Fonds P0203 - Daniel Feist fonds

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Daniel Feist fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the fonds.

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  • 1953-2005, predominant [199-]-2004 (Creation)
    Feist, Daniel

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Physical description

1.2 m of textual records
181 sound recordings
251 photographs
6 moving images
2 diskettes.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Daniel Feist was born in Montreal on January 27, 1954 as the son of German immigrants Ursula and David Feist. His father was a visual artsit. Daniel Feist was married to Susan (Susie) Kessler. They had two children, Emily and Max. Daniel Feist died in Montreal on February 11, 2005.

Feist received a BA degree in Communications Studies and German and a minor in music from Concordia University, where he later studied music composition.

He worked as a freelance broadcast and print journalist, electroacoustic musician, band manager, and record producer, and he taught at Dawson College (1980-1984) and in the Department of Music and the Department of Communications Studies at Concordia University (1990-1999). From 1997 to 1999, Feist offered the World-Beat Music History Course in the Department of Music. As part of the class work he brought world music artists who were residents of Montreal to Concordia’s Oscar Peterson Concert Hall to perform and be interviewed.

Feist was one of the first broadcasters to embrace world music (world beat, i.e., the popular music of the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world). He traveled widely, especially in Africa, where he also lived for several years, and interviewed many performers. He was considered an expert in the music of Africa and the Caribbean.

Since the early 1990s, Feist hosted the world-beat program “Rhythms International” on Sunday nights on the Montreal radio station CJFM Mix-96FM. Rhythms International was the only program of its kind on commercial radio in Canada. For several years, Feist also provided a version of Rhythms International for Air Canada’s and Delta Airlines’ in-flight programming, and he wrote and hosted the world-beat series “A Whole New World”on CBC-FM radio from 1993 to 1995.

As an electroacoustic composer, Feist was a member of the Concordia University Electroacoustics group, which had been founded in 1982 as the Concordia Electroacoustics Composers Group. The group’s members composed electroacoustic music and gave concerts. In 1990 his composition “Auxferd Nightburr’d November 2 A.M.” was voted jury winner at the first ACREQ (Association pour la création et la recherche électroacoustiques du Québec) Electroclips competition.

Feist was a long-time contributor to Montreal’s The Gazette as a world-beat music critic and he wrote for programs of events such as the Montreal festival Nuits d’Afrique. In 2001 he covered the United Nations Conference Against Racism in Durban for the Southam News Agency. In 2002 he covered the U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Being diagnosed with cancer in 2004, Daniel Feist wrote together with Stan Shatenstein a series of articles for The Gazette chronicling his treatment. Theses articles were published as a book by CanWest in 2006, entitled "Cancer: My Story".

Custodial history

The fonds was transferred from Concordia University's Records Management and Archives Department to Concordia University Libraries' Special Collections April 19, 2016, May 5, 2016, May 10, 2016, and June 22, 2016.

Scope and content

The fonds documents Daniel Feist’s work as a freelance broadcaster, journalist, musician and teacher, including his travels and participation in events such as Montreal’s Nuits d’Afrique festival, the United Nations Conference on Racism, music awards, and others. The material mainly covers the genre of world-beat music (also known as world music) in the period from 1990 to 2005. Some sound recordings of music performances include interviews with the artists.

The fonds includes without limitations biographies of artists, drafts of articles, consulting reports, teaching material, correspondence, books, sound recordings (digital audio tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, cassette tapes, and CDs), newspaper clippings, notes, and photographs (on CD-ROM and printed out in black and white).

The fonds is organized in the following series:

P0203/A. – Personal life.

P0203/B. – Broadcasting.

P0203/C. – Radio consulting.

P0203/D. – Print journalism.

P0203/E. – Teaching.

P0203/F. – Resource materials.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The materials were donated by Susan Kessler to the Concordia University Archives in 2006.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

Some of the recorded interviews were conducted in French. There are African languages on some of the sound recordings.

Location of originals

The materials on the 2 CD-ROMs were downloaded from Daniel Feist’s computer by Susan Kessler.

Availability of other formats

Black and white print copies of the textual records and photographs on CD-ROM have been created for consultation.

Restrictions on access

Audio cassettes, video reels, and audio reels are restricted until digitized.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Reproductions are allowed for the purpose of research and private study in most cases. Use of material in a publication may only be done with written consent of the copyright owner(s).

Finding aids

Box listings are available.

Associated materials

The Daniel Feist collection of commercial recordings of international music is housed in Concordia University’s Department of Communication Studies.

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