National Jazz Museum in Harlem

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
Established 1995
Location 104 East 126th Street
Harlem, New York City, New York 10035
Director Interim Executive director Bill Terry
Artistic Director Loren Schoenberg
Associate Artistic Director Jonathan Batiste
Artistic Advisor Christian McBride[1]

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is New York City's museum dedicated to preservation and celebration of Harlem's jazz history. The idea for the museum was conceived in 1995. It moved to its current location in the Harlem neighborhood in 2001. Based at 104 East 126th Street, the museum emphasizes the role Harlem has played in the nurturing and cultivation of jazz as a home to legends such as Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Count Basie, John Coltrane, and Billie Holiday.

The museum plans to move into a permanent location at Mart 125, an Upper Manhattan landmark right across from the historic Apollo Theatre.

Programs and exhibits

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's Visitors Center features exhibits such as "The Ghosts of Harlem" by American music producer, photographer, author, and museum board member Hank O'Neal. The show includes images of Harlem jazz legends that O'Neal had the chance to interview and photograph for his book of the same name. The Visitors Center also houses books, recordings, and documentaries for guests to enjoy as well as photographs of contemporary jazz musicians by Richard Conde. The museum hosts weekly programs such as the Harlem Speaks lecture series and Jazz for Curious Listeners sessions in which jazz novices and experts alike listen and learn about rare jazz recordings. The museum hosts events and programs at jazz venues and other museums such as the Rubin Museum of Art for the Harlem in the Himalayas concert series.

The Savory Collection

In August 2010 The National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired nearly 1,000 discs of recorded radio broadcasts made by audio engineer William Savory in the midst of the swing era in the 1930s. The collection includes performances by jazz luminaries such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Benny Goodman. Savory had access to bigger, slower-playing aluminum and acetate records and he was able to record much longer clips, capturing extended live shows and jam sessions that many thought would be lost forever. The recordings are being digitized by Brooklyn-based recording engineer Doug Pomeroy, a specialist in audio restoration. The transformation involves cleaning, correcting pitch, removing extraneous noise, mixing and mastering. The Savory Collection has yet to be made public for legal reasons but curious listeners can attend listening sessions at the museum or make appointments to hear the recordings.

Board of Directors[2]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "The Jazz Museum in Harlem: Staff & Board". Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  • "The National Jazz Museum in Harlem". Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  • Simon Jay Harper (30 August 2010). "The National Jazz Museum In Harlem". All About Jazz. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  • "National Jazz Museum in Harlem Acquires Long-Lost Collection: Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday & More". All About Jazz. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  • Larry Rohter (16 August 2010). "Museum Acquires Storied Trove of Performances by Jazz Greats". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  • "National Jazz Museum in Harlem". Harlem One Stop. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  • Lee Mergner (8 September 2010). "National Jazz Museum in Harlem Acquires Vintage Collection". Retrieved 5 July 2012.