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Jazz Research Resources: Research Groups, Collections, Projects, Organizations

Many thanks to Professor Donna Wickham for most of the information on this tab.

Independent Organizations and Institutes

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is home to the widely acclaimed Savory Collection, which includes more than 100 hours of live recordings of jazz legends made from New York City radio broadcasts aired between 1935 and 1941.

American Jazz Institute

Based in New Orleans, houses compositions, scores, arrangements, recordings, artwork, photographs, film and other jazz works.

Eubie Blake Cultural Arts Center

Based in Baltimore, houses the permanent Eubie Blake Collection. (Blake was an African American composer, lyricist, and pianist in ragtime and jazz.)

The Jazz Study Group

The Group is a shifting collective of more than thirty members who meet several times yearly to explore new methods of studying the history of jazz, its social context, and its cultural ramifications.

Jazz History Database 

An interactive multimedia museum focused on artists deserving of wider recognition and dedicated to the preservation of "at-risk" jazz artifacts.

Jazz Education Network

Fairly new organization that rose from the ashes of the old IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education) Membership $45 for eJEN membership.

There are a couple of ways to take advantage of their resources:

JEN Research Interest Group provides a platform and a network for jazz research. Their monthly newsletter includes news, job listings, and conferences.

In concert with the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, JEN sponsors a research fellowship which is intended to provide opportunities for a serious educator/student/music historian (such as senior researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students) to conduct a directed research Project associated with the archival collections at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

JEN solicits the submission of original, principled research presentations dealing with topics related to jazz history, pedagogy, industry, and performance practice. Presentations will run parallel to clinics and performances during the annual JEN conference.

JEN also helps musicians, students, and researchers to network.

University-Based Collections and Resources (plus the Smithsonian)

Smithsonian Jazz

Among their many collections, the Smithsonian houses the The National Museum of American History Archives, which documents America's popular music tradition. It holds the Duke Ellington Collection and several other music collections that you can find described on the Archive's website including The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music containing images, music, and lyrics of American life and culture between 1790 and the 1980s.

The Institute of Jazz Studies

Billed as the world's foremost jazz archive and research facility. Part of Rutgers University Libraries. It was founded in 1952 by Marshall Stearns, a pioneer jazz scholar. In 1966, Rutgers was chosen as the collection's permanent academic home. The Institute is used by students from Rutgers and other institutions, teachers, scholars, authors, independent researchers, musicians, the media, record companies, libraries and other archives, and arts agencies.

The Journal of Jazz Studies

The Journal of Jazz Studies (JJS), formerly the print journal Annual Review of Jazz Studies, is an open-access online journal, which is peer reviewed and published by the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers. Addressed to specialists and fans alike, JJS provides a forum for the ever-expanding range and depth of jazz scholarship, from technical analyses to oral history to bibliography to cultural interpretation.

The University of Idaho International Jazz Collection

The International Jazz Collections boasts world class jazz history archival and artifact collections of many great Jazz artists and critics, including complete collections of Lionel Hampton, Conte and Pete Candoli, and Leonard Feather, as well as partial collections of artists like Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, and Stan Kenton.

Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane

The Hogan Jazz Archive is the leading research center for the study of New Orleans jazz and related musical genres, including New Orleans ragtime, gospel, blues, rhythm and blues, and Creole songs. Among its holdings are 2,000 reels of oral history interviews with musicians, family members, and observers that document the stories surrounding the emergence of jazz in New Orleans from the late 19th century forward. Other holdings include sound recordings, film, photography, sheet music, personal papers, records of the American Federation of Musicians local 174-496, ephemera, and realia. Many Hogan Jazz Archive Oral Histories are available streaming online.

Hamilton College Jazz Archive

Established in 1995, the Fillius Jazz Archive holds a collection of videotaped interviews with jazz musicians, arrangers, writers and critics. The collection generally focuses on artists associated with mainstream jazz and the swing era. Former members of bands led by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton and the Dorsey brothers are well represented. Significant soloists and arrangers from small ensembles dating from the 1930s have also been interviewed.

Jazz Studies Online

Jazz Studies Online is sponsored by the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. Their website offers a wide range of digital resources - journal articles, book chapters, magazines, teaching materials, talks, internet links, and performances. You can browse by era, outside resources, Jazz by Geography, Jazz by Style, Jazz by topic, and Resource Type.

Los Angeles Jazz Institute

The Los Angeles Jazz Institute houses and maintains one of the largest jazz archives in the world. All styles and eras are represented with a special emphasis on the preservation and documentation of jazz in Southern California. The Los Angeles Jazz Institute is housed on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. Research requests come from a variety of sources including musicians, scholars, members of the press, teachers, students and members of the general public.

The Chicago Jazz Archive

The Chicago Jazz Archive was founded in 1976 to preserve materials on the birth and early growth of Chicago jazz. Over time, and benefiting from a relationship with the Jazz Institute of Chicago, 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.

The Wolff Jazz Institute

Based at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, The Wolff Jazz Institute includes a million dollar jazz record collection that includes the music of Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn, Billy Eckstein, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Benny Goodman, Willie Mae Thornton, Clark Terry, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk and Glenn Miller, just to name a few.

Stanford Libraries

Houses thousands of items related to the West Coast Jazz Revival that began in San Francisco about 1939. Collections include the Monterey Jazz Festival Collection, the Riverwalk Jazz Collection, the Jim Cullum Jazz Collection, and more.

Stan Kenton Collection

Housed at the University of North Texas, the collection contains Kenton's entire orchestra library, which has more than 2000 manuscripts, representing arrangers like Bill Holman, Pete Rugolo, Robert Graettinger, and Bill Russo.

Jazz Journals

Current Research in Jazz

Online open access journal designed to publish peer-reviewed articles of original jazz research and provides an outlet for detailed writing about jazz that is rooted in scholarly rigor and is not compromised by commercial interests.

Social Media Groups

Jazz Research at BCU

An interdisciplinary research cluster for Jazz studies, based at Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom. (Facebook)

JEN Jazz Research Interest Group

Brings together news, opportunities, and resources for the jazz research community and functions as a communication tool for the Jazz Education Network Jazz Research Interest Group. (Facebook)

Jazz Educators, Researchers and Historians

A group associated with the New England Jazz History Database that specifically highlights information for educators, researchers and historians.

Discographies

Jazz Discography Project

Has an impressive collection of discographies of jazz and other popular genres, as well as discographies by record label

Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation

Comprehensive Ella Fitzgerald discography, as well as list of museums that feature Fitzgerald.

J-Disc  

J-Disc is a discography resource created by the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. A  searchable online database with editing and commentary by noted jazz scholars.

JazzDiscography.com

Another large collection of jazz discographies. These were compiled using the BRIAN application, which is a relational database application for compiling standard discography information. It is named after Brian Rust, who perfected the chronological recording session format for print discographies. BRIAN tracks every aspect of a record date, from sidemen to songs to composers to issues. All pieces of data are instantly cross-referenced and searchable.

Jazz Solo Transcriptions

Saxopedia

This page lists 1,780 solo transcriptions that are available somewhere on the Internet. The list also includes solos for flute, clarinet and EWI.

Free Jazz Institute

An impressive list of solo transcriptions by numerous jazz artists, including Latin jazz artists and more contemporary artists like Pat Metheny and Avishai Cohen.