THE NATIONAL HUMPHREY LYTTELTON COLLECTION
AT THE JAZZ CENTRE UK
The Jazz Centre UK is proud to hold the complete collection of British jazz’s most eloquent and well-remembered spokesman Humphrey Lyttelton. Our collection includes his Victorian roll-top writing desk and chair, the original copy of his ‘This is Your Life’ book, his instruments, his original master recordings, scrapbooks, private correspondence, his lifetime of achievements and music awards. The collections were donated by his son, Stephen Lyttelton and Band Manager Susan Da Costa for preservation within our Heritage Centre. His music awards were donated by Eton College.
HIS WRITING DESK
THE GODFATHER OF BRITISH JAZZ
FROM HIS BIOGRAPHY
Humphrey Lyttelton (Humph) was descended from a long line of land-owning, political, military, clerical, scholastic and literary forebears. Not a musician among them. He claimed to have most in common with a former Humphrey Lyttelton who was executed for complicity with Guy Fawkes in the Gunpowder plot. He was born on May 23rd, 1921 in Eton College, where his father was a famous housemaster, and where he was subsequently educated. During the war, he served as an officer in the Grenadier Guards and, on demobilisation, studied for two years at Camberwell Arts School.
In 1993 Humph was presented with the Gold Award at the Sony Radio Awards for services to broadcasting and in 1996 with the prestigious Waterford Crystal Award by the Institute of Entertainment and Arts Management for outstanding contributions to the entertainment business. In April 2000 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Post Office British Jazz Awards and, in July 2001 the similar award at the BBC Jazz Awards in The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. In 2008 he was posthumously awarded the Radio 2 Jazz Artist Of The Year award at the BBC Jazz Awards in the Mermaid Theatre, London.
THE HUMPHREY LYTTELTON BAND AT THE JAZZ CENTRE UK
Saturday 20th October will remain a seminal date in the history of The Jazz Centre UK. At 1 pm on that day Sir Michael Parkinson cut a red ribbon and officially declared the whole of the Lower Atrium of the Beecroft Art Gallery as Britain’s first Jazz Heritage Centre. The historic day was rounded off with a performance by the Humphrey Lyttelton Band.
It was a marvel to see the Humphrey Lyttelton Band perform next to the instruments, memorabilia and personal belongings of the late, great Trumpeter. The audience that remembered his career expressed some emotion as the music from his lifetime filled the room.