Library of Congress To Open “Jazz Singers” Exhibition

The exhibition, “offers perspectives on the art of vocal jazz, featuring singers and song stylists from the 1920s to the present,” will open on Feb. 11 in the Performing Arts Reading Room Foyer on the first level of the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It closes on July 23, 2016.

According to the press release, “Rare video clips, photographic portraits, candid snapshots, musical scores, personal notes, correspondence, drawings and watercolors will reveal the sometimes exuberant, sometimes painful, but always vibrant art and life of jazz singers.” The materials are drawn mainly from the Library of Congress Music Division’s collections, including the photographs of William P. Gottlieb and the papers of Max Roach, Chet Baker and Shirley Horn. Additional items are from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division and American Folklife Center.

Highlights of “Jazz Singers” include a letter from Jelly Roll Morton to Alan Lomax; a Chet Baker suicide note; a rarely seen Romare Bearden sketch; a handwritten letter from Mary Lou Williams to Carmen McRae suggesting songs she might like to record; a holograph score by Gil Evans written for Helen Merrill; and film and television clips with Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmy Rushing, Luciana Souza and others.

The curator of the exhibition is Larry Appelbaum, senior music reference specialist in the Music Division at the Library of Congress, and the exhibition director is Betsy Nahum-Miller, a senior exhibit director in the Library’s Interpretive Programs Office. An online version of the exhibition will be available on the opening date at Library of Congress/Exhibits.
via JazzTimes