Help bring The Dexter Gordon Society to the next level and get special rewards, memorabilia, and exclusive private events with Maxine Gordon.

Goal: $250,000

What is The Dexter Gordon Society (TDGS)?

The Dexter Gordon Society (TDGS) is a NY-based non-profit whose mission is to commemorate the legacy of the late great tenor saxophonist, composer, band leader and Academy Award nominated actor, Dexter Keith Gordon (1923-1990), by preserving and presenting his life's work, musical legacy, and positive cultural values.


giant 2.jpeg

Launched just after the recent publication of the new Dexter Gordon biography, Sophisticated Giant — this campaign comes at a critical moment as decades of historical research are finally made available to the public.

“Maxine Gordon has produced a homecoming even more dramatic, and perhaps more important, than the one she helped arrange for him [Gordon] in 1976.” —David Hajdu, New York Times

So there's more material on Dexter?

Yes. Much more.

Photo Copyright © Mosaic Images

Photo Copyright © Mosaic Images

The research conducted since Dexter Gordon passed away in 1990 has resulted in thousands of digital and physical items. Since all of these materials could not be published in one singe volume, we plan to digitize, curate, publish, and disseminate the remaining elements of Maxine Gordon's research to select members of the Dexter Gordon community through The Dexter Gordon Society.

What kind of material?

Scores, manuscripts, sheet music, letters, photographs, portraits, stationary, saxophone reeds, clothes, accessories, documents, contracts, and countless other items of memorabilia and ephemera, including Dexter Gordon’s personal and musical possessions preserved by The Society as well as items acquired and made available through the U.S. Library of Congress.

Why is preserving and sharing this material so important?

Because it is precisely these historical and archival items that made it possible for Maxine Gordon to tell Dexter Gordon's story and to cover the full historical and cultural scope of his life experience.

When curated and organized in the context of his music and biographical history, these materials serve as invaluable educational and cultural artifacts of our collective cultural memory, providing an "index" (no pun intended) not only of Dexter Gordon's personal musical story, but of the historical development of modern jazz, and of American and African American culture and history.

How can I support this campaign?

Donors will receive exclusive rewards that will be available following completion of the fundraising campaign and shipped April 2019. All donations are tax-deductible. See the list of rewards below.



  • Share your stories, memories, favorite recordings, photos, etc

  • Tell the world how much Dexter (and/or Maxine) Gordon mean/s to you

  • Tell your friends to support this Fundraising Campaign!

  • Share this web page on social media:

How will the funds be used?

Your generous contribution will help us implement the following projects and initiatives:


1. Office Space

Driving forward the organization’s expansion, your contribution will help us secure a space for daily operations, staff, meetings, fundraising events, rehearsals, and research projects.

2. Publication

Your funds will help us cover the costs to periodically-publish rare documents from Dexter Gordon’s life and career.

3. Digitization            

Your contribution will also assist with the ongoing digitization of Maxine Gordon’s collection of the above mentioned research.

4. Education

To build upon Maxine Gordon’s ongoing global series of talks, film-screenings, research presentations, and international events, your contribution will allow us to provide scholarships and to build on existing partnerships with arts institutions around the world.

5. Events

Your generous contribution will also allow The Dexter Gordon Society to continue to host commemorative events and to cover production costs.

6. Recordings

Your contribution will help us to make select unreleased and reissued audio and video recordings of Dexter Gordon available through The Society for educational and research purposes.

7. Advocacy

And lastly, The Dexter Gordon Society will provide a host of music advocacy and support for to artists, musicians, nonprofits, and small businesses.

Rewards and Perks

Books, Merchandise, Memorabilia, and More

New Dexter Gordon Outtakes Book

Select donors will get an exclusive copy of this new book with the "outtakes" (edited content) from Maxine Gordon's new biography, Sophisticated Giant. The book will contain text that did not make it into the new biography, as well as photos and facsimiles of Dexter's archival materials, including rare photos, personal items, pages from notebooks, with annotations, comments, and more. Never before released to the public. Published by The Dexter Gordon Society.


New Dexter Gordon Blue Note Letters Book

Written correspondences between Dexter Gordon, Alfred Lion, and Francis Wolff.

We will also make available an exclusive book of select letters and documents exchanged between Dexter and Blue Note Records founders Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. The book will contain photos from Dexter's Blue Note recording sessions, with annotations, transcripts, and copies of the original archival letters exchanged between Dexter and his Blue Note colleagues. Never before released to the public. Published by The Dexter Gordon Society.


memorabilia from the film Round Midnight

The 1986 film production of Round Midnight left behind a plethora of miscellaneous documentation, images, publicity material, cards, and other items that will be published, curated, and revisited through The Society as a way of studying the poeticism and “musicality” of Dexter Gordon as an (Academy Award-nominated) actor.  


Exclusive musical memorabilia from Dexter's private collection

PRIVATE Saxophone Reeds

Top-Tier donors will have access to exclusive content and memorabilia including Dexter Gordon's own tenor saxophone reeds (used and unused). Review the reward levels for Founder and Sponsor details.


GET AN exclusive tour of DEXTER’S collection, his horn, and a trip to Paris, Copenhagen, or NYC.

The highest tier of donors ("Partner" & "Sophisticated Giant") will have the opportunity to meet Maxine Gordon, visit Dexter's actual collection, saxophonists will be able to play Dexter's horn, and also get a boat ride through the river on one of three cities (New York, Paris, or Copenhagen) with a live band and lifetime membership to The Dexter Gordon Society. See the donation page or check out the top-level rewards listed on this page for further details.

Donor Levels


  • TEN (10) Complete Hi-Res Unreleased Dexter Gordon Concert Downloads

  • A vintage Dexter Gordon promotion button-pin

  • A physical copy of Dexter Gordon's original business card from the Round Midnight tour

: $250

  • ALL of the Above, plus:

  • One SIGNED COPY of the Sophisticated Giant book by Maxine Gordon

: $500

  • ALL of the Above, plus:

  • plus your choice of EITHER the new Dexter Gordon Outtakes book -OR- the Blue Note Letters book (one of the new books)


  • ALL of the Above, plus:

  • The new Dexter Gordon Outtakes book AND the new Blue Note Letters book (both of the new books)

FOUNDER: $5,000

  • ALL of the Above, plus:

  • Special Named Gift for someone or something of your choosing

  • plus, One UNUSED original Dexter Gordon Tenor Saxophone Reed (never played before) from his Private Collection

  • plus a hosted event and/or screening of the film Round Midnight

SPONSOR: $10,000

  • ALL of the Above, plus:

  • One USED and UNUSED Dexter Gordon tenor saxophone reed (played by Dexter) from his Private Collection (two reeds: one unused and one used)

: $20,000

  • ALL of the Above, plus:

  • TWO Boxes of UNOPENED (un-used) Dexter Gordon tenor saxophone reeds(from his Private Collection)

  • plus One USED Dexter Gordon saxophone reed (played by Dexter)

  • plus a private tour and exhibit of Dexter Gordon's COMPLETE Private Collection, including his saxophones, reeds, archive, papers, clothing, and memorabilia.

  • plus, Saxophonists will be allowed to PLAY DEXTER'S HORN


  • ALL of the Above, plus:

  • THREE Boxes of UNUSED Dexter Gordon saxophone reeds —

  • Launch Party for The Dexter Gordon Society Named In Honor of You, Your Loved One, Your Business, or an Associate

  • An All-Day Live Event, Concert, or Tribute named and publicized In Your Honor in ONE of three Dexter Gordon residential cities (New York, Paris, or Copenhagen)

  • With a local tour of "Dexter Gordon Landmarks" in the city and boat ride on the local river

  • With a live band of jazz legends

  • Hosted by Maxine Gordon

: $100,000

  • All of the above plus Lifetime Membership with The Dexter Gordon Society and unlimited access to ALL future content, events, and archives.