the Royal Academy of Music in London, presented Maurice J. Summerfield with his certificate as an Honorary Associate of the Academy. Exactly half a year before, on November 11, 2009, Maurice J. Summerfield had ceremonially been installed as a "Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians" in the Drapers Hall in England's capital, London, at a meeting of the Court of the Company, followed by a banquet held for liverymen and their guests to celebrate the installation. Among those present were, as Principal Guests, classical guitarist John Williams and his wife, famous record producer Trevor Horn, American music publisher William Bay, the author and music scholar Graham Wade, the CEO of the Music Industries Association in the United Kingdom, Paul McManus, composer Stephen Dodgson, and jazz guitarist Martin Taylor.

Both greatly honorific occasions were two highly visible landmarks in a most admirable life for the guitar, and especially jazz and classical guitar, a life that had begun 71 years ago in the city of Newcastle on Tyne in North East England. Other landmarks in this life, almost equally important at least for guitar aficionados around the globe, are three books, The Jazz Guitar – Its Evolution, Players & Personalities Since 1900, then The Classical Guitar – Its Evolution, Players & Personalities Since 1800, and, most recently, Barney Kessel – A Jazz Legend (2008).

These benchmark works, however, are just the tip of the iceberg, the majority of which his worldwide readership is most likely not aware of – reason enough to undertake a fascinating exploration tour of the other nine tenths of the Summerfield "iceberg", that took off when Maurice was about five years old and started to be attracted by the music of "singing cowboys", as he recalls, the likes of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Tex Ritter, but "in particular by the guitars they played". He asked his parents, both enthusiastic listeners of the Great American Songbook, to get him a guitar, but they refused, telling their younger son to keep in mind that they had  bought a piano for his older sister. "But she gave up after a few weeks", adding, "and the same thing happened again with your elder brother."

So Maurice went on listening to music, especially "singer/guitarists including Burl Ives and Elton Hayes"; and he "loved the singing of Doris Day". The guitar topic came up again when he is 15 1/2 and for the first time ever he heard some recordings of Django Reinhardt, "and I was immediately taken aback by the virtuoso jazz artistry of this legendary Gypsy genius." And now, at last, he was successful: His parents bought him "a Dutch made archtop guitar" that cost £7.19.6d "at a local music store in Newcastle called 'Max Share Music'", a price that would equal about $100.00 "for a similar quality guitar today (from China)." Coincidentally his parents knew Mr Share, "and he recommended my taking lessons with a local teacher" named Charles Smith. Mr Smith had been a banjo master in his youth who had switched to archtop guitar later playing mostly rhythm guitar with well known British dance bands during the late 1940s through the '70s. "His last professional job was as guitarist with the Tyne Tees Television house band." Maurice turned out to be a top student, and quickly made excellent progress, '"practicing every spare moment that I had."

Eight months later Mr Smith told his student that there isn't anything left he could teach him. By that time Maurice, still studying at a grammar school, was already playing in small dance bands, while his musical taste underwent a remarkable metamorphoses. A friend, a drummer, plays him a recording of the September 1952 Jazz at the Philharmonic Carnegie Hall concert featuring the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown and Barney Kessel. "I couldn't believe that the quality of guitar playing demonstrated on this recording by Kessel was possible", he recalls, "and I immediately placed an order for every Kessel recording as it came out with my local record shop." Soon Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Herb Ellis, Johnny Smith, and Jim Hall, and in England Ivor Mairants and Ike Isaacs get added to the young fan's roster. And Barney Kessel to that of Charles Smith, who soon advised his student to write letters to Kessel and Mairants "for advice and guidance about the possibility of a career as a professional guitarist." The teenager sat down, wrote the letters "and never dreamed he would get a response from either. I was wrong!" And within just a few weeks found himself travelling to London to have private lessons with Ivor Mairants. "We soon struck up a warm friendship which would last for over fifty years on both business and social levels. And at the same time Barney Kessel responded in detail to all my questions – and subsequently replied to other letters from Maurice in a similar manner".

The mosaic started to fill, and all the pieces fell into place.  Maurice, now 17, studied at the Newcastle College of Commerce during the day and at night – six nights a week – played in various jazz and dance bands all over North East England. He happily quit college after an offer by his father to join the latter's successful wholesale distribution business and to work alongside his brother in expanding it further. "The Summerfield business was founded in 1900 by my grandfather Simon. My brother had introduced toys into the wide range of products sold in the mid 1950s - and it was obvious that toy distribution had a big future.  Together - within a relatively short period - my brother Melville and I, made Summerfield's into one of the UK's largest toy distributors."

By the time he was 20 Maurice was playing at various jazz venues in North East England with pianist Bernie Thorp's Trio, vibes/keyboard player Mike Carr's Quintet, trumpeter Bobby Carr's Quintet, and the West Road Sunday morning jazz session featuring Mike Carr, the latter's brother Ian on trumpet, drummer Ronnie Stephenson, bassist Malcolm Cecil, and Gary Cox on tenor. "I originally played in the usual single line soloing style – comping behind the other soloists", Maurice explains. "Under the influence of Barney’s recordings I played full chord solos in some small groups.  At the age of 23 I took up a serious interest in the classical guitar for several years. When I returned to playing jazz I found I preferred the concept of playing jazz on a nylon-strung classical guitar with classical right-hand technique", inspired by his friends Laurindo Almeida, Charlie Byrd, and Gene Bertoncini.

 *** 

In early 1963 Maurice got engaged to be married, was a director of the successful Summerfield toy distribution business and decided to quit playing professionally, remaining, of course, "as enthusiastic as ever about the guitar, jazz and music in general, jamming at home with friends and building up a large LP jazz record collection". In the following year the business set sail into totally new directions, thanks to Mr Jeavons, the owner of the local record shop where Maurice used to call in at least once a week to get hold of the latest jazz guitar records. "This was the height of the Beatles and Elvis Presley boom, and Mr Jeavons said to me (the shop also sold musical instruments): 'Can you not get us some cheap guitars?'  He said he knew Summerfield's were importing large quantities of toys from Japan, so surely it would be no problem to buy some guitars." So Maurice wrote a letter again, this time to the Japanese embassy in London, and the embassy recommended a number of makers. Soon he had placed orders for around 500 each of student models from four different makers in Japan. A couple of months later the guitars arrived in England "and sold very quickly to a few delighted music shops in the Newcastle area", with Maurice "realizing the potential if a quantity like this could be sold of £10 retail guitars. This was at that time a high retail price item for a toy wholesaler. One of the Japanese suppliers was Hoshino Gakki & Co.  Hoshino had already made a few quality replicas of famous US guitars - and Maurice recommended other models for them to make which became big sellers internationally for them.  Initially they were made for Summerfield with their CSL brand - but for the rest of the world they were sold as Ibanez guitars. Hoshino had a long standing agreement for another UK company to sell the Ibanez branded guitars - but when they saw that Summerfield were selling much larger quantities of CSL guitars they transferred the Ibanez agency to them." And "by the mid-1970s Summerfield's were one of the UK's largest musical instrument distributors selling Ibanez, Tama, CSL, Guild and several other leading instrument brands".

Just a couple of months earlier Maurice had met John D'Addario who at that time was an international sales agent for the Martin company. They soon became friends, and their friendship lasts to this day. Summerfield's "distributed the Darco string range in the UK and they were so successful with this line they were given the C.F Martin guitar string and accessory line for the UK.  When the D'Addario family set up their own J. D'Addario & Co. Inc. string company, in 1974, Summerfield's were appointed as their UK distributor.  The Summerfield company still distributes D'Addario products, together with Martin and Darco strings, in the UK to this day - almost 40 years on." The company's success soon involved famous rock groups of the day, a good number of which become important endorsees for Ibanez and Tama. Maurice introduced The Police to Hoshino, Genesis, the David Essex Band, Thin Lizzy, Lindisfarne, the Gary Numan Band, Adam & the Ants and Dire Straits. "I am still in contact with Andy Summers, and we see each other from time to time." It was an almost logical consequence of the company's financial success that Maurice soon could promote concerts and clinic by some of the jazz guitar alumni, among those his old hero Barney Kessel. "We finally met face to face in 1972 – over dinner in London. We got on very well", and Barney told his English friend about his first four day seminar for jazz players, "The Effective Guitarist" that he was giving back home in the USA. Adds Maurice: "I thought this would be well received in the UK- which it was, for many years."

So Maurice organized the first UK Kessel seminar in October 1972, which was a "great success" - over the following twelve years over 300 guitarists attended this annual workshop event, always coordinated with Barney's regular UK tours. Over the years Maurice arranged around 20 Kessel concerts in North East England. He also presented in concert a wealth of other jazz guitar alumni, among them Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, Tal Farlow, from the UK Ike Isaacs, Martin Taylor, and Louis Stewart, and "on several occasions Stefan Grossman's blues and ragtime Kicking Mule package."

 *** 

Around 1976 Maurice began to write the first edition of his The Jazz Guitar – Its Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1900, but had no idea about a publisher. So "I asked Barney whom he would recommend to publish it.  Barney told me: 'If you can afford it -  publish it yourself.  In this way you have control of your own work and you will enjoy maximum profits.'"  The result was the birth of the Ashley Mark Publishing Company in 1978, i.e. at the time of the release of the book, which "was a great success – distributed by IMP in the UK and Hal Leonard in the USA" and still going strong, in its fourth edition now. And the publishing enterprise "revealed another opportunity to me in that many people who bought my book wrote to me to ask where they could buy all the books, music and recordings listed in my book. I bought quantities from the USA and other countries, of all the titles that were available, and produced an Ashley Mark Publishing Company mail order catalogue.” This was a big success, and the initial 200 titles offered have now grown to 6000 titles available through Ashley Mark's excellent internet shop web site www.FretsOnly.com." The publishing firm's name by the way is a combination of Maurice's two sons' first names, Ashley, now 46, and Mark, 44, Ashley has an honours degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and a Masters degree in Management from Yale, and Mark received an honours degree in Law from Kings University, London. Both sons play the guitar, "but mainly for fun".  Maurice’s wife Pat (they married in October 1963) has given Maurice her full support for all his musical activities throughout his long career.

Of course Maurice's new enterprise was not just meant as a platform for his own books. Instead, it quickly grew into a veritable publishing center for first rate books written for an audience especially interested in jazz and classical guitar. The works about Charlie Christian, Ivor Mairants, Wes Montgomery, Julian Bream and other jazz and classical related topics steadily grow into a dependable canon of standard works. In 1980 Maurice met with Django Reinhardt's former manager, the French jazz writer and founder of the legendary Hot Club de France, Charles Delaunay, and together they update Charles' 1961 Django biography – in English – by updating the discography and adding many more photographs to the original version. The reworked book was published by Ashley Mark in 1981. Ashley Mark have also published several jazz guitar solo books, including some by Barney Kessel, Martin Taylor and Ivor Mairants, in their printed music range.

Eight years before, his love for Django's music led Maurice's unfailing mix of expertise and instinct to the discovery that "there could be a great demand for replicas of the Maccaferri guitars played by Django Reinhardt", if these became available. "In 1973 I purchased two orginal Maccaferri guitars and sent them to the Kiso Suzuki guitar factory in Japan.  This was organized by Hoshino Gakki for Summerfield. Within a few months the first samples were produced as the 'CSL Gypsy' line. Before the release Summerfield's UK lawyers checked to ensure there were no existing copyright on the guitar design - and if Mario Maccaferri was alive.  After many weeks of research they gave me the assurance there was no trace of copyright on the guitars - or of Mario Maccaferri.  The 'CSL Gypsy' became an immediate success after its release in August 1974.  In 1974 there were no replica Maccaferri guitars being made. Today the situation is of course very different". 

But that's not the end of the story, because, as Maurice goes on, "one  day in November 1974 I received a telephone call from Mastro Industries in New York, and the voice said in Italian American: ' This is Mario Maccaferri! What the hell are you doing making my guitars!!' Of course I was taken aback as my lawyers had said I would have no problem.  However Mario continued: ' Hey - I love you!  I have been out of the guitar world for so many years, and once again people are talking about my guitars - because of you!'   In January 1975 I was in New York to meet Mario face to face. A 20-year close personal and business relationship followed. Mario redesigned his original guitar and with Maurice's help this was made under the Ibanez brand. Many years later Maurice contributed to the first production of Saga's Gitane line and Manuel Rodriguez's Gypsy guitar range".

Naturally Maurice remained aware of the fact that Ibanez’ best selling guitars are the axes rock and pop greats played, a fact that by no means distracted him from holding his direction ("I never forgot the jazz guitar"): In 1980 Joe Pass and he designed the Ibanez Joe Pass model JP 20. "I was a major international distributor for Ibanez guitars, and they were happy to listen to my ideas for special models". Maurice relates "I had met Joe on a few occasions in the previous year and said that I was now in a position to get a Joe Pass model made by Ibanez. He finally said he was happy to talk about this to finalize the details for a prototype model, and we met up over dinner near Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London. We discussed many aspects of what he wanted in a JP jazz guitar, and then in his dressing room at Scott’s I noted down the main features that I had suggested, and to which he said yes. Basically the guitar should be a mixture in size and design of his D’Aquisto and his Gibson ES175.  The fingerboard should be slightly wider as he played a lot of his solos with right-hand fingerstyle, the tailpiece should be wood (as D’Aquisto) for a warmer sound, and the single pickup should be placed a little way from the bottom of the fingerboard to allow a little space for his right-hand fingers.  Otherwise all the other fittings should be top quality." Shortly afterwards Maurice finalized the contract for Ibanez to make the guitar with Joe’s manager, Norman Granz.

Ibanez released the model in 1981, and it was a big success. Just a few years before Maurice had tried to get an Ibanez ‘Barney Kessel’ model into production. Based on instructions from Barney and Maurice, they made three models, one of which Barney in fact played exclusively on a European tour in 1979. Sadly, the production was never finalized - a small setback in comparison with Maurice's successfully signing up his friends Chuck Wayne and Louis Stewart who became official endorsees for Guild's jazz guitars.

 *** 

In early 1963 Maurice got engaged to be married, was a director of the successful Summerfield toy distribution business and decided to quit playing professionally, remaining, of course, "as enthusiastic as ever about the guitar, jazz and music in general, jamming at home with friends and building up a large LP jazz record collection". In the following year the business set sail into totally new directions, thanks to Mr Jeavons, the owner of the local record shop where Maurice used to call in at least once a week to get hold of the latest jazz guitar records. "This was the height of the Beatles and Elvis Presley boom, and Mr Jeavons said to me (the shop also sold musical instruments): 'Can you not get us some cheap guitars?' He said he knew Summerfield's were importing large quantities of toys from Japan, so surely it would be no problem to buy some guitars." So Maurice wrote a letter again, this time to the Japanese embassy in London, and the embassy recommended a number of makers. Soon he had placed orders for around 500 each of student models from four different makers in Japan. A couple of months later the guitars arrived in England "and sold very quickly to a few delighted music shops in the Newcastle area", with Maurice "realizing the potential if a quantity like this could be sold of £10 retail guitars. This was at that time a high retail price item for a toy wholesaler. One of the Japanese suppliers was Hoshino Gakki & Co. Hoshino had already made a few quality replicas of famous US guitars - and Maurice recommended other models for them to make which became big sellers internationally for them. Initially they were made for Summerfield with their CSL brand - but for the rest of the world they were sold as Ibanez guitars. Hoshino had a long standing agreement for another UK company to sell the Ibanez branded guitars - but when they saw that Summerfield were selling much larger quantities of CSL guitars they transferred the Ibanez agency to them." And "by the mid-1970s Summerfield's were one of the UK's largest musical instrument distributors selling Ibanez, Tama, CSL, Guild and several other leading instrument brands".

Just a couple of months earlier Maurice had met John D'Addario who at that time was an international sales agent for the Martin company. They soon became friends, and their friendship lasts to this day. Summerfield's "distributed the Darco string range in the UK and they were so successful with this line they were given the C.F Martin guitar string and accessory line for the UK. When the D'Addario family set up their own J. D'Addario & Co. Inc. string company, in 1974, Summerfield's were appointed as their UK distributor. The Summerfield company still distributes D'Addario products, together with Martin and Darco strings, in the UK to this day - almost 40 years on." The company's success soon involved famous rock groups of the day, a good number of which become important endorsees for Ibanez and Tama. Maurice introduced The Police to Hoshino, Genesis, the David Essex Band, Thin Lizzy, Lindisfarne, the Gary Numan Band, Adam & the Ants and Dire Straits. "I am still in contact with Andy Summers, and we see each other from time to time." It was an almost logical consequence of the company's financial success that Maurice soon could promote concerts and clinic by some of the jazz guitar alumni, among those his old hero Barney Kessel. "We finally met face to face in 1972 – over dinner in London. We got on very well", and Barney told his English friend about his first four day seminar for jazz players, "The Effective Guitarist" that he was giving back home in the USA. Adds Maurice: "I thought this would be well received in the UK- which it was, for many years."

So Maurice organized the first UK Kessel seminar in October 1972, which was a "great success" - over the following twelve years over 300 guitarists attended this annual workshop event, always coordinated with Barney's regular UK tours. Over the years Maurice arranged around 20 Kessel concerts in North East England. He also presented in concert a wealth of other jazz guitar alumni, among them Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, Tal Farlow, from the UK Ike Isaacs, Martin Taylor, and Louis Stewart, and "on several occasions Stefan Grossman's blues and ragtime Kicking Mule package."

*** 

Around 1976 Maurice began to write the first edition of his The Jazz Guitar – Its Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1900, but had no idea about a publisher. So "I asked Barney whom he would recommend to publish it.  Barney told me: 'If you can afford it -  publish it yourself.  In this way you have control of your own work and you will enjoy maximum profits.'"  The result was the birth of the Ashley Mark Publishing Company in 1978, i.e. at the time of the release of the book, which "was a great success – distributed by IMP in the UK and Hal Leonard in the USA" and still going strong, in its fourth edition now. And the publishing enterprise "revealed another opportunity to me in that many people who bought my book wrote to me to ask where they could buy all the books, music and recordings listed in my book. I bought quantities from the USA and other countries, of all the titles that were available, and produced an Ashley Mark Publishing Company mail order catalogue.” This was a big success, and the initial 200 titles offered have now grown to 6000 titles available through Ashley Mark's excellent internet shop web site www.FretsOnly.com." The publishing firm's name by the way is a combination of Maurice's two sons' first names, Ashley, now 46, and Mark, 44, Ashley has an honours degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and a Masters degree in Management from Yale, and Mark received an honours degree in Law from Kings University, London. Both sons play the guitar, "but mainly for fun".  Maurice’s wife Pat (they married in October 1963) has given Maurice her full support for all his musical activities throughout his long career.

Of course Maurice's new enterprise was not just meant as a platform for his own books. Instead, it quickly grew into a veritable publishing center for first rate books written for an audience especially interested in jazz and classical guitar. The works about Charlie Christian, Ivor Mairants, Wes Montgomery, Julian Bream and other jazz and classical related topics steadily grow into a dependable canon of standard works. In 1980 Maurice met with Django Reinhardt's former manager, the French jazz writer and founder of the legendary Hot Club de France, Charles Delaunay, and together they update Charles' 1961 Django biography – in English – by updating the discography and adding many more photographs to the original version. The reworked book was published by Ashley Mark in 1981. Ashley Mark have also published several jazz guitar solo books, including some by Barney Kessel, Martin Taylor and Ivor Mairants, in their printed music range.

Eight years before, his love for Django's music led Maurice's unfailing mix of expertise and instinct to the discovery that "there could be a great demand for replicas of the Maccaferri guitars played by Django Reinhardt", if these became available. "In 1973 I purchased two orginal Maccaferri guitars and sent them to the Kiso Suzuki guitar factory in Japan.  This was organized by Hoshino Gakki for Summerfield. Within a few months the first samples were produced as the 'CSL Gypsy' line. Before the release Summerfield's UK lawyers checked to ensure there were no existing copyright on the guitar design - and if Mario Maccaferri was alive.  After many weeks of research they gave me the assurance there was no trace of copyright on the guitars - or of Mario Maccaferri.  The 'CSL Gypsy' became an immediate success after its release in August 1974.  In 1974 there were no replica Maccaferri guitars being made. Today the situation is of course very different". 

But that's not the end of the story, because, as Maurice goes on, "one  day in November 1974 I received a telephone call from Mastro Industries in New York, and the voice said in Italian American: ' This is Mario Maccaferri! What the hell are you doing making my guitars!!' Of course I was taken aback as my lawyers had said I would have no problem.  However Mario continued: ' Hey - I love you!  I have been out of the guitar world for so many years, and once again people are talking about my guitars - because of you!'   In January 1975 I was in New York to meet Mario face to face. A 20-year close personal and business relationship followed. Mario redesigned his original guitar and with Maurice's help this was made under the Ibanez brand. Many years later Maurice contributed to the first production of Saga's Gitane line and Manuel Rodriguez's Gypsy guitar range".

Naturally Maurice remained aware of the fact that Ibanez’ best selling guitars are the axes rock and pop greats played, a fact that by no means distracted him from holding his direction ("I never forgot the jazz guitar"): In 1980 Joe Pass and he designed the Ibanez Joe Pass model JP 20. "I was a major international distributor for Ibanez guitars, and they were happy to listen to my ideas for special models". Maurice relates "I had met Joe on a few occasions in the previous year and said that I was now in a position to get a Joe Pass model made by Ibanez. He finally said he was happy to talk about this to finalize the details for a prototype model, and we met up over dinner near Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London. We discussed many aspects of what he wanted in a JP jazz guitar, and then in his dressing room at Scott’s I noted down the main features that I had suggested, and to which he said yes. Basically the guitar should be a mixture in size and design of his D’Aquisto and his Gibson ES175.  The fingerboard should be slightly wider as he played a lot of his solos with right-hand fingerstyle, the tailpiece should be wood (as D’Aquisto) for a warmer sound, and the single pickup should be placed a little way from the bottom of the fingerboard to allow a little space for his right-hand fingers.  Otherwise all the other fittings should be top quality." Shortly afterwards Maurice finalized the contract for Ibanez to make the guitar with Joe’s manager, Norman Granz.

Ibanez released the model in 1981, and it was a big success. Just a few years before Maurice had tried to get an Ibanez ‘Barney Kessel’ model into production. Based on instructions from Barney and Maurice, they made three models, one of which Barney in fact played exclusively on a European tour in 1979. Sadly, the production was never finalized - a small setback in comparison with Maurice's successfully signing up his friends Chuck Wayne and Louis Stewart who became official endorsees for Guild's jazz guitars.

*** 

As if all this was not enough, Maurice in 1981 added yet another business to Summerfield's already wide scope of activities – "Guitar Masters Records", a company producing and distributing quality guitar recordings under his personal supervision. A year later his second book was released, The Classical Guitar - Its Evolution, Players & Personalities Since 1800, first published in the UK in 1982 and today is in its fifth edition. In September of that year he introduced "Classical Guitar" a monthly magazine, now acknowledged internationally to be the finest of its type. Summerfield's has also actively promoted concerts  - including an annual classical guitar series at Wigmore Hall in London – by guitar players from other fields of music  including flamenco, ragtime, and  blues. Maurice was a council member of the UK's Music Industries Association MIA for 38 years and as such was involved in many if the association's activities including ‘Music for Youth’ and ‘Guitar Month’. Since 1991 Maurice has been closely involved with the International Classical Guitar Festival at West Dean, near Chichester in the UK.  This annual festival, held in August each year, is now acknowledged as on the world's great classical festivals - which on occasion has featured jazz and flamenco concert artists including Martin Taylor. Since 1994 Summerfield has distributed "Just Jazz Guitar" magazine in the UK. Currently the Summerfield company is the sponsor of the guitar chair in Britain's excellent National Jazz Youth Orchestra (NJYO). And Maurice is a long time member of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors (IAJRC). In 2009 he sold his vinyl collection of LPs, but continues to purchase CDs and currently has a collection of over 3.000 CDs with jazz and classical music. And he goes on collecting jazz and classical music books for his library which now has over 2000 item.

In July 1997 Maurice was elected to the Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, and in December 1997 he received the Freedom of the City of London. This company is one of the ancient livery companies – or guilds – of the City of London, tracing its roots back to the year 1380 and having been given its first charter in 1500. The Company has administered its Ivor Mairants Guitar Award for the last 13 years, and  Maurice has sat on the committee for this annual competition (designed to introduce young classical guitarists to jazz related music) since it was first held. In October 2003 Maurice was elected to serve on the Court of this ancient livery company and was installed as Master, its highest honour, in November 2009. During his year as Master the Musicians Company sponsored the world premiere of a new concerto for jazz guitar, written by jazz trumpeter Guy Barker for Martin Taylor.  The premiere took place on 19 November 2010 in Wirral, UK, and was performed by Martin Taylor and the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

In October 2008 Maurice Summerfield's third book was published, Barney Kessel – A Jazz Legend. "I spent many years researching for this book, and although Barney died before it was published he was aware of how the book would finally look - and was pleased with it. I visited Barney, and his wife Phyllis, at their San Diego home every year from 1992 until Barney's death in 2004.  I am still in regular contact with Phyllis.”

In May 2010 Maurice – now 70 -  was made an Honorary Associate (HonARAM) of the Royal Academy of Music in London –the coronation of a life for the guitar.

 

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