‘Women in Jazz’ exhibition swings into Barbican Music Library

Jazz legends and upcoming new talent will take centre-stage at Barbican Music Library’s ‘Women in Jazz’ exhibition in October, which celebrates the rich contribution made by female instrumentalists.

The free exhibition (16 October – 31 December), which features photos, posters, journals, video and memorabilia from the National Jazz Archive, will highlight how 20th-century social and political change has played a significant role in women’s growing involvement in jazz.

As well as presenting a musical and social survey of the last 100 years, ‘Women in Jazz’ will also throw the spotlight upon the talented new generation of performers.

Graham Packham, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“’Women in Jazz’ marks the welcome return of the National Jazz Archive to the Barbican Music Library, which has presented two exhibitions here and celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018.

“As well as drawing in the library’s regular users, I am sure that this new exhibition will attract jazz enthusiasts and those interested in exploring the changing role of women in the arts.”

Paul Kaufman, Chairman of the National Jazz Archive, said: “Singers such as Ella, Billie, Nina and Cleo are household names but, unfortunately, many star women players and pioneers have been neglected and deserve to be recognised.

“This exhibition will pay particular attention to instrumentalists, such as Valaida Snow, Marian McPartland, Kathy Stobart and Deirdre Cartwright.

“The Archive is as much about the future as it is about the past, so it is important to us that the current crop of trail-blazing female artists is also featured.”

‘Women in Jazz’ responds to the Barbican Centre’s 2018 cross-arts season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect, and potentially effect change in, the social and political landscape.

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Barbican Music Library, invests over £100m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of cultural activities after the government, the BBC, and Heritage Lottery Fund.

The City Corporation is also developing Culture Mile with its four core partners - the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra, and Museum of London - between Farringdon and Moorgate – a multi-million-pound investment which will create a new cultural and creative destination for London over the next 10 to 15 years. This includes £110m funding to support the Museum of London’s move to West Smithfield and £2.5m to support the detailed business case for the proposed Centre for Music.


Media enquiries:

Andrew Buckingham

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

020 7332 1452

Notes to Editors

Barbican Music Library, which is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, is a vibrant public library in the heart of the Barbican Centre with books, spoken word recordings, DVDs, CDs and scores available for loan to all visitors. The Library has particular strengths in music (including listening facilities and practice pianos), arts, children's and financial sections, as well as Internet access and self-service photocopying. Membership is available to those who live, work or study in the City of London, and regular visitors to the Barbican.

Barbican Music Library is on Level 2, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS. It is within walking distance of a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate. The nearest train stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon. Bus route 153 runs directly past the Barbican. Free bicycle spaces and paid car parking spaces are available.

Opening times are: Monday and Wednesday 9.30am–5.30pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am–7.30pm, Friday 9.30am–2pm, and Saturday 9.30am–4pm.

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The National Jazz Archive is a registered charity based in Loughton Library in Essex. It was founded by Digby Fairweather in 1988 and holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from 1919 to the present day. The Archive holds more than 4000 reference books, specialist periodicals and bulletins spanning over 600 titles, as well as archival material, artwork, ephemera and photographs.

The Archive received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2011 that supported a three-year access development project enabling the collection to be fully conserved and catalogued for the first time. Significant items have been digitised and are now accessible online. A second grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was made in 2015 for the ‘Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence’ project, which finished successfully at the end of June 2017.