The Jazz Centre UK

 WELCOME TO 

 THE JAZZ CENTRE UK 

EXPLORE OUR DEPARTMENTS

Click a tile below to explore each department:

Louis Armstrong Special Trumpet

HERITAGE CENTRE

Our Heritage Centre includes unmissable items such as Louis Armstrong's Trumpet, The National Humphrey Lyttelton Collection and more...

Vasillis Xenopoulos

LIVE EVENTS

We have weekly live events at The Jazz Centre UK including live music, talks, lectures and workshops.

Record Collection

MEDIA CENTRE

Our Media Centre is the home to our 6500 jazz vinyl records, rare audio recordings, movies, lectures and workshops.

Laura Jurd Workshop

WORKSHOPS

Are you a musician? Find out more about our workshops and masterclasses.

Research Centre

RESEARCH CENTRE

Our Research Centre contains specialist collections of jazz periodical, book and artefacts. 

Dame Cleo Laine Painting Eyes

ART GALLERY

We have local, national and internationally recognized jazz artwork an photography on display.

 Situated in The Beecroft Art Gallery, Essex, The Jazz Centre (UK) celebrates the music’s heritage, art and memorabilia and actively supports and promotes contemporary performance and education.

OUR PURPOSE:

“TO PROMOTE, PRESERVE AND CELEBRATE THE CULTURE OF JAZZ IN ALL ITS FORMS”

 

Our current site on Southend's Victoria Avenue includes a performance space, heritage centre, media centre a research centre and a lecture theatre.

 

The Jazz Centre UK is fully wheelchair accessible. Please see our accessibility page for more information. If you have any questions, please get in touch. Our friendly volunteers are happy to help with any queries.

 

 

HOW WE GOT STARTED

Jazz music has existed in some form in the UK since around 1880 but up until now - quite unaccountably - there has never been a national centre to act as the music's flagship in Britain. Only one unsuccessful attempt was made back in 1982 when plans to establish a 'Jazz Centre Society' in London's Covent Garden collapsed four years later. Over thirty years have gone by and in 2015 a proposal to Arts Council England to bring back the idea was greeted by Darren Henley (CEO of Arts Council England) as 'a fantastic project'.

In 1988, our CEO Digby Fairweather founded the National Jazz Archive which holds collections of books, periodicals, posters, photographs and letters. The archive is still flourishing today. In 2015, due to a lack of space, the NJA was unable to expand to take on physical artefacts such as our Humphrey Lyttelton collection - so a hunt for a new space began.

Our project began within our important heritage artefacts, over-stock from the National Jazz Archive and other collections curated by our founders. We created an 'Aladdin's cave' of Jazz Heritage within the small room provided by Southend Borough Council.

 

It was at this point we realised that there had never been a flagship cultural centre for the art form in the UK - as opposed to the Cecil Sharp House for Folk Music. We took the opportunity to establish a cultural centre for the craft that applies to performance, art, dance, its heritage, sound and more. 

 

We founded The Jazz Centre (UK) in January 2016 with the aim to promote, preserve and celebrate the culture of jazz. With great support from the public, our patrons and funding bodies, we have managed to expand our collections, activities and premises year-on-year. Our premise now extends the entire lower floor of The Beecroft Art Gallery.

 

Volunteer Team from Pixabay
The Jazz Centre UK

 FIND OUT ABOUTOUR PATRONS 

SIR MICHAEL PARKINSON

PATRON

"It's been a long time coming, but such good news - and well deserved"

MEET THE TEAM THAT PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

CEO

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ALERTS!

CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19

The Jazz Centre UK is still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please email us at enquiries@thejazzcentreuk.co.uk if you wish to become a volunteer or have any queries!

Magnifying Glass

SITE SEARCH

ASSOCIATIONS

The Jazz Centre (UK) 

Beecroft Art Gallery

Victoria Ave

Southend-on-Sea

SS2 6EX, UK

Opening Times

Temporarily closed

Phone: +44 1702 215169

Email: enquiries@thejazzcentreuk.co.uk

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