Opened in February 2016 and registered as a Charity (Charity Number: 1167421) 'The Jazz Centre (UK)' both celebrates the music's heritage, art and memorabilia and actively supports and promotes contemporary performance and education.
Its aim: "To Promote, Preserve and Celebrate the Culture of Jazz in all its forms."
Its current site in the Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend's Victoria Avenue (measuring c. 4000 square feet) includes a performance space, Heritage Centre, a Research Centre, Media Centre and a cinema/lecture theatre.
Its facilities include full internet access; private screens for film study; multi-format audio facilities for music study; a large book and periodical research collection; a large jazz vinyl research collection; a retail section for jazz vinyl, CD, books, tea and coffee.
Our ‘Jazz Heritage Centre includes the instruments of jazz legends including Louis Armstrong's 'Special' trumpet, Sir John Dankworth's first piano, Ronnie Scott's personal music tote bag, a Spike Robinson collection, instruments from Jimmy Skidmore and the national collection of British jazz's most eloquent and well-remembered spokesman Humphrey Lyttelton.
The Jazz Centre UK was founded by Digby Fairweather in 2016. Digby is also Founder/lifelong Patron of the National Jazz Archive (l988) and is supported by a Board of Trustees who are involved in the development of the Centre’s growth strategy as well as an ever growing team of volunteers who are involved in the day to day implementation of its programme of events and workshops. He also enjoys the support of a team of 30 volunteers.
The current Trustees:
Mark Kass (CEO)
Visit our 'Meet the Team' page to find out more about our Trustees.
In addition, since its inception, the Jazz Centre UK has recruited an impressive array of Patrons including:
Dame Cleo Laine
Sir Michael Parkinson
Sir Van Morrison
Susan da Costa
The Jazz Centre UK is supported by Southend Borough Council and the Heritage Fund.