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News from the National Jazz Archive
Newsletter 6/2022, July 2022

Welcome

Welcome to the July newsletter from the National Jazz Archive. Regular readers will notice the different logo in the heading - the thinking behind the new design is discussed further down.

Nigel Price Organ Trio + Vasilis Xenopoulos
Wes Re-imagined – 31 August


The next National Jazz Archive fundraising concert will feature the Nigel Price Organ Trio with Vasilis Xenopoulos and will be on Wednesday 31 August at Loughton, Essex, starting at 7.30pm. The group will present “The music of Wes Montgomery reworked”.

The Trio were winners of the 2010 Parliamentary Jazz Award for ‘Best Ensemble’ and the 2016 British Jazz Award for ‘Best Small Group’. They will be playing selections from their past seven albums, including music from the recent critically acclaimed ‘Wes Re-Imagined’, which sees the compositions of Wes Montgomery reworked into different feels.

Expect a night of exciting interplay, virtuosic, blues-drenched soloing and a few laughs too!


Nigel Price – guitar
Ross Stanley – B3 Hammond organ
Joel Barford – drums
Vasilis Xenopoulos – tenor saxophone

The concert is at Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB. Tickets cost £20 and are available at the Archive (020 8502 4701), and on WeGotTickets with a small booking fee.


Chris Ingham Quartet
Stardust Memories – 5 November

Chris Ingham’s Stardust Memories is packed with the songs and stories of one of America’s most enduring and endearing songwriters. Wry, wise, sentimental, down-home and sophisticated, Hoagy Carmichael’s songs are beloved for their warmth, wit and melodic beauty. This joyful, edifying and heartfelt salute to the Old Music Master features many engaging anecdotes and insights along with tracks from Chris’s acclaimed CD including well-loved hits alongside obscure nuggets and delightful curiosities from Hoagy’s rich and varied songbook.

Chris Ingham formed his jazz quartet in 2013 and has led over 150 performances of his Hoagy Carmichael, Dudley More and Stan Getz projects all over the UK. With Chris will be Paul Higgs on trumpet, Geoff Gascoyne on bass and George Double on drums.

This fundraising concert for the National Jazz Archive will be in Loughton, Essex on Saturday 5 November. Tickets cost £20 and are available at the Archive (020 8502 4701), and on WeGotTickets with a small booking fee.


Thanks for recent donations 

In recent months some wonderful donations of books on jazz and blues have been made to the Archive by Mike Pointon, Brian Mixter, Terry Pearson, Graham Langley and Linda Colvill (from her late husband Martin’s collection). The Archive is very grateful for these generous gifts: all donated books are checked carefully to identify any that are not already held at our main collection at Loughton or our satellite collection at Birmingham City University. The remaining books are then added to our stock of books that are being offered for sale through these newsletters - see the next item.

Martin Colvill’s collection is very extensive and work is continuing on sorting, assessing and collecting it. It’s hoped to give more details in a future newsletter, along with a tribute to Martin, who died in March. The photo above shows Linda Colvill in front of part of Martin’s collection of books and recordings.


Jazz books for sale

The Archive is delighted to offer more books on jazz and blues for sale. Many of this month’s books are from the generous gifts and legacy donations from Brian Mixter, Terry Pearson, Graham Langley and Linda Colvill (from her late husband Martin’s collection).

Many thanks to everyone who has supported these sales since June 2020. Nearly 1300 books have been sold, raising over £9100 for the Archive. 

Featured this month are Images of jazz, Great writing on jazz, Biographies and memoirs, Jazz discographies, Guides to jazz on record and CD, Blues and Black America.

We have only one copy of many of these books, so email quickly to check that the ones you want are still available. Al these donated books are held in St Albans in Hertfordshire - if you would like to visit to buy books directly, or if you are looking for particular books, please contact Nick Clarke. The St Albans U3A jazz appreciation group met at Nick's house recently, to hear about the book sales and to see the extensive stock. It is hoped that other WEA groups will arrange visits too. 

New NJA logo 

Observant followers of the Archive may have already noticed the recent introduction of a new logo. It will be used in future in place of the longstanding ‘Humph’ caricature.

No disrespect is, of course, intended to Humphrey Lyttelton. He was born in May 1921, and we helped mark the centenary celebrations, which would no doubt have been more extensive had it not been for Covid. A great musician, writer and broadcaster, along with a host of other talents, Humph had a huge impact, not least in broadening appreciation of jazz among a wide audience.

So why the change? It is an important outcome of our ongoing review focussing on diversity and inclusivity. Images send a powerful message. Our review considered whether Humph, wonderful though he was, does full justice to the Archive's aspirations.

The art form we love is a rich kaleidoscope with many strands. Humph represents just some of these. His image will have little meaning or appeal to many of those who share our passion, and who we want to attract to use, and contribute to, our resources and our work. The perception created by the old logo may even put some off. Use of a cartoon is itself problematic. Apart from The Cartoon Museum it seems there are few national institutions which choose a jokey image to convey what they are about.

Special thanks go to NJA volunteer, Nigel Smith, a superb graphic designer. His excellent work has featured on many Archive banners and flyers. Nigel has generously donated his time and skills to guide us through the long and difficult process of analysis and assessment that goes into designing a new logo. There are still some finishing touches needed, for example in terms of colour and variations. But the importance of moving forward means we have decided to start using it now.

In case you are wondering, the new logo has minimal cost implications. The Humph logo is part of our heritage, and we see no need for example to replace it on existing banners.

It will probably never be possible to please everyone when designing a new logo, or letting go of an old one. We hope you agree that Nigel has done a fantastic job in coming up with a new design which has wide appeal, will strengthen the Archive, and will help meet our aim to represent the whole jazz community. 

Paul Kaufman, Chair, National Jazz Archive

New chair opportunity: application deadline extended

The National Jazz Archive is seeking to appoint a new Chair of Trustees in 2022. The deadline for applications has been extended to 30 September 2022.

The Archive, formed in 1988, is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), which aims to safeguard and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of jazz in the UK. The Archive holds the UK’s finest resource of printed and visual jazz-related material, along with an important collection of oral history recordings. It is of national and international importance.

The Board currently comprises 11 trustees. In November 2021 the Board renewed their strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

The current Chair has decided to step down, with the aim of refreshing the Board and facilitating the development of a Board which is more diverse and inclusive. The current Chair is committed to giving ongoing support to the Archive and to ensuring a smooth transition.

For more detail, click here


Visitors from The Netherlands

Teun Jans and four other students at the NAVB film school in Eindhoven, The Netherlands are working on a documentary film that documents the current state of jazz in different parts of Europe. They have already filmed in The Netherlands and were in England at the end of May to document the state of jazz around London. We were delighted to welcome them to the Archive where they were able to discuss their project and the current state of jazz in the UK with David Nathan and explore our collections. 

You can read more about their project here


For the Love of Jazz
Free festival and exhibition, Leicester 23 July

Leicester Jazz House, in collaboration with Midlands Jazz and Cosmopolitan Arts, are staging a free open-air jazz festival on Saturday 23 July, in Jubilee Square in the centre of Leicester, showcasing a sequence of top artists, including Archive patron Gary Crosby and his sextet. A free exhibition looking at UK jazz through the decades will be held in the BBC Radio Leicester building adjoining the square.

The Archive is delighted to be supporting the exhibition with materials drawn from our rich resources. We will also be contributing to a film being created for the event by musician Marcus Joseph and which will feature on a video wall in the exhibition. 

The event is supported by The Arts Council England, EMJAZZ, DMU Music, and Leicester City Council. You can read more about the Leicester Jazz House and the event here


Love Supreme jazz festival – a welcome return

Love Supreme, the UK’s largest greenfield jazz festival, made a welcome return this July following a two-year break due to Covid. And it was another cracker! The Archive is delighted that talented jazz photographer Tatiana Gorilovsky was able to attend the festival with the support of the Archive. Her images will help document this important event for posterity and will be added to our website in due course. Pictured above is Shabaka Hutchins in an image Tatiana describes as ‘The Statue of Liberty of British Jazz'. You can read more about Tatiana and view some of her earlier work which is showcased on our website here


Black musicians in Europe 

The experiences of black musicians who travelled to Europe, from the first visits of entertainers and jubilee singers in the 19th century, to the experiences of present-day jazz and blues musicians living and performing in continental Europe and the UK, were examined in a webinar on 26 May. The panel included Rainer E Lotz, author of Black People: Entertainers of African Descent in Europe and Germany and Grammy-nominated Black Europe: The Sounds and Images of Black People in Europe pre 1927. It also involved New York singer/guitarist Eric Bibb, who has been living in Europe since the 1970s, and Washington DC singer/guitarist Michael Roach, a UK resident since 1995. Christian O’Connell, author of Blues, How Do You Do? Paul Oliver and the Transatlantic Story of the Blues, chaired the event. A recording and transcript of the webinar can be viewed here (link under ‘Further Resources’).

The photo shows the Fisk Jubilee Singers in about 1875.


Leave a legacy gift in your will

If you are passionate about jazz and want to help preserve its heritage, leaving a gift in your Will to the National Jazz Archive will enable the celebration of jazz to continue for years to come. Here’s a message from NJA Patron, the Right Honourable Baroness Valerie Amos CH PC:

"I am a huge admirer and supporter of the National Jazz Archive given its passion and dedication to preserving the work and talent of Jazz in Britain. That is why I have been a Patron for over a decade. 

Leaving a legacy gift will mean the Archive can continue and sustain its important work, including managing and digitising collections, developing the website to ensure access for everyone, and making sure it can continue to employ a high-quality body of staff to undertake this brilliant work."  

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The National Jazz Archive was founded by trumpeter Digby Fairweather in 1988 and is supported by Essex County Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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