the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Jack Loeffler

Santa Fe

2008 recipient, Aural Historian

Jack Loeffler is a true Renaissance man.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, Loeffler was a jazz trumpeter who performed throughout the United States. He has written numerous books, including "Adventures with Ed: A Portrait of Abbey," which was published in 2002 and recounts his experiences with writer and pioneering environmentalist Ed Abbey.

Loeffler moved to New Mexico in 1962 and has spent the last 40 years devoted to preserving and sharing the arts and stories of the people of his adopted state. He has interviewed and recorded writers, visual artists, traditional indigenous people, musicians and ordinary people who live in every region of the state. As a master artist in ethnomusicology, Loeffler has set extremely high standards for sound quality and editing. Through his artistic recordings, he has exposed the world to traditional Hispano and Native American music and culture.

Loeffler's personal archive of interviews, music and environmental sounds has been fully digitized onto archival gold CDs and hard drives to be saved for future generations. The collection is already being used in current exhibitions and programs at the Palace of the Governors which will share this outstanding ethnographic collection in the new State History Museum, which is set for a public opening on Memorial Day weekend 2009. Loeffler's radio shows, which include the ongoing "Lore of the Land" and "Moving Waters - the Colorado River and the West," are legendary, not only for the information they impart but for the inspiration they engender.

"Loeffler is a National Treasure who is revered in his field from the Folklore Center at the Library of Congress to small villages in rural New Mexico," said nominator Sue Sturtevant. "While very few people deserve the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, Jack Loeffler is one who does!"