If you are a fan of all that Jazz both old and new you will be delighted to know that The National Jazz Archive in Loughton holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on Jazz, Blues and related music, from the 1920s to the present day.
It was founded in 1988 by trumpeter Digby Fairweather to ensure that the rich tangible cultural heritage of Jazz is safeguarded for future generations of enthusiasts, professionals and researchers. From 2011 to 2015, the Heritage Lottery Fund supported a project called ‘The Story of British Jazz’. It was devoted to conserving and cataloguing the collection, and digitising some of the most interesting material. As a result, many photographs, journals, documents and learning resources are now freely available through their website.
More recent Heritage Lottery Funding supported a project called ‘Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence’. It explored the investments that different generations make in promoting, performing, supporting and documenting Jazz heritage. Interviews and reminiscences were recorded to be made available on their website and as part of an exhibition ‘Say it with Music’.
The Loughton National Jazz Archive can be found on the 1st floor of Loughton Library, which is easy to get to from the centre of London being just a couple of miles beyond the north-eastern edge of the city.
The collections available for research also include:
- More than 4000 books
- Runs of around 700 journals and periodicals
- Photographs, drawings, paintings, concert and festival posters and programmes
- Letters, memorabilia and personal papers donated by musicians, writers, journalists and collectors
If you fancy a break from researching Jazz there are also plenty of Jazz concerts in and around Loughton. Coming up on Saturday 23 June 2018 at 2.30pm (doors at 1.30pm) The Julian Marc Stringle Quartet will play music made famous by Benny Goodman, Buddy de Franco and Artie Shaw. The concert will take place at Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB Tickets cost £15.