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WHYY -“Knocking on Doors in Search of Philadelphia’s Jazz History”


Spotify playlist- The Philly Jazz Legacy

Youtube playlist- Project video content 

Project Partners 

Jazz Philadelphia

Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts

Philadelphia Jazz Project

Ars Nova Workshop

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

Jazz Archives

Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives

Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans: The leading research center for the study of New Orleans Jazz and related genres.  Its holdings include oral history interviews, sound recordings, film, photographs, sheet music, personal papers, AFM local 174-496 records, and more.

Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University-Newark: A jazz archive and research facility, IJS was founded in 1952 by pioneer jazz scholar, Marshall Stearns.  In addition to its holdings which include oral histories, personal papers, scores, photographs, and sound recordings, the IJS publishes the Journal of Jazz Studies, awards research fellowships to jazz researchers, and holds events at Clements Place cabaret.

The Living Jazz Archives of William Paterson University showcase the art and craft of jazz performance and composition, communicating the musicianship, artistry, craftsmanship and joyous energy of the artists whose materials it contains. LJA houses the collections of Thad Jones, Clark Terry, James Williams, Michael Brecker and Mulgrew Miller. The music and materials of other jazz artists whose work demonstrates a similar, significant impact on the performance, composition and study of jazz may also be collected in the LJA.

Los Angeles Jazz Institute

Louis Armstrong House Museum, NYC: The Louis Armstrong House Museum supports the legacy of Louis Armstrong by preserving and interpreting Armstrong’s house and grounds, collecting and sharing archival materials documenting Armstrong’s life, and presenting public programs such as exhibits, concerts, lectures, and film screenings.  The website features digital collections of images and recordings.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

University of Chicago Jazz Archives, Chicago: The Chicago Jazz Archive preserves materials on the early years of Chicago jazz. Over time, the collections have grown to span more than eight decades of Chicago and general jazz history. The collections include recordings, publications, photographs, articles, posters, programs, ticket stubs, and other ephemera of musicians, clubs, record companies, and jazz organizations.

Jazz History Programs

The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University

Master’s Program in Jazz History and Research, Rutgers University-Newark

Online Resources

All That Philly Jazz: a place-based public history project that links jazz musicians and their stories with the locations in which they played.

The Jazz History Database at Worcester Polytechnic Institute: an interactive multimedia museum focused on artists deserving of wider recognition and dedicated to the preservation of “at-risk” jazz artifacts.

Linked Jazz, Pratt Institute, NYC: A research project that applies Linked Open Data technology to digital cultural heritage materials, Linked Jazz focuses primarily on oral histories of jazz musicians.  Its network visualization displays images, videos, and biographies of jazz musicians within the network.

Philadelphia Area Archival Research Portal (PAARP), provides access to descriptions of more than 5,000 collections from over 200 regional institutions documenting in the greater Philadelphia region’s vital role in our collective history, from colonization to the present day, from the everyday citizen to some of America’s best-known thinkers and celebrated citizens. While not focused on jazz specifically, on this site, researchers will find catalog descriptions, or “finding aids,” to collections relating to local, national, and world history; the natural and social sciences; medicine; literature; religion; art and architecture; business and industry; the performing arts; and other topics.