1938 - 2019
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JAFFEE--Michael, of Patterson, New York, died at home on June 15, 2019. Born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 21, 1938, he was 81 years old. His death occurred while he was working on the land around his house. Michael Jaffee was a founder and director of The Waverly Consort, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of early musical styles. The group was formed in New York City in 1961, just after Jaffee received his Master's degree in musicology from New York University. He also served as founder and first president of Chamber Music America. In addition, he played a significant leadership role in the formation of Early Music America, the national service organization dedicated to promoting early music. Michael Jaffee was the son of Eva Jaffee Jessor and Leo Jaffee who resided in New York City. He is survived by his wife and colleague Kay; his sister Claire Jaffee Speciner of Pennswood Village in Pennsylvania; his niece Anne Speciner Gould of Valley Stream, New York, and her family; and his nephew David Speciner of Manhattan, and his wife. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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Published in New York Times on Jun. 18, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
June 16, 2020
The holidays began for me every year with the annual Cloisters concert and the dinner party after. This was the last party but it wasn't a depressing time. Michael said it was time to move on and he had big plans. He loved his garden and, sad as it was, his passing couldn't have happened in a more appropriate place. I will always remember an evening when most of the party members had left and three of us remained to be spellbound as Michael and Kay described the alternative theatre world of New York City in the early 60's. Michael had impeccable taste, strove to achieve the highest musical standards and yet he was warm and so grateful to meet and get to know us, his faithful fans. Michael made musical history. He was a true treasure of New York City and I was honored to consider him a friend. With love to Kay, Mark
Mark Wright
June 27, 2019
i always appreciated the fact that Michael was a substantial donor of Chamber Music America..an excellent organization in the eighties..i received two awards from CMA..that was when i was in my mid thirties..those two awards were significant in my career.
David Eyges
June 26, 2019
Dear Kay, I just learned this devastating news. I spoke with Michael about 2 months ago and he seemed well and enthusiastic about the future. Please let me help. I'll be in touch. Will talk soon. A big hug and love, Mark
June 23, 2019
Sincere condolences from all of Milwaukee's EARLY MUSIC NOW audiences with which The WAVERLY CONSORT left irreplaceable memories of Michael & Kay's many concerts here.
Thallis Hoyt Drake, Founder of EMN
June 20, 2019
We've lost a seminal figure in early music. The scene as it is today is inconceivable without his work.
Judson Griffin
Judson Griffin
June 19, 2019
With love and deepest thanks for the many years working with Mike and Kay and all the wonderful music and musicians of the Waverly Consort. My first was 1984 and the last at the final Cloisters Christmas Story in 2017. What a blessing! Thank You Always Mike
David Ripley
June 18, 2019
Dear Kay,
So sorry to hear of Mike's passing. I have many lovely memories of you and him, and the times I moonlighted with the Consort. Banging the drum in Tully Hall in particular. I admired Mike's professionalism and his kindness, and treasured his friendship. It has been a long time, but I still feel close to you, and feel the loss keenly.
Richard Taruskin
Richard Taruskin
June 18, 2019
Kay, So sorry to hear about Michael. He was a real pioneer and a stunning musician.
Edward Kottick
June 18, 2019
I have many lovely and fun memories of working as a guest artist with Mike and Kay. They were always supportive and nurturing of younger performers, and the Waverly Consort will always be remembered as one of the iconic early music groups in the country.
Sending love to Kay- Susan Iadone
June 18, 2019
To his family, my most sincere condolence, and may our heavenly god bring you comfort and peace, Mathews 5:4
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