DIVA's founder Stanley Martin “Kay” Kaufman, 86, passed away peacefully in his home on June 21st, 2010. In his 70+ year career, Stanley enjoyed successes as a drummer, percussionist, artist manager, creative director, conductor, arranger and composer.
After serving in the Marine Corps during World War II, Stanley rose to musical prominence in the mid-1940s as the back-up drummer and manager for the Buddy Rich Band. He was also drummer for such headline acts as Josephine Baker, Patty Paige and Frankie Lane. He was a creator, manager and conductor for the world-renowned “Hines, Hines & Dad,” continuing to manage Maurice Hines as well as such stars as Michelle Lee and Paul Burke.In the decades following, Stanley became Entertainment Director of the New York Yankees, a position he served proudly throughout his life.
In 1992 Stanley founded and was the creative force behind Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, a band that will carry on his extraordinary musical legacy.
Stanley is survived by his sister, Sybil Goday, niece Mace Goday, grand-niece Sybil Happy Goday, as well as the thousands of lives he touched with his extraordinary generosity, kindness, understanding and compassion.
If you have a favorite memory of Stanley, you are invited to share it on the guest book.
The Stanley Kay Swingin’ Scholarship for Big Band Drummers
The Stanley Kay Scholarship will be awarded to assist young big band drummers pursuing careers in jazz. Please visit the scholarship page for information about donations and eligibility.
Read a beautiful essay about Stanley, written by Eric Ashby, son of the Executive Producer of MCG Jazz, a program of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh.
Dick Cully has shared some wonderful video of conversations between himself, Stanley, and Brent Proctor. As Dick says, the videos are a rare opportunity to hear “stories you’ve never heard before from a man who knew Buddy Rich better than anyone.”