JAZZ HERITAGE CENTRE
The Jazz Centre UK promotes, preserves and celebrates the culture of jazz. We hold rare and national heritage collections of some of the key musicians of British Jazz and around the world. Our Heritage Centre offers the chance to see Louis Armstrong's very own 'Special' trumpet; the collections of 'Britain's Godfather of Jazz' Humphrey Lyttelton and the first piano of Britain's first jazz Knight Sir John Dankworth.
PROTECTING BRITISH JAZZ
We founded The Jazz Centre UK with the aim to preserve the history of jazz culture in the UK, promote the current British jazz scene and open opportunities for future musicians.
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.
We often have lectures and events around our acquisitions and Jazz Heritage. Past events include talks by Peter Vacher, Bob Sinfield and Digby Fairweather. Find out more about our upcoming talks and lectures on our events page.
None of what we do is possible without your help. We would not be where we are today without public donations, and historic artefacts such as Sir John Dankworth's piano and much of Humphrey Lyttelton's heritage would have been lost forever.
Would you like to help our organisation grow? If you live local to Southend-on-Sea and have a passion for jazz, we invite you to volunteer!
If not, explore our 'Help us' page to find out other ways you can help our centre.
OUR KEY COLLECTIONS
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). Find out more about some of our key heritage collections below: