April is National Jazz Appreciation Month, a time to celebrate the rich history and vibrant culture of this uniquely American art form. Jazz has been a driving force in music for over a century, influencing countless musicians and shaping the sound of popular music around the world. To honor this important cultural heritage, we've compiled a list of some of the most important jazz music archives, each with a unique collection of recordings, photographs, and documents related to jazz history. From the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University to the Jazz Foundation of America, these archives are essential resources for anyone interested in exploring the history and evolution of jazz music.
This is one of the largest jazz archives in the world, with over 150,000 recordings, as well as photographs, manuscripts, and other documents related to jazz history.
This program collects and preserves the oral histories of jazz musicians and others involved in the jazz community, including producers, journalists, and promoters.
This collection includes Ellington's personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, and recordings, as well as other materials related to his life and career.
This collection includes over 1,600 photographs of jazz musicians from the 1930s and 1940s, including portraits and performance shots.
This archive includes recordings of concerts, lectures, and other events held at Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as photographs and other documents related to jazz history.
Based in the UK, this archive collects and preserves materials related to jazz in Britain, including recordings, photographs, and documents.
This organization collects and preserves materials related to jazz in Chicago, including recordings, photographs, and documents, and also hosts concerts and other events.
This organization provides assistance to jazz musicians in need, and also maintains a collection of jazz recordings and other materials related to jazz history.
Focused on New Orleans jazz, this archive contains oral history interviews, photographs, sheet music, and audio recordings of music. It covers both jazz and other musical genres connected to the rich musical heritage of New Orleans dating back to the 19th century.
Whether you're a seasoned jazz aficionado or a newcomer to the genre, these archives offer a wealth of stories of jazz, from its early days to now, to explore and discover. These important stories tell of the cultural contributions of Black artists, the evolution of jazz music, and the impact of jazz on popular culture around the world. We hope you find them as valuable resources in your exploration of jazz stories.
The above list is just a sampling of the many archives dedicated to preserving jazz music and its related histories. There are hundreds more out there that are equally important and worthwhile. We encourage you, if you are affiliated with an archive and wish to be included in a future Memria article, to email firstname.lastname@example.org with information about your archive