Happy Birthday Abbey!

Today marks the birthday of singer, songwriter, actress, and political activist Abbey Lincoln (Anna Marie Wooldridge August 6, 1930 – August 14, 2010). One of many singers influenced by Billie Holiday, she made her breakthrough in 1956 with her first recording, Abbey Lincoln’s Affair, and her appearance in the film The Girl Can’t Help It. Though she […]

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 […]

R.I.P. Henry Butler [1948-2018]

We were sad to learn earlier this week about the passing of pianist, composer, singer and educator Henry Butler, who lost his struggle with cancer on Monday at the age of 68. I’d seen this blind virtuoso many times over the years but it’s worth remembering two meetings that had the most impact on me […]

Celebrating Bessie Smith: “Empress of the Blues”

It’s International Jazz Day! When our friends from the Prints & Photographs Division let us know that they’d be featuring favorite jazz-related items today on their blog, Picture This, I couldn’t let the day go by without a related post. Of course, the Music Division is home to outstanding jazz collections that document the life […]

Finding Afro-Kola at the Library of Congress

The following is a guest blog by 2016-2017 Library of Congress Jazz Scholar Ingrid Monson. “Finding Afro-Kola at the Library of Congress”  Ingrid Monson, Harvard University 2016-2017 Library of Congress Jazz Scholar For scholars and researchers interested in jazz, a visit to the Music Division of the Library of Congress can be a rewarding improvisation […]

Courage and Improvisation: The Max Roach Papers

The following is a guest blog by 2016-2017 Library of Congress Jazz Scholar Ingrid Monson. “Courage and Improvisation: The Max Roach Papers” Ingrid Monson, Harvard University 2016-2017 Library of Congress Jazz Scholar As I sat going through box after box of the Max Roach Papers in the Music Division at the Library of Congress, the […]

Ella on Her 100th Birthday

  Tomorrow, April 25, marks the one and only Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday. Fitzgerald’s impact on American music is undeniable, and her legacy and influence continue to inspire new generations of artists today. To celebrate the First Lady of Song on her special day, the Library’s Jazz Specialist Larry Appelbaum will give a talk tomorrow […]

Andrew White: “Petey, Me and the Library of Congress”

The following is a guest blog by Andrew N. White III, a participant in the Library’s DC Jazz Project, a component of the 2016-2017 Library of Congress Jazz Scholars program. This program is made possible by the Reva and David Logan Foundation. White delivered a lecture-recital at the Library on November 3, 2016 (a video […]

Protest Songs Roundtable: Civil Rights, Unions, Immigrants and Stonewall

This Thursday the Music Division is pleased to present an engaging roundtable discussion that will examine the role of protest songs from the 1960s in shaping contemporary American culture. This program is part of a series of events at the Library of Congress that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which took […]