Documenting and Interpreting The Philly Jazz Legacy

Support has been provided by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Grammy Museum, and individual donations from the jazz community

Read About Us

In 2018 five Philadelphia jazz organizations—Jazz Bridge, Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts, Philadelphia Jazz Project, Jazz Philadelphia, and Ars Nova Workshop—engaged in a collaborative discovery process to explore how to preserve, interpret, and share Philadelphia’s expansive jazz history. Initially funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the one-year Discovery Project brought together leading figures in the local jazz community to develop a vision and lay the groundwork for a sustainable Philly Jazz Archives. Philadelphia has been home to many transformative figures in jazz history, from Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, and Sun Ra to countless lesser-known musicians who shaped the community and its music. The Philadelphia Jazz Legacy Project represents the first coordinated effort to identify and preserve original archival materials that will tell the story of the city’s vibrant jazz tradition through manuscripts, recordings, photographs, show programs, newspaper clippings, oral histories, and other materials. The Philadelphia Jazz Archives will be housed at the Charles L Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia.

  • I was born in the presence of Philly greats like Eddie Green, Odean Pope and Tyrone Brown. The influence of that kind of pure musicianship never leaves you.

    — Victor Bailey, 2016
  • People have often asked me why I would ever leave a beautiful place like Alaska to come here to Philadelphia. The answer is simple: The Music brought me here.

    — Victor North, 2015
  • Playing with Mike Boone and Sid Simmons changed my playing and my outlook on life and music.

    — Anwar Marshall, 2017

Share Your Philly Jazz History

Submission Instructions

We are interested in photographs, manuscripts, concert programs, clippings, scrapbooks, recordings – in short, any historical materials documenting jazz in the greater Philadelphia area (including Trenton, Camden, and Atlantic City). Please fill out this form or contact project staff with any questions:

Suzanne Cloud, Project Director
(610) 745-3011

[email protected]

Jack McCarthy, Consulting Archivist
(610) 639-2164

[email protected]

Business Address:

Ars Nova Workshop
Bok Room 509
1901 South 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148