Washington D.C. has a jazz tradition dating back to the beginning of the genre, and has been home to some of its most important innovators. The Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives was born in 1988 with the purpose of documenting the rich living jazz tradition of the nation and its Capital. Named after longtime area radio personality Felix E. Grant, the Archives began with Grant’s donation of a sizeable collection of sound recordings, books and periodicals to the University. These included many recorded interviews with jazz artists and personalities, conducted over Grant’s years as a broadcaster. The Archives grew to include all sorts of memorabilia associated with Felix Grant and his career in jazz radio, and in 1997 expanded greatly with the addition of WDCU-FM’s record collection.
In addition to supporting the Jazz Studies curriculum at UDC, the Grant Jazz Archives highlight the city’s unique contribution to the art form of jazz and its continuing history. In April of each year, the Archives sponsor the Calvin Jones Big Band Jazz Festival, bringing ensembles from area college jazz programs including UDC, Howard University, and the University of Maryland in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month. The JAZZAlive events series produces a diversity of jazz-related events year-round, including concerts by local and national artists, panel discussions and forums, jazz film screenings, and more.
Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives Information
- Public Transportation: Excellent (easily accessible by Metrorail Red line and buses D32, H2, L1, L2, L4, and N8 at the Van Ness-UDC station)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 30 events annually as part of the JAZZAlive series of concerts, including the Calvin Jones Big Band Jazz Festival
- Ticket Prices: Vary (free-$20) depending on event. Discounts for students and seniors available at select events.