“Women in Jazz” Exhibition Opens in London

A new exhibition, “Women in Jazz: A Celebration of the Past Present and Future,” opened on October 16 in the Barbican Library, London, U.K. It will run through December 31 and is described on the Barbican Library website as “a musical and social survey of the rich contribution women have made to jazz over the last 100 years and of the talented upcoming generation who herald an exciting new era.”

The free exhibition draws on the rich resources of the National Jazz Archive, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Founded in 1988 by trumpeter Digby Fairweather, the archive holds the U.K.’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from the ’20s to the present day.

“Women in Jazz” will pay particular attention to instrumentalists with photos, posters, journals, videos and memorabilia. “Singers such as Ella, Billie, Nina and Cleo are household names, but many star women players and pioneers have been sadly neglected and deserve to be rediscovered,” says National Jazz Archive chair Paul Kaufman in an official statement. “So the exhibition will pay particular attention to instrumentalists, such as Valaida Snow, Marian McPartland, Kathy Stobart and Deidre Cartwright. The Archive is as much about the future as it is about the past, so it is important to us that the current crop of trailblazing female artists is also featured.”

This will be the third National Jazz Archive exhibition presented at the Barbican Library, the vibrant library of London’s Barbican Centre. “I’m sure it will be of great interest not only to jazz enthusiasts but also to people interested in exploring the changing role of women in the arts,” says Barbican Music Librarian Richard Jones. Click here for more information.

Featured photo credit: National Jazz Archive

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