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In Memoriam: Fred Katz

Sept. 10, 2013

man playing cello

Fred Katz in 1979.

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Fred Katz, professor emeritus of anthropology and a world-class jazz cellist, died Sept. 7. He was 94. Katz, who taught jazz and ethnic music, as well as anthropology courses, joined the University faculty in 1968 and served 14 years before being awarded emeritus status. Two of his first courses — both popular with students — were a six-unit Fred Katz seminar and a class on the past, present and future of jazz. In them, he conducted a personal tour through the world of jazz from its primitive and European roots to its significance in the contemporary American scene. Before joining Cal State Fullerton, Katz earned a diploma from the National Orchestral Society at Carnegie Hall, played with the Chico Hamilton Quintet, wrote a number of musical and film scores, including the original score for “The Little Shop of Horrors,” performed with Billie Holiday, and wrote music for Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett. Services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Eden Memorial Park, 11500 Sepulveda Blvd. in Mission Hills.

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