New jazz in Britain exhibition from the NJA

A new exhibition in London devised by the National Jazz Archive explores the cultural and social impact of jazz in Britain from 1919-1950

The National Jazz Archive will host a new jazz exhibition from 6 March to 29 April, titled “All That Jazz: The Golden Age of British Popular Music 1919-1950”, exploring the social and cultural impact of jazz on British life during the first half of the twentieth century.

The exhibition will showcase unique original memorabilia from the period including posters, programmes and photos relating to The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Humphrey Lyttelton and Glenn Miller.

Jazz during Second World War will also be explored in exhibits on a machine-gun maker who formed one of the country’s best-loved jazz bands and on the bombing of London’s Café de Paris in 1941, where bandleader Ken “Snakehips” Johnson died.

Photos will also be on show from the personal collections of the late jazz writer Jim Godbolt and trad pianist George Webb, whose Dixielanders are pictured above right on board a “riverboat shuffle” on the Thames in 1945. The personal collection of clarinettist Cy Laurie (pictured left) will also be on display.

The exhibition will be at the Barbican Music Library from 6 March to 29 April, with opening times as follows: Mon, Wed: 9.30am–5.30pm; Tue, Thu: 9.30am–7.30pm; Fri: 9.30am–2pm; Sat: 9.30am–4pm; Sun: Closed.

There will also be an opportunity to handle the archive material itself on Tuesday evenings (free and no need to book) throughout the exhibition period.

The National Jazz Archive was founded in 1988 by Digby Fairweather and aims to safeguard the cultural heritage of jazz for future enthusiasts, professionals and researchers. Find out more at

Sally Evans-Darby

Relax with the luxurious print edition of Jazz Journal and enjoy more jazz news, reviews, features and debate.

post a comment