Allen Toussaint performing at the Library of Congress in 2007. Photo credit: Larry Appelbaum
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 from the Crescent City from the late 1950s-on for Jessie Hill, Ernie K-Doe, Earl King, The Meters and many others. Sam Sweet in the L.A. Times wrote up this fascinating story of found treasures and chose to quote Toussaint from a webcast interview Allen and I had done 12 years ago at the Library. The segment in which he talks about the “lost” recordings begins at 29:45. Sam Sweets’ Los Angeles Times article from August 28, 2019 may be found here.
Toussaint, who passed in 2015, received his New Orleans-styled second-line funeral tribute and his fans all over the world paid their respects to a man whose skills, inspiration and acumen helped celebrate one of the greatest American musical traditions.
In June of 1996, the Library of Congress presented a “Big Band Bash” at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington DC. Over the course of a weekend, it offered a rare opportunity to present concerts by three important L.A.-based jazz composers and their orchestras: Buddy Collette, Gerald Wilson and Benny Carter. Each composer was offered a […]
Concerts from the Library of Congress returns for a 95th season, packed with an impressive and richly diverse roster of more than 95 free events, including concerts, lectures, films, panels, conversations with artists and more. 2019-20 is a year of visionary legacies. In February we begin an adventurous and in-depth Beethoven at 250 festival that […]
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 […]
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 […]
He was only 36 when he died in Berlin in 1964, but the gifted, avant-garde innovator Eric Dolphy (June 20, 1928-June 29, 1964) helped change the landscape for jazz improvisers through his collaborations with John Coltrane, Gunther Schuller, Charles Mingus and his own projects. He was a multi-instrumentalist who found his distinctive voice on alto […]
I’ve known saxophonist-composer Archie Shepp’s work for more than four decades, not only through his body of recordings but from a long interview we did in 1982. When I heard he was coming to Washington to receive his National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award at the Kennedy Center, I wrote him and suggested […]
The following is a guest post by Anne McLean of the Music Division. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop brings the BSO’s talented OrchKids to the Library on Saturday, April 13. Fans of all ages are cordially invited to an afternoon of performances honoring iconic jazz composers Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin and […]
William P Gottlieb was a music journalist and photographer whose byline appeared in The Washington Post, Downbeat and Record Changer from 1938-1948. He taught himself to use a speed graphic camera and began to shoot musicians to illustrate his articles. The Library purchased his collection in 1995 and scanned all his prints and negatives, now […]
Sunday February 3 gives us the opportunity to remember one of the first important songwriters in jazz, Lillian Hardin Armstrong. She was born on that day in 1898 in Memphis and may be best known as Louis Armstrong’s second wife and writer of some of his enduring classics, such as “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue,” which […]