Back to Explore

UK Jazz in 100 Images

There has often been something very distinctive about UK jazz. It has constantly absorbed innovations from across the Atlantic but there have been wider influences at work. This has resulted in a body of music that could only have been created in this country, which has developed such a diverse and cosmopolitan culture.

Jazz in the UK is about diversity. On first listening there is little to link the traditional New Orleans jazz revival bands of the 1940s & 50s with the experimental music being created just a few years later. Yet there is a common spirit that underpins all the music – one that cannot be easily defined but is distinctly British: rebellious and a little quirky at times.

This collection seeks to capture that spirit by highlighting not just the musicians and the sub-genres that have evolved, but the fans and the venues.  In so doing, it celebrates the impact that jazz has had on the UK during the last 100 years.


Collection thumbnail photograph of Buddy Rich in Middlesborough 1978, by Denis Williams.