Posted on 22nd Jun 2020 by John Rosie
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.
Matthew St Pier, a volunteer for the National Jazz Archive, with our Project Manager Angela Davies, has curated 100 images from our archive to represent this uniquely British phenomena.
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.
The archive will be posting a selection of images from this collection on social media during the coming weeks. You can see them by following us via the social media links below.
The collection is available for you to view here.
Photograph of Buddy Rich in Middlesborough 1978, by Denis Williams.