Congratulations Willard Jenkins
NEA Jazz Master!

Willard Jenkins has been a pillar of the Jazz History Database for years, and his treasury of research interviews is one of our most celebrated (and visited!) collections. Jenkins has been named as one of the next class of NEA Jazz Masters—an elite group of accomplished leaders in all phases of Jazz culture.

That surely describes Willard, who continues to work prolifically as a writer, multi-media journalist and producer. (Learn more of the details by visiting the Willard Jenkins JHDb collection here) He has received the NEA Jazz Masters Program’s A.B. Spellman fellowship for Jazz Advocacy.

Jazz History Database Interview of the Month Thelonious Monk David Kidd AJ Juarez

JHDb honors all the Jazz Masters—including dozens who have been subjects of Willard’s interviews; we welcome the latest inductees; and salute especially the great Willard Jenkins. Bravo, maestro, and congratulations on this richly-deserved honor!

Learn more here about Jenkins, the induction ceremony, the Jazz Masters program, and other members of the class of ’24

JHDB Live!

Stanton Davis (1974)

Join us on Zoom every Thursday at 3pm for From the Lab, a weekly get-together that’s open to all. Each week we play and discuss some material that’s being considered, restored, identified in the Falco Lab of the Jazz History Database.

All are welcome—from curious beginners to Jazz experts!

Click here to join the Zoom

Jaki Byard at 100

Pianist Jaki Byard lived three quarters of a century, and we’ve had the last quarter to consider his impact as a keyboard stylist, an influential teacher, and a saxophonist as well. JHDb joins in the festivities celebrating 100-years since Byard’s birth in Worcester, June 15, 1922.
You can join in too:
Click on the images below to hear, see, and learn more.

The JHDB Celebrates Black Women in Jazz

Jazz History Database WPI Black Women in Jazz Debbie Duncan
Debbie Duncan Interview
Professor Rich Falco talking with students before the event
Dee Dee Bridgewater Interview
Jazz History Database WPI Black Women in Jazz Regina Carter
Regina Carter Interview 1, Interview 2
Jazz History Database WPI Black Women in Jazz Marlena Shaw
Marlena Shaw Interview
Jazz History Database WPI Black Women in Jazz Eartha Kitt
Eartha Kitt Interview
Jazz History Database WPI Black Women in Jazz Lenora
Lenora Interview
Jazz History Database WPI Black Women in Jazz Odetta
Odetta Interview

Totem Pole

Although there were more than a hundred ballrooms within driving distance of Boston, MA, the Totem Pole was universally acknowledged as one of the largest and certainly the most elegant.

See the collection here

Interview: Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk with radio host David Kidd

Jazz History Database Interview of the Month Thelonious Monk David Kidd AJ Juarez

Gary Carner: Author and Historian

Gary Carner

Researcher, author, historian Gary Carner has brought forth the latest volume of his work on baritone stylist Pepper Adams. Carner will join us live for a March 10 for a From the Lab session, to discuss his findings and share some great music.

See the collection here

David Kidd

David Kidd

Interviews by David Kidd of WGY Radio in Schenectady, NY

Including Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, Randy Weston, Teo Macero

See the collection here

Gene Perla Audio Collection

Gene Perla Collage

Bassist and recording engineer Gene Perla formed recording and publishing companies in the early 1970’s where he captured many musicians experimenting and jamming in his two NYC loft studios. The unreleased audio recordings (more than 100) offer unique insights into the artistic probing of jazz greats such as Bob Mintzer, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Don Alias, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, Jan Hammer, Billy Cobham, Steve Grossman, Elvin Jones, Joe Farrell, Gene Perla and many others.

See the collection here

In Their Own Voice: Chet Williamson Interviews

Chet Williamson Collage

Award winning and critically acclaimed writer, radio host and jazz performer Chet Williamson has contributed heavily to the JHDB including nearly 100 audio interviews with jazz artists such as Sonny Rollins, Maynard Ferguson, Chick Corea, Jane Ira Bloom, Arturo Sandoval, Pat Metheny, Ingrid Jenson, and Randy Weston.

See the collection here

Willard Jenkins Collection

Willard Jenkins

Willard Jenkins is an independent arts consultant/producer, writer and broadcaster under his Open Sky banner. Mr. Jenkins is a generous contributor to the Jazz History Database.

See the collection here

Washington D.C. Jazz Festival

Oral History Project

Interviewees of the Washinton D.C. Jazz Festival Oral History Project

Brother Ah, Judith Korey, Rusty Hassan and Charles Fishman were interviewed in 2017.

See the collection here

Lorraine Feather Collection

Lyricist/singer Lorraine Feather’s work has been heard on numerous records, in films, and on television. Her words have been sung by Patti Austin, Kenny Rankin, Phyllis Hyman, Jessye Norman, and numerous jazz artists. She was the lyricist for Disney's Dinosaurs, The Jungle Book 2, and The Princess Diaries 2; MGM's All Dogs Go to Heaven and Babes and Toyland; and Hasbro's Candy Land and My Little Pony. Her work as a lyricist has earned her seven Emmy nominations.

Mini Documentaries by Tom Shaker

Artists featured in the documentaries include: Linda Dagnello, Paul Broadnax, Boots Mussulli and Jaki Byard

Partners of the Jazz History Database:

Collection Spotlight: Events

Lennie Tristano Symposium

Lennie Tristano Symposium

The first symposium ever held on the life and impact of legendary pianist Lennie Tristano was hosted at WPI. This video collection includes full panel presentations by Connie Crothers, Bud Tristano, Jimmy Halperin, Harvey Diamond and author Eunmi Shim.

WCUW Jazz Festivals

WCUW Jazz Festivals

Community radio station WCUW, Worcester, MA, sponsored an annual festival that included performances by internationally acclaimed avant-garde jazz artists. This collection offers recordings of concerts from 1978 to 1990. Some of the many highlighted here include Max Roach, Archie Shepp, and Anthony Braxton.


Jazz At Sunset

Held at the EcoTarium in Worcester, Jazz at Sunset occurs on Fridays for six weeks during the summer. This collection contains fliers, articles, and photographs from 1991 to 2009. A partial list of performers includes Eugene Maslov, Luciana Souza, Warren Vache, Maynard Ferguson, Houston Person and Etta Jones.

Contribute your items to the Jazz History Database!
Preserve your materials for future generations

Contact us, or simply upload your materials and we will contact you! Learn more