The Jazz Centre (UK), also referred to as The Jazz Centre UK or TJCUK, situated in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, celebrates jazz music’s heritage, and actively supports and promotes contemporary performance and education. The charity (No: 1167421) was registered in 2016 and founded by musician, broadcaster and writer Digby Fairweather. The organisation’s mission stated on the Charity Commission website is “To preserve promote and celebrate the art of jazz music in all its forms”.
The Jazz Centre (UK) is located on the lower floor of the Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend-on-Sea’s Victoria Avenue. It includes a walk-through history of jazz feature, a heritage museum, a performance space, research facilities, a media room, a cinema/lecture theatre and a retail outlet for jazz books and records. The Jazz Centre (UK) is fully wheelchair accessible.
The project is supported by Southend City Council and Anna Firth MP, and its patrons include Dame Cleo Laine, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Van Morrison, Paul Jones, Jools Holland, Charlie Watts, Dan Morgenstern, Simon Spillett, Susan Da Costa and Alan Barnes. The National Lottery Heritage fund awarded the Centre grants in 2017 and 2019 and it continues to attract support from public and corporate donations.
TO PRESERVE, PROMOTE AND CELEBRATE THE ART OF JAZZ IN ALL ITS FORMS.
TO PROMOTE JAZZ
One of the core aims of The Jazz Centre UK is to promote the art form across Music, Dance, Art and the surrounding culture. On a day-to-day operational level our organisation actively promote Jazz via our regular stream of live events, the publication of a quarterly newsletter, supporting networking channels and educational activities.
We apply for arts and cultural grants to support and promote contemporary jazz performance and education. We have run projects with local schools, colleges and universities, providing them with workshops, research resources and a platform to perform and present work.
Please sign up to our newsletter, Centrepiece, to stay up-to-date with all the latest charity news to how we continue to support the genre.
We founded The Jazz Centre UK with the aim to preserve the history of jazz music and its culture in the UK. This motivation started when we acquired the Humphrey Lyttelton Collection in 2016. We recognised that no other organisation exists within the UK with the aim to wholly protect the heritage of jazz music and its culture. Jazz has had a strong presence in Britain for over 100 years and we feel it is important that this huge part of British culture is valued, represented and its history is protected.
We ensure our collections are properly looked after. Our volunteers work hard to ensure our collections are well presented within our centre and when necessary, we hire specialists to repair and restore our artefacts.
Our heritage acquisitions already include the instruments of jazz legends (Louis Armstrong’s ‘Special’ trumpet and Sir John Dankworth’s first piano) and the complete Archives of British jazz’s most eloquent and well-remembered spokesman Humphrey Lyttelton – his desk, his instruments, eight decades of his scrapbooks and private correspondence (donated by son Stephen Lyttelton) and his lifetime of achievements and music awards (donated by Eton College).
Visit our 'how we got started' page to learn more about the motivations behind how The Jazz Centre UK was formed.
TO PRESERVE JAZZ
TO CELEBRATE JAZZ IN ALL ITS FORMS
Over and above the large festive events we hold, the celebration of Jazz and its culture is at the heart of every activity we accomplish.
For over a century Jazz music has had a huge influence on the culture of the UK. You can hear and view its influence in popular music, film, television, fashion, video games, art and much more. Even in contemporary times, we are observing new microcosms of the genre established within the London and northern 'jazz scenes' exasperating new thoughts, sounds and opinions; redefining what jazz is and means.
At The Jazz Centre UK, we aim to celebrate Jazz in all its forms reflecting the historic and the contemporary values of the music held by its community.
Please see our events listing to view all our upcoming events and activities.
WHAT IS THE JAZZ CENTRE UK?
ADVOCACY FOR NEW MUSIC
A FUTURE PARTNER?
WORK WITH US
We are actively applying for project funding and expanding our organisation. Since launching the Charity in 2016 we have grown year-on-year gaining experience completing grants for the National Lottery Heritage Fund, run stages for Village Green Festival, work with schools, colleges, universities and music organisations such as the National Youth Jazz Collective.
Our short term aims include:
Re-launch Centre post COVID-19 pandemic
Complete pre-committed projects
Build organisation infrastructure.
Expand our relationship with Southend-Borough Council.
Create opportunities for business development.
Continue to support musicians with live events, networking, workshops and resources.
Introduction of more Live streamed activity.
If you feel there are opportunities where you could work with us to help complete these goals or would like to volunteer for our organisation please get in touch.
JOIN US, BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Do you love Jazz? Are you located in south Essex? We are looking for volunteers to help push our organisation forward. Visit our volunteering page to find out more about the different areas of the organisation you can get involved with and register using our simple contact form.
DONATE TO OUR CHARITY
The Jazz Centre UK (CN. 1167421) is a volunteer let organisation that is completely supported by public support and grant funding. None of what we do is possible without your help.
Historic artefacts such as Sir John Dankworth’s piano and much of Humphrey Lyttelton’s heritage would have been lost forever. We actively increase accessibility to jazz music for all via free admission workshops, free admission events and provide study resources to students, researchers and musicians via our research and media centres.
Please donate to help keep our live events and activities funded; keep our museum open and our educational resources free to students.