National Jazz Archive wins Heritage Lottery Fund support for oral history and reminiscence project
The National Jazz Archive has been awarded £83,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project, which will begin in January 2016.
Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will give people the opportunity to learn about and contribute to the National Jazz Archive through a programme of performance, oral history and reminiscence. It will explore how different generations have promoted, performed, supported, and documented our jazz heritage. Using materials from the Archive and from other local sources, the project will inspire members of Age UK Activity Centres, local jazz clubs, local youth groups and young jazz musicians to share and discuss what music has meant and still means in their lives.
The generation that founded jazz clubs, learned to play jazz before there was any formal musical education in jazz, and who have donated their magazines, photographs and other material to the National Jazz Archive are nearing the end of their lives. Through interviewing and recording talks and discussions at intergenerational workshops in Age UK Activity Centres the project will record and conserve the reminiscences of a generation of people who had to make considerable investment to access music. Recorded music will be a part of the workshops, with live music by young musicians at some of them.
Interviews with older jazz musicians, jazz club promoters and supporters will form a permanent record of anecdotal jazz history. The project will work with the Black Cultural Archives to encourage participation from the older black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities, including local musicians associated with these communities. Loughton Youth Project will participate in and film the sessions.
The interviews and memories collected by the project will be made available on the Archive’s website and will contribute to an exhibition celebrating the people and places that have shaped jazz music across the UK.
The National Jazz Archive will be leading the project, and will work in partnership with other specialist organisations to deliver it: Age UK, Black Cultural Archives, Chelmsford Museums Service, Essex University, Loughton Youth Project, the Open University, and local jazz clubs.
Commenting on the award, Paul Kaufman, Chair of the Trustees of the National Jazz Archive, said “This is a great result for a magnificent team effort. The HLF award is a tremendous endorsement of the National Jazz Archive. It recognises and builds on the success achieved by our first HLF project ‘The Story of British Jazz’, and presents a wonderful opportunity to develop our relationship with a broad range of new and existing partners. It also enables us to further develop the Archive and to increase access to and public engagement with our important collections.”
The founder and lifelong patron of the Archive, jazz trumpeter, author and broadcaster Digby Fairweather, said: “I’m delighted that the Archive is continuing to extend its work through this exciting project, which will record and capture so many personal recollections and stories. It’s very pleasing that so many levels of expertise and skills will be involved, with participants from young to old.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “This project is a great example of the breadth of heritage supported by National Lottery players. We’re really pleased that our funding will allow more people to explore and learn about this fascinating and important archive.”
About the National Jazz Archive
The National Jazz Archive is a registered charity based in Loughton Library in Essex. It was founded in 1988 by Digby Fairweather, and holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from the 1919 to the present day. The Archive holds more than 4000 reference books, specialist periodicals and bulletins spanning over 600 titles, archival material, artwork, ephemera and photographs. The Archive's vision is to ensure that significant jazz material should be safeguarded for future generations of enthusiasts, professionals and researchers. The Archive received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2011 that supported a three-year access development project ‘The Story of British Jazz’ enabling the collection to be fully conserved and catalogued for the first time. Significant items were digitised and are now accessible online.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.