The AMHF Board of Directors
Glenn Howard is the founder and curator of the American Musical Heritage Foundation. He has developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the full spectrum of America’s recorded history over more than four decades of collecting and archiving one of the world’s largest private phonograph record libraries. Glenn established his voluminous collection as the Musician’s Reference Library in 1970 and has become world renowned for his expertise and talent at finding rare and unusual recordings. He has provided countless samples of both original source material and inspirational recordings to musicians, collectors and educators worldwide. In 1992, Glenn established the AMHF as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in the State of California for the preservation of his own archives and those of other musicians and collectors. He has continued to amass an awe-inspiring amount of vinyl, absorbing the collections of such noted as figures as Bing Crosby, Jerry Colonna, William Saroyan, Ron “Pig Pen McKernan, Shirley Temple Black, Eleanor Powell, Arthur Godfrey, Tom Lehrer, Charles Lindbergh, Phil Elwood, Stanley Kilarr, and hundreds of others. Prior to becoming a full time collector, Glenn had a “real job” at NASA which he left at the tender age of twenty one. He is fiendishly devoted to preserving the analog recordings of the last 119 years which he believes are the most important component of our cultural treasures. Glenn remains the Foundation’s key resource.
Katherine Armer has been working with the AMHF since she joined the board of advisors in 1998, and brings both organizational and music business experience to the AMHF board of directors, which she joined in 2007. Katherine has worked as an environmental educator and organizer, event producer, and as Executive Director of a non-profit circus arts performance troupe. During the latter half of the 1990s she worked in the music business, consulting with record labels, film companies, and working directly with artists both in the US and in Ireland as a project manager and production coordinator. Clients included EMI Records, Virgin Records, Rounder Records, Diamond Time Video, and artists such as Altan, the Hothouse Flowers, and most extensively DÃ³nal Lunny. Katherine holds a Master’s of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as a certificate in Premedical Studies from Mills College in Oakland, California, and practices acupuncture at Marin Acupuncture Works in Mill Valley, California. She is also the founder and owner of Rockstella Jewels, a company she started as an extension of her love of gemstones and desire to play with pretty rocks.
John Perry Barlow originally became involved with the AMHF in the early 1990s, when he helped secure the support of the Grateful Dead and the Rex Foundation on behalf of the AMHF. He is an outspoken believer that reality, like vinyl, is analog. John is most widely known for his work both as champion of civil liberties in Cyberspace and as a songwriter for the Grateful Dead. In 1990, along with his friends Mitch Kapor and John Gilmore, he co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization which promotes freedom of expression in digital media. He currently serves as Vice Chairman and member of its board of directors. John is an emeritus fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, and lectures internationally on subjects relating to the virtualization of society. He is a recognized consultant and commentator on the futility of copyright in the Digital Age. John has written extensively for Wired, as well as for the The New York Times, George, Nerve, and onto the open canvas of the internet. He is currently engaged with a group of NASA scientists in starting a company to turn algae, CO2, and sewage into jetfuel.
Joel Bernstein is a photographer, musician, producer, and archivist who brings a plentitude of expertise to the AMHF board. As a photographer, his work spans four decades and chronicles the lives and work of some of the most important musicians of our time. They include Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Prince, Jackson Browne, Laura Nyro, and many others. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and has been published in a wide spectrum of books as well as in Time, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Mojo, and The New York Times. Joel’s many album covers are commonly listed among the most influential in rock’s visual history. His first, at age 18, was Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush, often cited in Best Album Covers Of All Time lists. Joel’s photographs were also the inspiration for the look of Cameron Crowe’s rock film Almost Famous, in which many scenes were precise re-creations of his pictures. Joel has been a frequent collaborator with many of his subjects, playing and singing on albums and concert tours. In addition to becoming the most comprehensive photographer of Joni Mitchell, he is the acknowledged expert on her complicated and enigmatic guitar compositions. Joel continues with many of these artists as archivist, editor, and producer of their boxed sets and DVD retrospectives. He is also an avid audiophile and collector of rare tape recordings, acetates, and vinyl LPs.
Leigh Hill is perhaps the longest-standing ally of the AMHF. He has known Glenn Howard since they were in high school together in Palo Alto, California. Leigh is a well-known radio personality who originally borrowed records from Glenn to play on the air while he further developed his own collection. He specializes in American folk and country music, but collects a wide variety of other genres, eras, and styles. Leigh has the distinction of having had one of the country’s longest running bluegrass radio shows, Down On The ‘Pataphysical Farm. His show was a feature at KUSP FM in Santa Cruz, California, starting in 1972, and ran until their format change in 2008. Leigh has degrees in both history and mathematics, is a paralegal, and has served on the boards of directors for the Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society and KUSP FM. He spends most of his time teaching and making sure the world continues to be a safe place for vinyl records. He is the second member of the Board of Directors to have been a Jeopardy contestant.
David Katznelson is a 25+ year veteran of the music industry. He began working for Bill Graham at age 16 and went on to DJ at KUSF and KALX, intern at CD Presents, ending up at Warner Bros as an A&R person after college. Katznelson became a Vice-President of A&R signing The Flaming Lips, The Texas Tornados, Nick Cave, Shane MacGowan, Mudhoney, The Boredoms, anon. Katznelson started his own independent label group in 2001 with the flagship label Birdman Records. Katznelson has most recently worked with new bands (Warlocks, Gris Gris, The Aliens, Bob Log lll), focusing on high-end reissues (most recently, ALAN LOMAX IN HAITI, the boxset) and just started a vinyl-only reissue label called Sutro Park. Katznelson is the co-founder of the San Francisco Appreciation Society and The Idelsohn Society Of Musical Preservation. He is also the Director Of Outreach And Engagement for the Jewish Community Federation. He has been collecting records since he was born (maybe JUST after that) and still needs more. Always more. His daughter KAYA has a righteous turntable and record collection.
Simmy Makhijani comes to the board of the AMHF with a diverse background in the arts and in non-profit development. She has worked in the music, performing arts, and publishing industries with an extensive and varied professional history in development, marketing, and publicity. Simmy has been a contributing feature writer for several newspapers, magazines, and online publications. She has also written and performed poetry, been a vocal contributor for music projects, and has acted as creative adviser, narrative/editorial consultant, and research specialist for both independent feature films and documentaries on a wide range of subjects. After several years at the San Francisco Opera, where she served as Associate Director of The Annual Fund, Simmy left her post to return to graduate school. She has completed her Ph.D. coursework in the Anthropology and Social Change Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Her previous degrees include an M.A. in Asian Studies in Religion and Philosophy and a B.A. in Journalism, with an emphasis in music. Her areas of specialization and research interests include: music as a catalyst for thought, action, and social change. In addition to her work with the AMHF, Simmy is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of United Roots, an organization that enables disenfranchised youth to engage with the green economy, performing arts, and digital media in ways that educate, empower, inspire, and transform lives. She is also member of the Art in Action collective.”