Dick Vacca is a recognized expert on the history of jazz in Boston, with a special focus on the 1940s and 1950s.
His creative research techniques have uncovered some highly prized materials which were at risk of permanent loss. With a heavy emphasis on primary source material, Dick's forthcoming book promises to be a rich resource for scholars, historians and the casual jazz fan. Topics include Boston based artist profiles, popular and historically significant venues, and the roles of educators, journalists, and entrepreneurs in building the Boston scene.
Jazz writer and historian Nat Hentoff wrote in Jazz Times Magazine that "Boston jazz historian, Richard Vacca, is working on a book that will be the first comprehensive history of Boston as a major presence in the story of jazz".
Dick Vacca has contributed several well researched articles to the jazzboston.org web site. He served for many years as web master for the New England Jazz Alliance and contributed regularly to their publication "Quarter Notes".
In addition to his many publications, Dick presents multi-media lectures on Boston's jazz history, which include rare recordings (he is an avid collector) and an amazing array of photos.
Some popular topics include Boston Big Bands, the beginnings of Bebop in Boston and an extraordinary lecture called "From Savoy to Storyville: Boston in the 40s and 50s". According to the web site called "Let's Call This…" , Dick's lecture "…discussed Boston's jazz history – at a time when downtown was littered with dance halls with jazz big bands, with no dancing allowed on Sundays, of course. Weaving a story through some of the biggest little names in the world of jazz, Vacca opened up a world of Sabby Lewis, Sandy and the Rhythm Kings, Herb Pomeroy, and others that I'm hoping to explore soon. He told of Ace Recording and legendary venues that reminded me that I was probably born in the wrong generation of music."
Falco, Richard. Personal Telephone Interview. 22 November 2011.
Falco, Richard. Personal Interview. 7 December 2011.
Hentoff, Nat. "JazzBoston: Creating New Jazz Generations." Jazz Times October 2011: 72.
Hentoff, Nat. At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2010.