100 Years of Jazz in Britain

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100 years of jazz

To celebrate 100 years of jazz in Britain, the Department of Music will be presenting a wide-ranging series of events based on the research of Professor Catherine Tackley, noted jazz scholar and Head of Department.

2019 marks the centenary of the arrival of two groups that brought jazz to public attention in Britain: the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and the Southern Syncopated Orchestra. Both of these bands landed in Liverpool.

“This period of British jazz and popular music history is relatively under appreciated”, explained Professor Tackley. “Jazz is currently experiencing a resurgence in the UK, as evidenced by a number of recent features in the broadsheets. But jazz has a long history in this country – often arriving via the port of Liverpool it had a huge and immediate impact on British musicians, artists and audiences – particularly dancers.”

On 31st March, a celebratory event at the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool – in association with Parr Jazz – will feature performances of early jazz from local band the Jubilee Stompers, while Professor Tackley will tell the stories of these groups and explore their impact on British popular culture. The event is free to attend and suitable for the whole family, and places can be booked now via Eventbrite.

Further events are planned in London over the summer, with details to be announced shortly. In the meantime, follow the ‘100 Years of Jazz in Britain’ Facebook account for updates and catch Professor Tackley on a brand new BBC Radio 4 series, Black Music in Europe: A Hidden History, from 27th March.