National Jazz Archive’s 25th anniversary

The National Jazz Archive celebrates its 25th anniversary this November with a festival featuring the Dankworth ‘Dynasty’: Cleo, Jacqui and Alec

The National Jazz Archive, set up by Digby Fairweather in 1988 to “inspire and share the story of British Jazz”, celebrates its 25th anniversary this November. To mark the occasion, a mini festival will be held at Loughton Methodist Church, Essex featuring the Dankworth family (Cleo Laine - pictured right - Jacqui Dankworth and Alec Dankworth) and “100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes”, led by Richard Pite (pictured below).

Dame Cleo Laine along with daughter Jacqui and son Alec will perform a one-off concert on Thursday 28 November at 8pm. They will be joined by James Pearson (house pianist and musical director at Ronnie Scott's), Andy Panayi (winner of the John Dankworth Soloist Award), Jim Hart (2013 British Jazz Award winner) and Gordon Campbell (lead trombonist of the BBC Big Band).

The celebrations continue on Friday 29 November at 8pm with Richard Pite’s popular show spanning the history of jazz, “100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes”. In 99 minutes six musicians explore jazz from its beginnings in ragtime to the present day, making stops at swing, be-bop, Latin and cool along the way.

Tickets are £20 for the Dankworth concert and £15 for 100 Years of Jazz, or a discounted ticket for both concerts can be purchased for £32. You can buy tickets by emailing, calling 020 8502 8988 (except Thursdays) or visiting the Archive in person on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday morning between 10am and 1pm.

The National Jazz Archive acts as a research centre for the history of jazz in the UK. Based in Loughton Library, its holdings include books, periodicals and journals, photographs, personal papers, and other ephemera.

You can find out more about the National Jazz Archive at

Sally Evans-Darby

Photo of Richard Pite by Brian O'Connor

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