Happy Birthday Chris Potter

Every generation has its saxophone heroes in jazz: Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane all continue to inspire players in every style on just about every instrument. One of the great saxophonists and multi-instrumentalists of this generation is the Chicago-born, Columbia, South Carolina-raised Chris Potter. For the past three decades he’s been drawing […]

Two Weeks and Some Change: Upcoming Events at the Library of Congress

You can’t beat the next two weeks of Concerts from the Library of Congress programming, during which we will offer eight musical experiences that showcase a breadth of artistry and perspectives. Here’s a quick run-down so you can make your plans: Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7pm Montpelier Room, Madison Building “Diversity and the Birth of […]

Allen Toussaint’s Treasures Found in L.A. Swapmeet

In 2007, the Library presented back-to-back concerts with two quintessential New Orleans pianists Henry Butler and Allen Toussaint. Mr. Toussaint was in the news recently because his legacy studio recordings, long thought lost in the flood from Hurricane Katrina, turned up at a swap meet in Torrance, California. Toussaint wrote, arranged and produced many hits […]

Aaron Diehl’s Jazz Scholar residency at the Library of Congress

The following is a guest post by Library of Congress Jazz Scholar Aaron Diehl My visit to the Library of Congress in March was not my first introduction to its collections. In late 2016, jazz curator Larry Appelbaum kindly welcomed me to the Library in advance of a program I was creating featuring the music […]

Finding Strayhorn: Reflections from Chris Potter

The following is a guest post from saxophonist Chris Potter, who participated in the Music Division’s Finding Strayhorn discussion panel on June 12, 2019. My visit to the Library of Congress fortunately coincided with the announcement that the Billy Strayhorn Music Manuscripts and Estate Papers are now available for the public to study. I was […]

Announcing New Acquisition: The Billy Strayhorn Collection

In January of 2017, I traveled to a suburb outside of Phoenix, Arizona to meet Dr. Gregory Morris and family. Morris is the nephew of Billy Strayhorn and Executor of the Billy Strayhorn Estate. Dr. Morris, a retired educator originally from Pittsburgh, kept the collection in safe hands for nearly five decades. The papers, including […]

Happy Birthday Billy!

A deep bow of respect for pianist, composer, bandleader and jazz activist Billy Taylor on what would be his 97th birthday. He was born in North Carolina but grew up in Washington, D.C. and studied with Henry Grant, who taught Duke Ellington a generation before. After moving to New York Taylor began working and recording […]

Happy Birthday, Peter Ind!

British bassist Peter Ind turns 90 today, and we have fond memories of his visit to the Performing Arts Reading Room in 2009. Ind is an important jazz double bassist and record producer who studied with Tim Bell and James Merrett and became a professional musician in 1947. I was anxious to talk to him […]