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Project Archivist’s Blog: the Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project

Friday 30th September 2016


Project Archivist Layla Fedyk reports on the IJR Project Open Day on 10 September.

After weeks working in the Archive, inviting candidates to be interviewed by the University of Essex for the Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project, it’s again been lively, hosting an outreach event to engage with visiting public.

For national Heritage Open Days we opened our doors on Saturday 10 September to welcome new and familiar faces to see what we’re up to on the IJR Project, and learn of the services the Archive offers to various interests.

The Open Day, which was supported by NJA volunteers George, Steve and Mike, was a success, gaining fresh interest from Essex residents. We were visited by the Loughton Town Mayor, Councilllor Carol Davies, who takes a proactive interest in the collaborations of local cultural institutions providing opportunities for the people of the region. I was proud to tell her how the IJR Project fundamentally works with local groups and bodies to support collective and particular ambitions. The developing relationship of Loughton Youth Project and the NJA over the course of the year and the mutual benefits created so far is testament to this.

We met with musicians, and audience members of nearby jazz events keen to attend future activities. Following the visit from the organiser of Chiltern U3A's Jazz Appreciation Group, the NJA hopes to welcome U3A to the Archive for a IJR project reminiscence event in early 2017.

I’m also especially pleased to report that recorded one-to-one interviews were arranged with a few of these visitors. With many unique stories and experiences of music in people’s lives shared on Saturday, I couldn’t resist getting some captured ‘on tape’ for the Archive.

NJA Trustee Vic Hobson once again obliged by jumping in to conduct the interviews… having been accosted soon after giving us an impromptu presentation on C20th New Orleans bass player George ‘Pops’ Foster! As a trained musicologist, bass player and an Essex resident himself, Vic has the advantage of being able to pick up on specialist or local aspects in the interviewee’s conversations and draw them out further with his questions.

Sample IJR Project interviews were made available for visitors to listen to on Saturday, and as the Project Team move forward with web technicalities, we’ll soon begin to make these accessible online to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

Layla Fedyk

September 2016

The photo above shows NJA Chairman Paul Kaufman listening to an oral history interview recorded as part of the IJR project.