National Jazz Archive January Newsletter

Simon Spillett Quartet: 11 February
The Simon Spillett Quartet is playing a fund-raising concert for the National Jazz Archive on the afternoon of Saturday 11 February in Loughton, Essex.

Simon Spillett is a highly respected tenor saxophonist who plays in a wide range of groups, and leads his own quartet. He has researched and written extensively about the great British tenor sax player Tubby Hayes, including a widely praised biography ‘The Long Shadow of the Little Giant’. He has recently received the British Jazz Award for ‘Services to British Jazz’.

Simon’s all-star quartet features three other wonderful musicians – John Critchinson, piano, Alec Dankworth, double bass, and Clark Tracey, drums. Alec and Clark were also award winners in the 2016 British Jazz Awards in their respective categories. John Critchinson has had a distinguished career playing with leading jazz groups and now leads the Ronnie Scott Legacy band.

This concert is one of a series in 2017 to raise funds to support the Archive.

Simon said: “It’s a pleasure to bring my quartet to play at Loughton to help raise funds for the National Jazz Archive. It’s a wonderful resource for everyone interested in the history and development of jazz in this country.”

The concert is at Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB, and starts at 2.30pm (doors open 1.30pm). Tickets cost £15.

The Jazz Archive needs you…
We are looking for new trustees to join the board and to help manage the Archive. In particular, we are seeking trustees with experience of archives and collection management, volunteer recruitment and management, fundraising and IT.

Applicants will ideally have an understanding of archives, jazz and/or cultural heritage. You will have experience of team-working, an understanding of operational issues and a willingness to be hands-on to resolve challenges. Trustees usually meet four times a year, and take an active role in our subgroups and support NJA events and activities.

Full details can be downloaded here. Applications should be submitted by 10 February 2017.

NJA financial statement 
The report and financial statement for the National Jazz Archive for the year ended 31 March 2016 are now available upon request.

Gems from the Archive – Dave Shepherd
This gem celebrates the great jazz clarinettist, good friend and supporter of the Archive, Dave Shepherd, sad news of whose passing at the age of 87 has recently been announced.

Dave’s long, illustrious career was detailed in an article by Ray Crick in 2014. There were many high spots. In 1953 he began a long association with the great trumpet player Freddy Randall, and performed with his band over many years. He can be heard with Freddy on the CD issued by Fellside Recordings on the Lake label Freddie Randall – Before & After.

In 1958 he was in a group lead by Dill Jones on Norman Granz’ ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’ tour, starring Roy Eldridge, Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, the Oscar Peterson Trio and Ella Fitzgerald. Dave was playing rightly alongside jazz royalty. The programme for the tour is  in the Archive and can be viewed here.

Dave was often billed as Britain’s answer to Benny Goodman. It was reported that Goodman himself once said: “He plays more like me than I do”. His performance with Teddy Wilson at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1973 can be heard here: A Fellside recording with Teddy is available here.

More recently, Dave performed with his friend and founder of the Archive, Digby Fairweather, in a variety of line-ups. Digby described him as “the most polished jazz clarinettist of post-war Britain”.

In 2014, the Archive had the privilege of acknowledging Dave Shepherd’s contribution to jazz by arranging for a Blue Plaque to be placed on his family home in Walthamstow. In turn, Dave generously performed with his quintet at a benefit for the Archive – photos of the concert are here. On the day he proved that not only was he a magnificent clarinettist but a really nice guy too.

Images courtesy: Fellside Recordings Ltd, Mike Rose, National Jazz Archive, Ray Crick’s Jazz Profile: Copyright© Ray Crick September 2014

Say it with music – youth jazz sessions at Essex clubs
Youth jazz groups are playing at three clubs in Essex at the end of February, as part of the Archive’s HLF Inter-generational Jazz Reminiscence project. All are welcome to these free sessions.

The Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra, led by Martin Hathaway, is at ColchesterJazz Club on Sunday 19 February, and Hornchurch Jazz Club on Sunday 26 February.

The National Youth Jazz Collective, featuring the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2016, Alexandra Ridout, is at Southend Jazz Club on Monday 27 February.

There will also be the chance to see displays of archive material from the Project, showing how different generations have invested in and celebrated jazz.

Read more.

The photo of the Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra is by Roy Strutt (

Putting jazz & memories into print – 11 March
Join Ann Cotterrell from Northway Books as she shares insights and anecdotes to illustrate the joys and pitfalls of publishing. 
Ann has published a wide-ranging list of biographies, critical studies and jazz histories. The talk will focus on Northway’s experience as a small publisher, including advice for authors on approaching a publisher and self-publishing, linked to jazz but not exclusively on a jazz theme. The advice will include aspects of editing, design, production, distribution and new media.

The talk is at the Archive in Loughton Library, and forms part of the Essex Book Festival. It will be accompanied by a display from the National Jazz Archive’s extensive collections.

The event will be chaired by Nick Clarke, a trustee of the National Jazz Archive. Tickets cost £7, £5 (27yrs and under), and are available from the Festival box office, Mercury Theatre 01206 573948, or online.

The Essex Book Festival takes place throughout the county during March, with no fewer than 90 events at 45 venues, and 200 writers and artists!

Listening to jazz in the digital age
Save the date! 13 May
Stuart Nicholson will explore how we listen to music in general, and jazz in particular, in the new digital world, and how new technology is changing the experience. Stuart is an award-winning music journalist and author who has written seven books on jazz which have been translated into 13 languages. He is visiting professor at Leeds College of Music and a patron of the Archive.

His talk will be in the Archive in Loughton Library, beginning at 2.30pm, price £5. Booking details will be available soon.

It forms part of the Loughton Festival. The entire festival is organised by volunteers and this year the events will be used to raise money for Loughton Youth Project and Essex Air Ambulance.

The photo of Stuart Nicholson is by Jan Granlie.

30 years of Jazz Heritage in Wales
Read about another successful year for Jazz Heritage Wales and their exhibition ‘How jazz came to Wales’ at Swansea Museum, with over 44,000 visitors. The annual report looks back at the 30 year history of the organisation and a terrific range of activities over the past year.
Read more about Jazz Heritage Wales here.

Sell your vinyl and CDs & support NJA 
Are your beloved vinyl records and CDs just collecting dust? Have you replaced all those treasured tracks with MP3 downloads?

Read more about how your record collection can benefit the work and continued development of the Archive.

Since 2007, Rabbit Records has been working with the National Jazz Archive to help people to donate or dispose of their collections of vinyl records and CDs.
Rabbit Records are happy to discuss and handle collections both large and small, ranging from a couple of boxes up to major collections. Arrangements may be made for a personal collection service from your home or office.

To discuss your requirements simply contact Scott Nicol at Rabbit Records on 07710 794896 or e-mail [email protected]

Websites you may have missed – National Youth Jazz Collective
The National Youth Jazz Collective is a vibrant National Youth Music Organisation that supports the creative and educational needs of the young jazz musician. NYJC focuses on small group improvisation and creates a pathway of progression designed to support young jazz musicians from beginner to emerging professionals.

NYJC runs an annual summer school. The final concert features groups of young musicians playing sets before an appreciative audience. Videos of five sets at the concert can all be viewed via the NYJC website – the future of our music is in good hands!

The National Jazz Archive was founded by trumpeter Digby Fairweather in 1988 and is supported by Essex County Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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Copyright © 2017 National Jazz Archive, All rights reserved.
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National Jazz Archive
Loughton Library
Traps Hill
LoughtonIG10 1HD
United Kingdom




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